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Charlie's Angels | 2 | Full Throttle | review | dvd | Lollipop

Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle

by Chad Van Wagner

As God as my witness, I really enjoyed the first Charlie's Angels. I can certainly see how it would make for much gnashing of teeth in geek circles, but come on... If you can get a head of outrage going over a movie that involves Cameron Diaz poking her butt into the camera lens as bad disco plays in the background, you desperately need to lay off the hipster pills.

This should not suggest that I have no standards, however. Despite a small handful of amusing sequences, Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle is one annoying movie. Say what you will about the first one, the scenes at least had a vague relevance to each other: Thing A leads to thing B, etc. No such luck with this follow-up, which doesn't resemble a movie so much as a series of test-marketed "situations" that someone spliced together, just to get the stuff off the cutting room floor.

Outlining the "plot" would be ludicrous, so I'll just content myself with checking off the scorecard. Explosions? Check. Crispin Glover being a damned lunatic? Check. Demi Moore? Check, but not by much. She essentially has a glorified cameo. Bernie Mac? Check, but so what? Bernie Mac is a funny man, but he has nothing to do. Scantily-clad Angels grinding around to striptease music?

Well, actually, this is possibly the best sequence in the film, and not just because of its cheesecake factor. There's a warped, queasy, almost giddy feel to this sequence, not unlike the parts that worked in Velvet Goldmine. The whole thing feels like a fever dream, and is actually fairly compelling. All protestations of Hollywood product aside, if director McG had managed a film based on the glittery headrush of these few seconds, he'd've had a seriously different and, well, daring film on his hands. Unfortunately, we're back to generic ka-boom, wire-fu, and slight gestures at story after a few scant moments.

By the time the last reel unspools (this is a really long movie), the screen has become an incoherent mash of over-done bright colors and loud noises. It's about as cinematically exciting as watching someone else play Grand Theft Auto. If anyone can make it to the end of this film and still care what happens, even in a silly, get-the-bad-guy sense, they're most likely intoxicated in one form or another. I like dumb movies, I like 'em a whole bunch, but that doesn't mean all fluff is made equal. Take a pass on this one.

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