Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle Review

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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.

Overall 1/10

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Charlie’s Angels Review


Well, it’s been a little over 2 years since I last saw this film, which brings it up to 2-3 times that I’ve seen it so far. It’s a pretty neat concept and I’ve heard that the show was pretty good, but the film has a lot of flaws that are barely hidden beneath the surface. It had a lot of potential thanks to some of the techniques that they used, which will remind you of the good ole films, but it’s simply not enough.

Charlie’s Angels is actually one of those films that can make you really worried for a Wonder Woman or Ms. Marvel film. Let’s just say that if one of those films was like this one, it would make audiences around the world shudder. A 30% on Rotten Tomatoes would likely shock me as it could be even lower. This one is spared that because of when it came out. I can guarantee that if this film came out now it would make waves…and not the good kind!

The plot involved a multi billionare (Probably) named Charlie. He hires three women to work for him as they stop crimes that no ordinary police force ever could. Their missions are dangerous, but these women are even deadlier! Natalie, Dylan, and Alex are the three main characters and they’re all pretty different, but are about equal in overall fighting technique. (Very, Very arguable) Well, they finish another mission when they find out that a computer whiz has been kidnapped. He has created a tech that can figure out a person’s voice print pretty quickly. It’s like tapping a phone, but it works on the actual voice. The Angels must find him and stop this from getting into the wrong hands.

Now, I just have to point something out about the premise that is pretty interesting. The climax involves Charlie making a phone call and the villain stalling him to try and figure out his location through the voice prints. It’s like a GPS and using some satellites he can track him down. That’s cool….until you remember that we can actually tap phones nowadays and you can track a person’s real location without inventing some made up technology about the voice prints. So, why is the voice print even necessary? Your guess is as good as mine…….the only way out of this logic hole would be if phone tracers had not been invented yet, but I’m pretty sure that they have been.

Okay, let’s quickly digress into some of the positives for the film. It has a very Dragon Ball Evoloution feel to it, which works pretty well. We get a lot of slow motion, interesting action shots, and facial expressions that would make film creators proud. It’s hard to describe how it feels like “That” kind of film, but watch any classic video game or manga inspired film like the one I just mentioned or the original Street Fighter and you’ll get my jist.

The soundtrack is also very intense. I can’t confirm that the lyrics for all of the songs are okay since some of the songs can be sketchy, but others were great. We got some really fast paced rock/battle themes that were all over the place and it made the scenes a whole lot more fun. It’s the kind of soundtrack that would never win you an Oscar, but that’s actually a good thing in this case. Oscar films can actually have some good tunes as well, but never anything quite like this. For every good song, there is still a bad song as well to highlight the fact that this film still uses a lot of not very subtle fanservice in between (and during) fight scenes. Ah well, I’ll take what I can get I suppose!

Dylan is my least favorite member of the Angels so I’ll start with her. She’s a decent fighter like the others, but she comes off as more of a tom boy. That doesn’t stop her from using her charm to seduce the characters that she can, but it ultimately results in a pretty embarrassing moment for her. Let’s just say that you should never start hanging out with a suspect so casually unless you want to get burned. Even without that scene she was likely my least favorite, but it certainly didn’t help her case.

Natalie is more laid back, but she still needs romance in her life so she quickly brings in a bar tender that she met and they instantly made it past the bounds of friendship. That was quick and then she went off to continue fighting and saving the world. Again, I find it hard to like her at all since she needs to have more hobbies aside from romance. She danced for a while, but it was pretty bad and again..it didn’t help her case.

Alex is the final member and she already has a stable romance going so she’s already set from the get go. Again, it’s hard to like the Angels because they don’t seem to have much of a personality beyond the romance. It’s quite sad. They are also willing to do just about anything to complete their mission so you almost start to feel bad for their boyfriends. (Almost! They’re not exactly innocent either) She can fight as well, which is good since you would be doomed otherwise against the villains.

Bosley is another one of the main characters and he looks pretty bad. One of his first scenes has him give the girls a long speech about love and how they can make it stronger while they’re basically mocking him and then he proceeds to get tricked by one of the main villains. (Naturally, the villain was female) He has enough strength of mind to tell her that he was going to keep it professional, but he still looked really terrible by letting her in the house from the start. You don’t do that when you have a billion dollar program inside and the person outside the door is a suspect.

There’s not much to say about Charlie. He’s rich and he’s old, but he barely gets to appear. At least he reminds the Angels that he’s watching over them before sending them on extremely dangerous missions. One of the main villains is known as the Thin Man and he’s pretty awesome…at first. We find out that he has something for hair and he gets a little too emotionally involved in that aspect. You just knew that the film would find some way to wreck his character. He started out as a really serious villain as he took on the three main characters. By the end, he was reduced to getting clobbered in a one on one fight and basically running for the hills. No worries…he’ll be back!

It may not sound that bad from all of that, but there is one ultimate reason why it was doomed right from the get go. The fanservice! This could probably hold its own against just about anything else in this area. You’ll get a scene that fits this description in almost every scene in the film. Whether the heroes are seducing someone to distract him or just striking unnecessary poses, it’s just sad. Every male character is presented to be someone who’s heads over heels for them. The guys just care about their outer appearance and none of them are morally ethical. It’s pretty sad to see guys depicted like this. It’s actually common place to an extent, but certainly not to this level. Even in James Bon….well, it’s basically at the same level. It’s just more fanservice than actually going further while it’s the opposite in James Bond.

An example of this is the traditional planning scene where the heroes explain what the security is like. The camera quickly zooms in on their mouth so we can have some really awkward visuals to distract us from what they’re actually saying. It’s pretty cringe worthy. It’s what drives this film down to Sucker Punch levels. Of course, Sucker Punch didn’t suffer from fanservice, but that’s another story. It’s a sad coincidence that those two films are down at the 1’s because they both could have been very good. What happened? The film just needed a different director and writer and then maybe it could have stood a chance.

After all, the fight scenes are pretty good when they happen. At one point, the three Angels team up to fight someone and he actually holds his own against the three of them for a while. It’s fun to watch, but it definitely doesn’t make the main characters look impressive. How can the three of them be having such a tough time when it’s so early in the film? Obviously, the writers forgot that you’re supposed to make the characters very likable and strong before you give them a villain that they can’t defeat.

The two main villains are pretty bad as well. One of them has a gun, but she’s still strong enough to give one of the Angels a tough time in hand to hand combat. If someone who seems like she doesn’t have that much time to train can give them a good fight….just how tough are the Angels? It definitely makes you wonder. The guy is very weak, but he knows that the main characters are always using their charms so he just uses that to his advantage. A surprisingly cunning strategy, but it never would have worked on a halfway decent character. Never!

Overall, Charlie’s Angels isn’t any better than I remember it. The film still puts too much emphasis on the heroes’ bodies and not enough on their character. Every other scene will have you looking away or wincing because you know that the film is just getting started. The soundtrack is pretty good and the actual plot is so retro that it still works despite the logical errors. It’s simply not enough to overlook this and it won’t help the feminist position. Let’s face it, we’d never have a film where three guys are constantly being used for fanservice throughout the film. It wouldn’t happen. Instead of checking out this film, watch the original Mortal Kombat to see how the film could have/should have/would have gone if the writers had realized sooner what they had done. There was simply tooooooo much fanservice here and I can’t stress enough just how sad it was. I highly recommend skipping it, no matter what type of film you’re looking for.

Overall 1/10

Firestarter Review

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Note that this review is of the edited TV 14 version. All thoughts below pertain to this specific version as a review of the original would likely be more negative.

I’m sure that we’re all familiar with Stephen King. His books are definitely popular and he has written a ton of them. They’re about as mainstream as you can get for older fiction and many of his titles have naturally gotten films and miniseries. Firestarter came out quite a long time ago so we’ll see if the story is as chilling and action packed as it used to be back in the day. I can say that the sound effects really hold up!

“mm mm mm mm” is a sound that you’ll never forget after watching this film! Well, the plot involves Andy McGee and his daughter Charlene as they try to evade the cops. ….Just kidding, these guys are actually from “The Shop,” but they are just as deadly. Andy possesses telepathy and some brief telekinesis or the technology equivalent while Charlene has advanced pyrotechnic abilities. Charlene is said to have the power to blow up an entire planet (Once she’s older) and Andy can definitely become a threat depending on who he comes into contact with. The Shop must recapture these individuals and use their abilities to create more meta humans and take down America’s enemies. All in a day’s work eh!?

The film definitely feels dated for some of the scenes, but I’m always ready for a retro adventure. The feel of the film also tips you off that it’s aiming at older audiences with the few death scenes that we get. The film actually isn’t very violent considering, but the guy who starts to blow up at the hospital and the wife’s demise keeps things in perspective. Most of the other deaths happen with special effects thanks to the fire that is being thrown around.

The fire effects are pretty fun to watch and you’ll feel like you’re watching a TV show with super humans. No matter how old or new the show is, live action episodes tend to be fighting on the same level so a fire blast in the 80’s from Charlene can hold up just as well as a fire blast from a villain in Agents of Shield or The Flash. It’s a good or bad thing for the medium depending on how you look at it, I enjoy the effects so I’d say that it’s pretty good and fire is one of the basic elements so it’s natural that it would be perfected fairly early in TV history.

The fight scene with Charlene at the end it pretty intense since we’ve been waiting for her to fight! The action scene is longer than I would have guessed and it’s also more impressive than I could have thought as well. Bullets definitely aren’t a good bet against her and Charlene is basically invincible at this point. The only thing that she has to worry about is the time that it takes for her to power up.

