"Kill or be killed. Exciting isn't it?"
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 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.
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.
What are you waiting for? This is a DVD as all DVDs should be made. Go out and get it.
Columbia is pronounced not guilty. And the Angels are free to go, so long as they take me shopping with them.
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Scales of Justice
• Rolling with the Punches Featurette
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