The Angels are back and they’re better than ever…..or are they? The sequel falls into many of the same holes as the first film and it still doesn’t make for a good viewing experience. It’s hard to really enjoy the fights when you have to cringe because one of the main characters has let out another wince worthy line. The fanservice may have been reduced a lot at first, but the film makes sure to correct that in the second half. All I can say is…this doesn’t bode well for the franchise as a whole.
The film starts out with a pretty sad scene in the desert that can really sum up the film. The three angels realize that they are going to have to use their physical attributes to solve the case once again so Natalie handles that part while her partners try to free a captive. The captive trips and busts a rib so the distraction doesn’t work as well as they thought. Alex has the foresight to say something along the lines of “They don’t stand a chance” when the captive mentions how it’s just the three of them against 50 beer guzzlers. Then….the Angels are unable to take down almost any of them. They all go into their poses, but one guy takes out a gun. Obviously, this means that they should run away so they dive out the window with the guy who has a broken rib. No worries…he endures the fall.
The writers must have realized that this was an utterly terrible way to show us how tough the main characters are so he fixes that by giving us an over the top moment where the heroes free fall onto a helicopter as they dodge the blades several times until they safely grab on to it. It doesn’t look believable in any setting, but I suppose that it’ll have to do. The real mission involves recovering two rings that can leak the identities of all undercover operatives on the planet or just from the U.S.A. The villains already have both rings so they’ve probably downloaded the names onto a USB drive by now, but the heroes are confident that the villains would never do such a thing! The villains are waiting until someone buys the rings from them to make a move and they wouldn’t want to copy the data as insurance or anything…..it would violate the buyer’s trust after all!
Now that we’ve talked about the rather shaky plot, let’s discuss some of the film’s negatives. I suppose that we should tackle the whole fanservice part first. If there was ever a film that openly supported sexism and objectification it was Charlie’s Angels. I have to assume that the show was better, but this film quickly follows that. The heroines are always completing their jobs by using false deductive skills or just wooing the villains. Natalie uses quite a few double entendre in a short amount of time to distract the villain so that the other two agents could do some recon. It’s just sad to see because you know that this wouldn’t be the case if a guy was the main character. I try not to pull that card too often since you could probably go around in circles discussing it in various films, but this one makes it too easy. Would James Bond have ran away from a room full of guys if he was with two other 009 agents? I have a feeling that he would not, but I suppose that it is debatable. He does go around seducing people, but he typically does it for the lulz since he is already solving the case.
The worst scene is easily the nightclub one where the Angels are reduced to being strippers who dance for perverted people’s entertainment. It’s sad that they are so committed to their job since anyone with an ounce of self respect would have told Charlie to think of a real plan. He probably didn’t think of this one, but none of the Angels should have either. Remember…there is always another way. One that will keep their dignity with them! Before that, the fanservice was bad, but not as all over the place as the first film. This one had sooooo much that it basically threw that feat out the window.
Romance is always on the minds of the three main characters and I like to think that it certainly holds them back. It clouds their judgment and it makes them look pretty bad. Hitting on surfers or even the local jogger is something that you will see them do. Keep in mind that two of them are supposedly taken already. There is a really rushed romance plot with Dylan since she doesn’t have someone yet, but it just makes her look bad and it doesn’t help the Thin Man either. He was one of the villains from the last film who vanished without a trace. He appears here for a quick race (Where he crashes headfirst into a road and there is an explosion, but he gets up like nothing happened because the script probably didn’t finish that part up) and then a spar with the main villain of the film. He and Dylan then share a moment of passion before he is quickly terminated and you are left wondering what just happened. They’re really stretching it here with how quickly a romance can just start up and it’s sad. Dylan is still my least favorite Angel although I suppose that this isn’t saying a whole lot.
