Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle McG

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle McG
In this steamy summer of the familiar and sequels to the familiar, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle offers a fast food value meal that's been under the heat lamps a while. No doubt the gathered talent is there: producer Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu all return as the titular Angels. Thin Man/weirdo Crispen Glover, Angel boy-toy Matt LeBlanc and bland boyfriend Luke Wilson are all on board as well (no sign of the Chad). Like the amped-up yet remarkably familiar action set-pieces, the cast additions seem like more but add little to the mix: comic du jour Bernie Mac replaces the indispensable Bill Murray as Bosley, and plastic surgery disaster Demi Moore is along for the ride as a former Angel gone bad.

From the outset, Full Throttle announces its intention to be that. Zipping past unlikely, leaving implausible choking on its dust, and with cartoony and over-the-top sucking its exhaust, director McG puts the pedal to the metal of his videogame jones. This is Angels as TV reference, as jukebox, as special effects highlight reel and as eye candy, but what it isn't very much of is fun. Sure, it piles on all the elements of what passes for movie "entertainment" these days — Angels in a variety of costumes, embarking upon unlikely missions with a variety of vehicles — but where its predecessor rightfully relied on the charm of its three leading ladies, Full Throttle does little to exploit their talents.

Its heavy reliance on overly familiar tropes — from a dance-off to an MC Hammer video to the cameo appearance of TV Angel Jaclyn Smith to its annoyingly ubiquitous soundtrack — means that Angels is depending on your pop culture savvy. Sadly, it has none itself; this is not filmmaking as creation, only a hot, steaming plate of leftovers. Hopefully you liked it the first time, because this reheated slop will probably keep repeating on you. (Columbia)