Case Number 03658

CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE: UNRATED EDITION

Sony // 2003 // 107 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Erin Boland (Retired) // December 1st, 2003

The Charge

"Kill or be killed. Exciting isn't it?"
"Who are you?"
"You want to know who I am Natalie? Then you look inside your own heart."
"No, Madison. I'm nothing like you. I have something you'll never have."
"What's that?"
"Friends."

Opening Statement

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is the quintessential summer movie. It's Jackie Chan meets James Bond meets chick flick fun for the whole family. With more action, more kung fu, and more machines than Charlie's Angels, Full Throttle is the summertime fun event you don't want to miss.

Facts of the Case

Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz, There's Something About Mary), Alex Munday (Lucy Liu, Kill Bill), and Dylan Sanders (Drew Barrymore, The Wedding Singer) are back with Bosley (Bernie Mac, Ocean's Eleven) and more fashion, more cars, and more stunt work.

In Full Throttle, the Angels go head to head with ex-Angel Madison Lee (Demi Moore, Striptease) and Seamus O'Grady (Justin Theroux, Mulholland Dr.), an Irish gangster and Dylan's deadly ex. The Angels' mission: recover two titanium rings that are encrypted with the all the identities of the Witness Protection Program. In the wrong set of hands, these rings could mean a lot of trouble for a lot of innocent people.

The Evidence

The Angels are back, as fun and sexy as ever with more guilty summer blockbuster fun. This time around though, there is more kung fu, more explosions, and an even more "throw-away" plot. You can't watch this move expecting anything more then some good old-fashioned vicarious summer fun, but that's okay because the movie has no delusion that it is something deep and ground shaking. When developing Angel World (as he calls the "fantasy" world of the movie), director McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol) utilizes as many TV in-jokes and action movie influences as he can possibly fit into and hour and a half of film. Staying true to the James Bond, The Matrix, and Hong Kong kung fu movie influences, I also caught some new influences from Indiana Jones and CSI, to name a few.

If you liked the acting in the original Charlie's Angels movie, you'll appreciate it in this one too. Judge Harold Gervais provides an excellent review of the acting and I feel, that at least for the main characters, it is entirely unnecessary to expand on his review. I was disappointed that Bill Murray didn't come back as Bosley; his performance in the first was great (if slightly underused). Bernie Mac, though less underused then Murray, gave a good performance, but still I didn't like the shift in Bosley's character. Demi Moore makes her appearance as the rogue Angel Madison Lee. Tough enough to take on three Angels herself, Moore is good at being ruthless. So good in fact, it's really hard to place any credibility in her status as a former Angel. Justin Theroux also plays a good "bad guy." He and Barrymore share an excellent on-screen chemistry, even if she is still trying to kick his ass.

I saw this movie when it came out in theaters and loved it, and I loved it on DVD. This movie is excellent brainless fun. The Angels are showing up in scenes where we would traditionally find male characters (the motor-cross scene), scenes that many would find demeaning (the burlesque scene), and scenes that many would just find preposterous (the kung fu and the posing). But McG ties it together well and packages it so neatly that we just can't help but walk away smiling.

In addition to the DVD transfer being excellent, this movie just plain looks good. The cinematography is so engaging that, even if you turned down the sound (like one of those high-school games were you insert your own dialogue), Full Throttle is still fun to watch. McG, having honed his skills with Charlie's Angels and the music video industry, brings us a movie that moves. Even more then Charlie's Angels moved. There is more face-paced action and more kung fu then the first -- McG doesn't slow down for a second. In addition to the fast-paced-keep-your-attention style, the movie is full of color. Between the bright Angels' "costumes" and the vivid scenery, you can't help but love to watch this movie.

The sound on this DVD absolutely rocks. They do an excellent job of using the entire range of Dolby Digital 5.1, and the soundtrack is great. With hits like Pink's "Feel Good Time," Kid Rock's remake of "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)," Bon Jovi's "Livin' On a Prayer," Journey's "Any Way You Want It," and the guilty pleasure: MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" to name a few, this movie is just as much fun to listen to as it is to watch. (By the way, if I turned the volume up loud enough, the puppy next door howled at the explosions. Damn paper thin walls.)

This disc is just jam-packed with extras. Here's a sneak peek at what's in store for you in Angel land.

