Too much style IS a bad thing.
Despite the consensus that Cameron Diaz wantonly proffering her backside like a baboon in estrus makes for good cinema, my existence would be incalculably enhanced if I never witness this repulsive rectal display cloaked in ostensible good-natured humor ever again in my short span on this earth.
CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE is so plastic, it hurt my teeth. There is a plot somewhere, but they forgot to film it. There is a movie somewhere amidst all the explosions and over-lighting and inane dialogue, but everyone forgot to act in it.
Which boat did I miss? Why are these puerile, cardboard doxies regarded as screen goddesses?; heroines for an arse-tattooed generation of over-fed, class-less, prepubescent, poorly-educated future streetwalkers? The just-plain-ugly Lucy Liu, the matron-plump, lisping, graceless Drew Barrymore and the flat-plastic Cameron Diaz, who’s idiot-grinning and asinine booty-shaking every ten minutes reaches stratospheric ludicrousness unequaled by the worst Ed Wood or Godzilla movie. None of these tarts is in the least appealing to me as a procreative heterosexual male.The Hammer dance? And all that imbecilic giggling? Only minimum-wage flunkies slaving over fast-food counters and born-again christians exhibit such a surfeit of fake sincerity. Either stop all that laughing and hugging on the couch – or continue along this pornographic thread that you yourselves have instigated – and give us a payoff. But at PG-13, as long as there are no swear words, simply insert as much lewd innuendo as possible and slide it past the feeble-minded censorship board.
Over-riding my desire to slap these three emasculating shrikes was the yearning to cudgel every half-wit who greenlit, funded, created and marketed this monstrous cinematic trash which, due to its distribution budget, has ingrained itself deeper into the world culture than the name of penicillin’s discoverer. (Alexander Fleming, on the off-chance you can tear your eyes from Diaz’s baboon rectum on display yet again.)
The unsophisticates may opine: “But it’s all in fun – it’s entertainment!” Well, so is overdosing on heroin, which is what this film’s barf-inducing action sequences resemble. The opening scene, in which the Angels run a truck carrying a helicopter off a bridge and then climb into the helicopter and fire its ignition and fly off (all within a 100-foot drop to a river) is enough to discern that this movie is definitively purely for the plastic popcorn and cardboard hot dog brigade (i.e. the swell of the bell-curve of movie-going audiences who have no discernment – for cuisine or film-making). And the Great Unwashed rise up in indignation, unwilling to be classified as bovine enough to be deceived into paying to be exploited – yet – how else did a movie aiming for low intelligence ever manage to make the amount of money it extracted from the viewing public?
The paradox: Director McG’s target demographic (4 to 7 year olds with an attention span no greater than 12 seconds exactly – the longest interval of time which ever elapses in this movie without an over-tweaked explosion, unrealistic wire stunt, CGI-drenched “action” sequence, irrelevant slomo passage, or gratuitous soft-porn allusion) will never have the perception to fathom the musical and visual cultural references which the movie is bloated with: The Sound Of Music, KC & The Sunshine Band, The Pink Panther, Flashdance, the Cape Fear remake, etc. Almost every sequence becomes a wink to the audience, as McG gets swallowed by his own anus by trying way too hard to impress upon his viewers that he’s in on these gags as well. His groveling as a sycophant far outweighs his talents as a film-maker.
Did anyone else notice the 20 million watts of obvious stage lighting on all characters all the time especially when they’re out in the sunlight and they don’t need it? Are we to consider that these hounds are so freakin’ beautiful that we wouldn’t want to miss one inch of their bootylicious backsides or frontsides in realistic shadow?
And speaking of bootylicious frontsides, the ab-crunched, testosterone-drenched Demi Moore appears in the movie solely to display her nakedness to Ashton Kutcher’s jealous mates in a socially-acceptable forum. Lord knows, she’ll never actually deign to ever visit a beach to do so – if you think these Hollywood starlets get their all-over tans by gadding about in natural sunshine, you must also believe that any film with over seven explosions in its 30-second trailer is a movie worth seeing.
John Cleese is the film’s only saving grace (along with Bruce Willis’ 30-second cameo), but Cleese’s screentime is diluted by his interaction with the mannequin Matt LeBlanc. LeBlanc should be thanking his goat-headed gods that he actually got the opportunity to even stand alongside the icon Cleese, let alone share screentime with him. The downside to appearing alongside Cleese was, of course, that it proved beyond a doubt that Matt LeBlanc isn’t really an actor. Or funny. Or ever has been. And should probably be put out of his misery like the hoss that he is.
A lot of sugar went into making this sour ipecac seem sweet. If I could just purloin one god-given opportunity to wrap my fingers around their collective throats, I’d illustrate the proper method to execute a FULL THROTTLE.
Orig: Dec 2004