Charlene is about as decent as a kid can be, but I still don’t really care for protagonists that are kids. It works better in anime I’d say. In a film, it’s just hard to take a child seriously and Charlene is also very gullible when the situation starts to get dangerous. I felt bad for Andy because if the powers had been reversed, things could have been a lot different. Charlene’s powers are incredible, but then she decides to never use them against someone again….during a moment where the situation is even more dangerous than usual. It’s good not to destroy someone of course, but she should still use scare tactics and hurl fireballs to keep the enemies guessing.

Andy is a pretty decent main character although he doesn’t think things through as much as he should. His final scene comes to mind as a number of other commands would have been more effective than “Jump.” “Drop The Gun, Give Me The Gun, Throw The Gun, Shoot…..all of your bullets away,” etc. Beyond that, it’s hard not to like Andy when you consider his power. It’s very catchy since he basically says “mm mm mm mm” directly into your mind as he overcomes it. It was likely a directorial choice to add the sound effect, but maybe they asked Mr. King about it. Either way, it made his power a lot more interesting since that was a lot of fun. Andy definitely could have trained a little more though. He really scrunches up his face whenever he uses the ability so you can tell that he can’t keep it up for very long. (I felt bad for the Cab Driver since he’s going to go home a lot poorer than he thought!) Andy’s original scene in the hospital is super cheesy, but I’ll let it slide this time. He’s definitely a product of the 70’s/80’s and he’s got the accent to top it all off. He’s better than your average protagonist. Thinking about it….Andy may just not be hero material. After someone shoots Charlene with a sleeping dart…he doesn’t move away and Andy lets the guy shoot him as well. His reflexes are very slow.

John Rainbird is one of the main villains and he can definitely hurt the overall score. I dare say that he ended up bringing the score down from a 4-5 to 3 in the end. His scenes as he pretends to be a janitor are pretty painful to watch and you’re just waiting for him to take a loss the whole time. Again, Charlene was way too gullible here. John also has some mild resistance to the telepathy, which was disappointing, but it was partially Andy’s fault. John doesn’t have any redeemable qualities as a villain and he just pulled the film down.

The heroes get driven to a house by a nice resident at one point and I liked the guy. He was pretty sharp on the uptake and he was ready to defend the heroes. He was skeptical at first, but I would have been as well. The important thing is that he ultimately decided to help out and show the heroes what a true gunman is. He may have been knocked out of the fight pretty quickly, but the important thing is that he really tried.

Hollister could be called the main villain I suppose. He seems to be the highest ranking villain at “The Shop” and his ambitions are pretty great. He starts to play second fiddle towards the end though and he’s intimidated by John’s threats. He’s a much better villain than John, but I still can’t say that he was great. His plan was risky from the get go and he didn’t handle the Charlene situation very well. At least he takes a good amount of time out of his day to work on his haircut. It’s a start. We also have a doctor who is introduced at one point, but his most memorable scene is when he’s driving away on his trolley as he continues to look back to where Charlene is. It wasn’t his best move!

There isn’t really much of a soundtrack aside from the “mm mm mm mm” noises during the telepathy sessions. The effects are good though so that helps out as well. I don’t think it will end up being a terribly memorable film, but it was worth the trek. One final thing that reminds you that this is more of a retro film is one of the decisions that the villains make. As Charlene is blowing up a bunch of cars…a few of the men run towards one. This would prove to be their final mistake as it ended up exploding, but you have to wonder what they were thinking. They were seriously outgunned.

I do have to give the film a big thumbs up for one scene. Towards the end of the film, everything is burning so we think that the horses may be toast. Luckily, Charlene saves them and the camera makes sure to show you that they got away safely. It was a classy move on the film’s part and it shows that you can definitely avoid animal violence if you really want too. That was definitely a solid move.

Overall, Firestarter is an intriguing film. I dare say that it feels like an old school slasher during some parts of the film and more like a slice of life in others. The two main characters aren’t bad, but the villains range from slightly under average to terrible. The guy with the shotgun was pretty great although it was sad that he couldn’t do a little better in the gunfight. This is the film for you if you want a Supernatural type of adventure with escaped convicts and action. Still, you’ll have more fun watching DBZ Cooler’s Revenge if you want a story of a Saiyan overcoming hardship as he shows the world that he is more than human. As a sidenote, it’s interesting to wonder how Charlene would fair against the Avengers from the 2012 film. We can assume that a fireball would likely crush Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Captain America. Iron Man’s armor has been shown to be weak against fire and Thor had to dodge machine gun fire so I’m not sure how he would fair. Hulk could end up being the final obstacle and then it all depends on how long Charlene can evade him. Given time, I believe that she could defeat him as well. Still, I guess I would side with the Avengers if they all fought against her at once. (This is assuming that she is already in her awakened state of course, so no charge up is necessary)

Overall 3/10