Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, Bernie Mac
  • Director: McG
  • Producers: Drew Barrymore, Nancy Juvonen, Leonard Goldberg
  • Disc Format: Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: October 22, 2019
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2020 

         It is difficult to tell if the re-release of the original film adaptations of the classic TV series is a way to promote the upcoming film reboot of Charlie’s Angels, or simply a way to capitalize on the anticipation of that film to sell a few past properties again. Either way, I am not sure that it was the best idea. For those looking forward to the new film, I suppose the release of the old ones is a double-edged-sword. On one hand, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle is so incredibly bad that it removes any interest in the franchise. On the other hand, this film is so incredibly bad that anything coming next will be an improvement.

        Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle was the shoddy sequel to an already embarrassing property. Not only are these film incredibly outdated in their presentation of women (they practice body positivity feminism, though this is often lost in the camera’s preoccupation with the male gaze), but they are simply poorly made. The logic of the action scenes are non-existent, the editing is so fast that you need slow motion just to see what is going on. And once you can see it, you will realize just how many laws of physics are broken in order to make simple action choreography work. Bad CGI, worse acting, and a script that does neither any favors in terms of realism and believability make this one of the worst films I have seen in some time. It has to be one of the worst sequels ever made, and the first one was no masterpiece to begin with.

        This film is so incredibly bad that it actually starts to become enjoyable. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about it, which is actually quite impressive given the level of talent attached. There are so many major movie stars offering cameos and appearances that one has to wonder how much money it took for them to sell their dignity. Bruce Willis literally has one scene with bad make-up before they kill him off. I can’t even remember him saying a single word. At least Carrie Fisher was given a full scene, as stupidly unfunny as it was.

        Part of the problem is that this film is over-stuffed. Not that there is too much plot, because there is barely a storyline beyond a former Angel (played by Demi Moore) turning bad and scheming the destruction of the organization or something. It really doesn’t matter, because the film is much more interested in objectifying the leads in an oddly desexualized manner due the need to avoid any actual nudity. As a result, the scenes where the Angels are naked also feature CGI to cover up their important parts, but the result is something like undressing a Barbie doll; with sex organs and nipples simply removed and smooth plastic-looking CGI skin in place. It is unnatural, but no more than the constant sound effects that are paired with facial expressions throughout the film. Some of this must have been intentionally bad, otherwise I don’t understand how any of these filmmakers worked again. At the very least, the film’s editor should be banished to the world of music videos.

        If the film itself is a waste of time, I can’t imagine why you would want to watch endless special features about how it was made, but that’s exactly what this Blu-ray release has to offer. There is a commentary track with director McG attempting (unsuccessfully) to justify some of the poor decisions. There is also a separate writers’ commentary, and given it took three people you would expect at least one of them would notice how much their film sucked. There is also a trivia track, featurettes on a series of the production elements, from action choreography to the cars that are the bodies the film is second-most preoccupied with. Also included is an assortment of extras that just feel like filler, including a music video and a featurette simply showing all of the revealing wardrobes the stars are forced to wear throughout the film. The running gag that the father of an angel (played by John Cleese) believes she is a high-priced prostitute is easy to understand.

        The Blu-ray release comes with both the theatrical and unrated cuts of the film. The unrated version is simply a minute longer, likely just adding back in bits of violence or sexuality which made the PG-13-rating questionable, but it is hardly noticeable what has been changed. There is also a digital copy of the film included, which is basically the only thing not included in previous releases of the film. The first film is also available on 4K Ultra HD.

Entertainment Value: 4/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 0/10
Historical Significance:  0/10
Special Features: 7/10

No comments: