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Thursday, June 26, 2003 02:20 pm

Movie Reviews

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle & Dumb and Dumberer

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Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

I tried. I really tried to get into the world of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, a place were the laws of physics don't apply and hot babes survive massive car crashes and explosions without a hair out of place. I did my best to believe director McG is fashioning a new film style in which narrative concerns are nuisances.

Yes, I know it's all supposed to be good fun. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu tear up the screen in action escapades that cinema's macho men have been getting away with for years. But there's something inherently lazy about the film. It might seem really cool to show a man firing a gun upside down as he flies through the air, suspended from a motorcycle he's just ridden off a ramp. But does it make sense? Pretty nifty having the three stars dodging bullets, but could you please tell me how they can do this? Was their employer, the ever-illusive Charlie, a scientist who developed a pill or serum that enables his detectives to defy gravity?

Why can't I just sit back and watch these three babes prance around in their ever-changing guises as they cater to every fetish their male audience might harbor? It's because the tawdriness of it all undercuts whatever empowerment the Angels have as women. If you're not thrilled by Diaz as a bull dyke or an aggressive motor-cross babe, wait a second and she'll show up as a ditzy blonde or a fishnet-clad stripper. Barrymore poses as a prim and proper professional one minute, and a teenage girl working at an ice cream stand the next. Lui gets to reprise her dominatrix act and add the role of a roller-derby mama to her vast repertoire. Throttle was made for teens with plenty of disposable income who want to sit back, hang out with their friends, and be entertained. Nothing wrong with that. But a steady diet of this junk isn't healthy.

(Running time 1:41, rated PG-13)
Grade F

Dumb and Dumberer

Enough said.

(Running time 1:25, rated PG-13)
Grade D-