Friday, September 19, 2008

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

Cameron Diaz, Bernie Mac, Lucy Liu, Drew Berrymore, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
While I only recently purchased a copy of Charlie's Angels (2000) I had the good fortune to find a widescreen version of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle on DVD in the Wal-Mart $5 bin some time ago. Angels Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu return along with diretor McG in this action packed camp-fest. This movie combines visuals and soundtrack with such a gay sensibility that it comes as no surprise that the man in charge of the story and one of the main writers for this film, John August, was a gay man.1 I first saw this movie in theaters with my friend Kirk, and I still enjoy it on repeated viewings.

While most of the principal cast returns in this sequel, Bill Murry did not return as Bosley and was replaced by the late Bernie Mac. It is explained that Murry's character had been adopted by Mac's family. With the passing of Mac, should there be another sequel, the film may have set up for Shia Lebeouf to be the third Bosley.2 This movie also seeks to tie the film franchise in with the original television show. We learn that Charles Townsend has recruited women throughout the decades to work for his firm, and our current Angels are only the most recent. Demi Moore does a great job as a former Angel, and Jacyln Smith reprises her role as Kelly Garrett.

Lucy Liu, Drew Berrymore, Cameron Diaz, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

I think the thing that gives me the most joy in this movie is watching Cameron Diaz dance in the various scenes. She first dances to "Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer, and later does a great dance to "Last Dance" by Donna Summer. For some reason these scenes really make me smile, and I enjoy watching them.

It may be due to the fact that McG started out directing music videos, but Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle has always felt like a series of music videos strung together by a loose plot. Because of this the music in the film3 is very important not only to setting the mood, but also in framing some of the jokes. When the Angels are hanging from a tanker welding, "What a feeling" from Flashdance plays, or when they're dressed as nuns, "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music plays. These sort of jokes add to the films camp appeal but also work to its detriment as without the soundtrack and music video-like nature of the film, one might notice that the movie lacks a tighter plot structure.

One final note is that usually when I do caps for my movies I have a hard time figuring out three shots that really capture the film and that I want to place here. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle was the opposite. There were so many shots and elements I wanted to capture but couldn't because I was limited to three. I had to use my friend Greg to help me narrow them down.

Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, Drew Berrymore, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
Notes:
1. This is only a guess since his IMDb profile mentions his partner Mike, and I'm assuming they mean romantic, not business.
2. I doubt there will be another sequel.
3. See the full soundtrack listing here.

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