* Rolling with the Punches Featurette: This six-minute featurette, exclusive to the Unrated Edition, explores the fight choreography in Full Throttle. Lots of kung-fu action here, we get to see some chicks throw real punches.
* XXX-Treme Angels Featurette: All right, get your mind out of the gutter. I know what you were thinking. Misleadingly enough, this nine-minute featurette, also exclusive to the Unrated Edition, was about the motocross scene in the film. Even though the title was a bit of a letdown, this is a fun watch.
* Pussycat Dolls Featurette: A little more risqué than XXX-Treme Angels featurette, this five-minute short features the Pussycat burlesque dancers that taught the Angels their stuff. Again, exclusive to the Unrated Edition.
* Full Throttle Featurette: With a title like "Full Throttle," this short is about what else? Cars. Yeah! For the true lover of the summer action movie and the quintessential car chase scene, this featurette ogles the real muscle behind this film: the cars.
* Designing Angels: This seven-minute featurette is about the look of Full Throttle. It's interesting to watch, but it's really just a layer of fluff.
* There's No Such Thing as a "Short Shot," Only an Overworked Producer: This nine-minute featurette explains all the behind-the-scene action that the producers see. Who would have thunk!
* Dream Duds: This three-minute featurette was one of my favorites. Less of a featurette and more of a photo gallery, the short consisted of costume conception drawings and shots of the costumed Angels in action.
* Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam: A featurette about the making of the opening sequence.
* Cameo-graphy: This was a list of all the big name cameo appearances in the film, with a short bio and the clip from the film with the cameo appearance.
* "Feel Good Time" Music Video: The music video was put together well and it's a nice addition. Pink is an Angel for an afternoon, or at least a music video.
* Angel-Vision Trivia Track: The trivia track is kinda neat and had a ton of interesting if useless tidbits of information; it plays like VH-1's Pop-Up Video without the annoying popping sounds.
* Full Throttle Juke Box: What a cool way to listen to the music of Full Throttle. The Juke Box shows some commentary pertaining to the choice for each major song in the movie followed by the clip in the movie where the song played. If only every DVD with a great soundtrack had a feature like this.
* Commentary Tracks: Full Throttle gives us not one, but two commentary tracks. We have the option of listening to director McG's or the writer's commentary.
* DVD-ROM Features: The DVD-ROM featured links to online animated Webisodes. Frankly, they should have just included this on the DVD itself, because you really need a good high-speed connection to enjoy them. The DVD-ROM feature also included a link to the official web site, a link to a site that sells Angel apparel, and a link to Sony's Charlie's Angels X online game demo.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Okay, so what's up with this "Unrated Edition" business? The difference between the two: other than the format (widescreen versus full screen), the Unrated Edition contained four extra featurettes and one minute of extra footage. Only one minute. This isn't like The Lord of the Rings extended versions where you know which scenes have been added to the film. In order to tell exactly what footage was added, you need to sit down with two televisions and two DVD players and play both films simultaneously. The additional material wasn't even risqué enough to warrant the hype that "Unrated" generates.

Closing Statement

What are you waiting for? This is a DVD as all DVDs should be made. Go out and get it.

The Verdict

Columbia is pronounced not guilty. And the Angels are free to go, so long as they take me shopping with them.

Review content copyright © 2003 Erin Boland; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 100
Audio: 100
Extras: 100
Acting: 90
Story: 85
Judgment: 95

Special Commendations
* Top 100 Discs: #38

Perp Profile
Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
* 2.40:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)

Subtitles:
* French
* Korean

Running Time: 107 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated

Distinguishing Marks
* Rolling with the Punches Featurette
* XXX-Treme Angels Featurette
* Pussycat Dolls Featurette
* Full Throttle Featurette
* Designing Angels Featurette
* There's No Such Thing as a "Short Shot" Featurette
* Dream Duds Featurette
* Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam Featurette
* Cameo-graphy
* "Feel Good Time" Music Video
* Full Throttle Juke Box
* Angel-Vision Trivia Track
* McG's Telestrator Commentary
* Writer's Commentary
* DVD-ROM Features

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0305357/combined

* Official Site
http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/charliesangelsfullthrottle/index.html

* Charlie's Angels Review
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/charliesangels.php