Oct 12, 2012

[Movies] Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

Other than my actual LGBT-themed movies, I strongly feel that the copies of the Charlie's Angels movies remain to be some of the gayest aspects the Sietch DVD collection.And yes, I'm talking about the original DVDs and not just some rips or other digital copies. These are the actual physical DVDs we're talking about. And they're so worth it.

So last week I finally got around to posting a formal review of the first movie, it's only fitting that we follow-up with a review of the sequel. But my love for Charlie's Angels ends with the movies - I never invested the time in watching the TV series that eventually followed this release. But that's outside the scope of this review, quite frankly.

These movies weren't created to change the world or to start new waves of thought or something like that. They're just fun, over the top and even at times crazy. And somehow the combination of these diverse elements using a ridiculously bright color palette leads to quite the fun adventure.

Synopsis: Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is the 2003 sequel to the 2000 movie reboot of the franchise. It was against directed by McG with a screenplay by John August, Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley.

The movie starts with yet another daring hostage rescue by the Angels - Dylan (Drew Barrymore), Natalie (Cameron Diaz) and Alex (Lucy Liu). This time their first mission has them in disguise in Mongolia as they try to rescue Ray Carter (Robert Patrick), the Director of the U.S. Marshals Service. Needless to say that the Angels are able to utilize their unique talents to rescue him. However in the process they lose track of a special ring that he was carrying - one of two that are needed to unlock a secret list.

So now the Angels are truly on the case with the help of the new Bosley (Bernie MAc). But this means tracking down the missing rings, ensure the safety of the people whose names are on the list while also helping Dylan with some secrets of her past. And this has the Angels encountering a wide range of characters as part of their mission including a former Angel, Dylan's ex-boyfriend Seamus (Justin Theroux) and a familiar face from the first movie.

From the very first sequence in the movie all the way to the end credits, it's clear that the cast were out to have a lot more fun with this movie. Beyond the obvious camaraderie that the girls already share based on their previous work together, it also appears to me that the creative team wanted to make the most of the audience already knowing the girls.

So we had a lot more interesting infiltration missions as excuses to put on crazy costumes, ultra-elaborate fight sequences and related stunts and of course plenty of kick-ass poses for the girls. You just can't have a true Charlie's Angels movie without the necessary amount of gratuitous posing.

The movie also tried to up the ante in terms of the male hotness factor, which is one of the bigger reasons that this is such a favorite among the queer population. Depending on your preferences, the movie had at least two major options for you. And I'm not talking about John Cleese.

Apart from Luke Wilson, who reprised the role of Natalie's love interest Pete, the more notable guys who had to strut their stuff a lot were Rodrigo Santoro as the mysterious surfer and of course Justin Theroux as Dylan's Irish ex-boyfriend. Oh yes, they had him shirtless and speaking with an accent - how can you go wrong? And reasons like this are why the movie worked - the decision was obviously done as fan service and as a way to have even more campy fun.

The core story, admittedly, was probably a bit more complicated than it needed to be. Sure we all enjoy a good plot twist, but at times it felt like they were juggling way too many elements. And as much as the movie did its best to get back on track towards the end with all the clever riddles, it didn't quite justify a lot of the meandering that we had to endure in the first few acts.

So yes, I enjoyed the crazy CSI-inspired sequence. And I did genuinely enjoy the final riddle that gave the Angels their final solution to win in the end. And yes, this is a feel-good action movie, and so you know the good girls have to win in the end.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle went even more over-the-top than the first one, and that may be a good thing. Sure, at times you may find this movie silly, but it's really about them embracing just how far this movie can really go and celebrating the parts that worked best with the fans. Thus I happily rate this as 4 yummy bad guys coming out of the water out of a possible 5.

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