Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

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Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
CA-FullThrottle.jpg
Look on the plus side, at least they'll never mess Charlie's Angels up this badly again... right?
Genre: Action
Comedy
Directed By: McG
Written By: Cormac Wibberly
Marianne Wibberly
John August
Starring: Cameron Diaz
Drew Barrymore
Lucy Liu
Demi Moore
Bernie Mac
John Forsythe
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Sony Pictures
Release Date: June 27, 2003
Runtime: 106 minutes
Country: United States
Prequel: Charlie's Angels
Sequel: Charlie's Angels (2019)


Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is a 2003 action-comedy movie, and a sequel to 2000's Charlie's Angels, which in turn was based off of the 1970s TV series of the same name.

Plot

A series of assassinations leads to the Angels discovering a plot to sell a trio of devices that contain the entire FBI witness protection list. Initially it appears that the plot is being masterminded by Dylan Sanders' former boyfriend Seamus O'Grady, a notorious mobster who she helped put behind bars. However, it eventually emerges that the true mastermind is Madison Lee, a former Angel who Charlie fired for being too reckless.

Bad Qualities

  1. Really jumbled and confusing storyline. It often feels like someone came up with a bunch of action sequences, then hastily wrote a storyline to link said sequences together (which was something that tended to happen quite often with action movies from this era).
  2. There's no logical reason for a portable device that contains the entire FBI witness protection list to exist. It almost seems like the kind of thing invented specifically so that some bad guys can steal it and take revenge against everyone listed on it.
  3. The movie is over-stuffed with cameos, meaning that most of the first half is just alternating between action sequences and guest actors appearing for just long enough to get killed.
  4. Lacks the self-aware tone of the first Charlie's Angels movie, meaning it comes across much more like a standard-issue late 90s/early 2000s action movie.
  5. Drew Barrymore, who produced the movie as well as starring in it, refused to allow the Angels to use any sort of firearms due to her strong beliefs in gun control. In fairness, the movie doesn't beat viewers over the head with Barrymore's beliefs, but it does lead to some problems, seeing how most of the action sequences should result in the Angels being shot dead almost immediately.
    • Forcing the Angels to rely on hand-to-hand combat leads to an additional problem in that Barrymore has next to no training for hand-to-hand combat. Fortunately, both Cameron Diaz and especially Lucy Liu (who was considered one of the top martial artists in the acting world at the time) are skilled enough in that area that it isn't as big of a problem as it could have been.
  6. While the movie as a whole isn't anywhere near as sexist against men as the 2019 reboot, Alex's and Natalie's boyfriends both feel like stock romantic comedy boyfriends who just happened to stumble into an action movie, and seem to exist just to make Alex and Natalie look better by comparison.
    • There's also no mention of what happened to Dylan's boyfriend from the first movie. In fairness, however, this likely happened because said boyfriend was played by Drew Barrymore's then-husband, Tom Green, and the two had been through a messy divorce in the years since.
  7. Pointless plot twist where Dylan leaves Charlie's operation in order to protect her two fellow Angels from O'Grady, only to return before her absence ever becomes relevant.
  8. Ruins the character of the mysterious and intriguing Thin Man (played by Crispin Glover), by revealing that he was only evil in the first movie because he had a bad childhood, and having him fall in love with Dylan.
  9. Madison's reasons for turning evil are never explained very clearly, and the twist around her being the mastermind was spoiled by the trailers anyway.
  10. Weak ending, with Madison's death being underwhelming, and O'Grady suffering a laughably bad death when Dylan kills him by accident. It kind of undermines the intended message of Dylan finding the strength to overcome her abusive ex-boyfriend when she ends up killing him in the way that you might expect Inspector Clouseau to accidentally dispose of a bad guy.

Good Qualities

  1. Generally good performances from all of the main characters; the only one who's a bit flat is Lucy Liu (probably due to her only having come back due to contractual obligations), and even then her martial arts skills are on full display.
  2. Demi Moore is entertaining as Madison.
  3. The idea of the main villain being a rogue ex-Angel is a decent one, and only really fails due to Madison's motives never being fleshed out beyond her just being angry that Charlie fired her.
    • Similarly, Dylan's story arc is a way better attempt at a feminist message than anything that the 2019 movie attempted, even if it's undermined by O'Grady being a flat villain whose death is played for laughs.
  4. The action sequences are very impressive.
  5. One of the original three Angels, Jaclyn Smith, makes a cameo as her character from the TV series, Kelly Garrett.
  6. As ridiculous and over-the-top as the movie is, it at least doesn't try to be anything other than an enjoyably silly action movie.

Reception

The movie received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, earning a 42% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the worst-reviewed of the three Charlie's Angels movies produced to date. Reaction from movie-goers has been slightly more positive, but it is still generally seen as weaker than the first Charlie's Angels movie.

Box Office

It earned approximately $260 million worldwide on a $120 million budget, making it moderately successful.

Trivia

  • A third movie, tentatively titled Charlie's Ang3ls was announced shortly after the release of this one, but was ultimately cancelled for a variety of reasons including the lower box-office return compared to the first movie, Lucy Liu refusing to return for a third movie, and director McG becoming involved with Terminator: Salvation.
  • Bill Murray, who had played Bosley in the first movie, refused to come back due to disputes with Lucy Liu and McG during that movie's production.
  • This was both the last time that John Forsyth voiced Charlie, and his last acting role overall before his death in 2010.

External Links