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"Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle"

THIS IS probably where Hollywood meets Bollywood so perfectly. Its all there-the skimpily clad women who giggle idiotically and still perform the most daring stunts, plots which don't have an iota of credibility, several scenes that look unconnected and a director (McG) who with his background in commercials and music videos, thinks packaging is all that matters.

Columbia Pictures ``Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," is for airheads, those who really have nothing much to do and guys who want to see scantily clad women.

It's supposed empowerment of women, extends to Angels stealing a security pass while giving the owner a lap dance, while another does a pole dance as distraction! Which is not all. It also portrays an erstwhile angel out on an avenging spree, who at one stage licks the face of one of the present angels!

The plot for this originally TV serial of the 1970s, is as skimpy as the clothes the Angels wear. Plus, it is also an excuse for some bizarre costumes, hairdos, stunts and a lot of celebrity characters that flit in and out pointlessly. A film that chooses to open in Mongolia with one of the girls riding on a mechanical yak, titillating all the men in a bar, is not going to take itself seriously. So here are three Angels, Alex (Lucy Liu), Dylan who is running away from a dubious past (Drew Barrymore) and Natalie (Cameron Diaz) instructed by Charlie from the same old box, trying to recover two rings which for some insane reason contains the names of people in the FBI. The rings are stolen and every dastardly group in the world wants them. So does the fallen angel, Madison (Demi Moore, who looks older, but still beautiful). That in a nutshell is the story. Everything else that happens is an excuse for the director to try and dazzle audiences with some stupendous stunts by the three. They have loyal boyfriends and a sidekick, Bosley (Bernie Mac,) who provides weak humour. Generally, there is very little effort at characterisation or even continuity. The film has some really gifted professionals coming together to create some formidable cinematic effects but it is not easy to take pleasure as the venture is mechanical and soulless.

As for the three — Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Liu — they have a blast with their don't-try-this-at-home kind of stunts. Throw in some fleeting appearances of the likes of Bruce Willis, Carrie Fischer, Eric Bogosian, Robert Forster, Matt LeBlanc and John Forsythe, as the voice of Charlie and the film is truly fluff and nothing more.

CHITRA MAHESH

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