×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle

Bigger, sleeker and better than the first, sequel "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" is a joyride of a movie that takes the winning elements of the year 2000 hit to the next level. Sweet spirited, kick-ass action comedy will be a crowd-pleaser across the board and a turbo-charged money machine in all markets, with its crowning achievement a keen appreciation for what both male and female viewers yearn to see.

With:
Natalie - Cameron Diaz Dylan - Drew Barrymore Alex - Lucy Lu Voice of Charlie - John Forsythe Jimmy Bosley - Bernie Mac Thin Man - Crispin Glover Seamus O'Grady - Justin Theroux Ray Carter - Robert Patrick Madison Lee - Demi Moore Randy Emmers - Radrigo Santoro Max - Shia LaBeouf Jason - Matt LeBlanc Pete - Luke Wilson Mr. Munday - John Cleese Momma Bosley - Ja'net DuBois Roger Wison - Robert Forster Alan Caufield - Eric Bogosian Mother Superior - Carrie Fisher

This review was corrected on June 26, 2003.

Bigger, sleeker and better than the first, sequel “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” is a joyride of a movie that takes the winning elements of the year 2000 hit to the next level. Sweet spirited, kick-ass action comedy will be a crowd-pleaser across the board and a turbo-charged money machine in all markets, with its crowning achievement a keen appreciation for what both male and female viewers yearn to see.

Opening action is huge, with Angels (Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu) infiltrating a roiling crowd of fur-suited barbarians in a Mongolian bar. Comic tone is set when Diaz takes a slo-mo, sensual spin on a mechanical yak, but before the titles unfurl the ladies have leapt through a sugar-glass window, blown up an M-60 tank and flown though a canyon dangling from a helicopter.

Plot provides at least a filament of logic, with the angels in pursuit of a pair of rings that, put together, crack the code on the whereabouts of everyone in the federal witness protection program. Personal stakes come in when it’s revealed that Dylan (Barrymore) is herself in danger, having blown the whistle in her secret past life on a killer (Justin Theroux) who’s now coming after her.

But story’s merely a catch-all for the fun that ensues. Helmer McG, returning from the original, has a rare gift for making the action fresh, clean and cohesive, and pairing it with a party mix of pop cultural elements and a cross-generational, wall-to-wall soundtrack that are spot on for today’s cable-primed, culture-savvy auds.

At one point, the girls are helping Natalie (Diaz) move in with her boyfriend (Luke Wilson), but, distracted by an MC Hammer video playing in the living room, they drop their packing boxes and dance together. Editing is so seamless as to make the action inevitable, and a prime example of the playfulness and sisterhood at the heart of the movie’s appeal.

Standout sequences include a sexy, speedy motocross contest in which the high-flying bikers compete in a coal dump; and a bump-and-grind dance number that will ensure brisk sales around the world.

Bruising fight scenes — some built around martial arts and wirework — kick the action into the hardcore arena, but even then, McG’s talent for keeping it light and for churning out indelible movie images makes the violence exhilarating rather than numbing.

Diaz, whose salary soared to $20 million for the sequel, flashes megawatt star power, exuding lunatic charm and klutzy puppy dog lovability, paired with a killer bod and a smile as wide as a highway billboard. But Barrymore, as both co-star and producer, also makes as big a contribution. Her up-from-nothing, hip-bumping, air-guitar playing Dylan is the movie’s sisterly soul, and her guiding vision of the franchise as a place where male and female viewers can find equal satisfaction is its masterstroke.

New chapter features the return to the screen of Demi Moore, exuding steely intensity and strong fighting chops as a vengeful dark angel who goes bikini-to-bikini with Diaz in a beach scene — and holds her own — and the introduction of Bernie Mac, suitably funny in a kookily conceived turn as the brother of the original Bosley (the absent Bill Murray). Adding interest are a slew of cameos, including a chiseled Bruce Willis, Eric Bogosian, and OA (original angel) Jaclyn Smith.