Seamus is the big villain of the film or I guess you can say that he’s just the sub villain. He’s got his own plan in all of this, but he’s technically still a lackey to Madison. (Albeit, unknowingly) He wants to destroy Dylan because she sold him out to the police,m which is pretty petty so the film actually portrayed him accurately there. Thus, he’s about as unlikable as you would expect. The film once again tries to show that just training a little in jail can get you onto the same level as one of the Angels. He is able to give Dylan a pretty good fight and that’s more than a little sad for her. In the “epic” confrontation scene where it’s him and some gang members it would have been fun to have seen a big fight. Seamus basically embodies the whole “One and Done” theme for villains that we see in the films. He’s unlikable from start to finish so you’ll probably forget him pretty quickly.
“I was never good…I was great!” is Madison’s most memorable lines since she’s crying and the actress was probably hoping for an Oscar Nomination there. There’s no reason for her to cry there, but she is a little deranged so I suppose that it’s fitting. For the most part, she’s actually a pretty good villain, but she shows her true colors in the climax where she spends too much time bragging to remember that there are 3 Angels on the loose. Losing her guns after that was also rather embarrassing. She is a good fighter though and I have a feeling that she was a better angel than the 3 new members. Too bad she went over to the dark side.
The main three angels are as unlikable as in the first film. Natalie gets her obligatory dance scene at the beginning where she is joined by the other two this time and she plays the seduction card the most. I could have sworn that she had an iconic line where she said “Bring it on _______” but I didn’t recall hearing it this time. It also sums up her character a little since just saying “Bring it On” is intense enough as a catchphrase. She has a romance subplot that gives her another dance scene, but it certainly doesn’t help her case. Dylan is pretty much written out of the film for a while, but her subplot is a major factor in the plot. She decides to leave the team for about 5-10 minutes because she is worried that staying with them will result in their untimely demise. What she does not suspect is that joining forces with them won’t make a whole lot of difference.
Alex isn’t great either because she keeps up a pretense that is bad for the Dad. It’s a really unnecessary subplot that fills the Dad with sad ideas about what his daughter has become. He never finds out the truth as the film ends either so he really got the short end of the stick. Even ignoring the subplot, Alex just isn’t much better than the other two. She’s still in the romance fad even though she has a boyfriend, which is pretty unacceptable to be honest. You should probably leave the team once you are romantically involved with someone.
A solid soundtrack was one of the only positives for the first film, but it was unsurprisingly changed to a more generic array of songs in this film. We even get the retro Hollywood theme, which is fun, but basically public domain. The fights are also typically a highlight and I will admit that they do put some life into the film. It was cool to see Madison take out the three angels with her superb marksmanship and I think that was when we all realized that some plot hax would probably be necessary in the climax. As least the film tried to be subtle about it, but it was still pretty sad.
On a final note, a new Bosley joined the crew here. I definitely didn’t buy his Irish scene where he tricked someone into letting him in by pulling the race card. It’s a well played card for the most part, but I just don’t see it working here. It’s hard to say whether he beats the old Bosley or not, but he actually might. He’s very down to Earth and he’s excited about being a part of the team. That means that he’s completely immune to the Angels’ tricks and the whole romance game is beneath him. His Home Run at the end was also pretty intense and I applauded his bold effort in Clue. If you’re going to play a board game, you should always be confident of your imminent victory. He was actually better than…100% of the cast. I hardly liked the rest of the characters so it’s not an immense feat, but we’ll take it.
Overall, Full Throttle is an apt title for the film since it really just plunges into just about every film hole that you can think of. We had way too much fanservice and romance in this film and the plot wasn’t very well thought out. There are too many subplots for the film to handle as well since we have old Angels coming virtually and physically as well as the guy who wants to destroy Dylan because of their tragic history. This is the kind of film that should be good popcorn fun, but it just isn’t because of all the unnecessary content. I definitely can’t recommend this film to anyone and you’re better off staying away from the franchise as a whole. I plan on getting the Gamecube video game for the Charlie’s Angels since it can help to partially restore the franchise’s rep, but we shall see. Until then, watch the animated Wonder Woman film for a better depiction of how a female warrior gets her point across.