Production makes marvelous use of iconic Los Angeles locations, from Griffith Observatory (not seen in cinema to this extent since “Rebel Without a Cause”) to the Hermosa Beach strand to Musso & Frank Grill, and is one a series of recent actioners (“The Italian Job,” “Hollywood Homicide”) to film extensively on revitalized Hollywood Boulevard.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

Production: A Sony Pictures Entertainment release of a Columbia Pictures presentation of a Leonard Goldberg Production in association with Flower Films and Tall Trees Prods./Wonderland Sound and Vision. Produced by Leonard Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, Nancy Juvonen. Executive producers, Jenno Topping, Patrick Crowley. Directed by McG. Screenplay, John August, Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, based on a story by John August.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color, Panavision widescreen), Russell Carpenter; editor, Wayne Wahrman; music, Edward Shearmur; music supervisor, John Houlihan; production designer, J. Michael Riva; supervising art director, David F. Klassen; art directors, Richard F. Mays, Gregory Richman; set decorator, Lauri Gaffin; costume supervisor, Cheryl Beasley Blackwell; sound (Dolby Digital), Willie Burton; visual effects supervisor, Mark Stetson; stunt coordinator, Tim Trella; associate producers, Amanda Goldberg, Stephanie Savage; assistant director, Mark Cotone; second unit director/stunt coordinator, Mic Rodgers; second unit camera, Jonathan Taylor; casting, Justine Baddeley, Kim Davis-Wagner. Reviewed at Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood, June 18, 2003. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 111 MIN.

With: Natalie - Cameron Diaz Dylan - Drew Barrymore Alex - Lucy Lu Voice of Charlie - John Forsythe Jimmy Bosley - Bernie Mac Thin Man - Crispin Glover Seamus O'Grady - Justin Theroux Ray Carter - Robert Patrick Madison Lee - Demi Moore Randy Emmers - Radrigo Santoro Max - Shia LaBeouf Jason - Matt LeBlanc Pete - Luke Wilson Mr. Munday - John Cleese Momma Bosley - Ja'net DuBois Roger Wison - Robert Forster Alan Caufield - Eric Bogosian Mother Superior - Carrie Fisher

More Film

  • Peter Rabbit trailer

    Australia Box Office Recovers, Grows 3.8% in 2018

    Gross theatrical box office in Australia grew by 3.6% in 2018, to $890 million (A$1.25 billion). The score was propelled by a rebound in the performance of the top local films. Data from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia published Tuesday showed aggregate cinema revenues recovering after a dip in 2017. While the 2018 [...]

  • Megan Mullally70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Arrivals,

    Q&A: Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics While Hosting the SAG Awards

    Megan Mullally is funny. The “Will & Grace” star can also sing and dance. While she’s not picking up the Oscar hosting gig after the Kevin Hart fiasco, Mullally will take center stage on Sunday, Jan. 27 when she makes her debut as the host of the 25th annual SAG Awards. Variety caught up with [...]

  • Glass trailer

    'Glass': Five Box Office Takeaways From M. Night Shyamalan's Thriller

    With his fifth No. 1 box office opening, M. Night Shyamalan has plenty to celebrate. “Glass,” the conclusion to a trilogy that consists of the 2000 cult hit “Unbreakable” and 2016’s box office sensation “Split,” topped the box office last weekend — though its win comes with a few caveats. James McAvoy reprised his role [...]

  • Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama

    Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama Title 'Family Members' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Patra Spanou has picked up world sales rights to “Los miembros de la familia” (Family Members), which will world premiere in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. Variety has been given an exclusive first look of the film’s trailer. The film is the second feature from writer/director Mateo Bendesky, and is produced by Agustina Costa [...]

  • Great Point Media, The Development Partnership

    Great Point Media, Development Partnership Join Forces on Slate of Movies

    Great Point Media and The Development Partnership, the development and production arm of the talent agency the Artists Partnership, are joining forces to develop, package, and co-produce multiple films, kicking off with three projects, including “Chasing Agent Freegard,” starring James Norton (“War & Peace”). “Chasing Agent Freegard,” which is being produced by “Captain Phillips” co-producer [...]

  • Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’

    Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s Miami-based FiGa Films, a leading sales agent on the independent Latin American scene, has announced the acquisition of Brazilian doc “Landless,” and released a trailer for the Costa Rican-Spanish drama “El despertar de las hormigas.” Both features will play at this year’s Berlinale Forum and come from young Latin American filmmakers making their [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to

    Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to Promote 'Deadpool 2' in China

    Ryan Reynolds canceled surgery on his arm to fly to China and charm “Deadpool” fans in Beijing on Sunday ahead of the franchise’s unexpected China theatrical debut. Just last week, Fox suddenly announced that a re-cut, PG-13 “Deadpool 2” would hit Chinese theaters starting this Friday – the first time the notoriously blood-splattered and foul-mouthed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content