"Charlie's Angels 2," which I actually dished out good money to see, has to be the worst film of all time. Ever.
Let's get the plot out of the way first. Basically, two titanium rings containing the names of everyone who's ever testified against criminals to the FBI (or something like that) have been stolen, and -- obviously -- it's up to Charlie's Angels to get them back. So there you have it. That's the entire plot. Why exactly the FBI, CIA, and the army haven't been called in to retrieve the rings is never quite answered, but there you go.
As with the first Charlie's Angels film, one of the main problems with the sequel is that the three main characters can seem to do absolutely anything. Even though the first film showed the Angels doing frankly impossible things (such as moving faster than bullets to dodge them), this one takes the girls' powers to such unbelievable extremes that, after any of the particularly ludicrous and quite hideous action sequences (and believe me, there are plenty of them), you're left with a cascade of questions and contradictions running through your mind.
The film begins with the one of the stupidest, least realistic, most idiotic set pieces I've ever seen in a film. And I've seen "Commando." Basically, after saving some important FBI person, the Angels are stuck on the top of a huge dam (the one from "Goldeneye") in a jeep, stuck between a tank and some guy with a rocket launcher. A missile is fired from both sides, and the Angels decide the most sensible thing to do is to drive straight off the side of the dam. And then -- surprise! -- the missiles cross by each other and end up blowing the two baddies to bits. But then, as if the scene couldn't get even worse, we're treated to a frankly terrible sequence which mixes both real action and CGI in a horrid mesh of uber-ugliness. The Angels dive out of the jeep (which smashes into a wall behind them), plummet down the side of the dam, and -- get this -- grab on to a helicopter, which is moving at full speed towards the ground. Then they manage to climb into the helicopter, which in turn instantly pulls out of its free fall and flies away.
The film got worse.
There are too many things to actually mention here, but I'll hit the highlights. At one point, for example, we have Demi Moore jumping off a building and flying -- yes, flying -- off the roof and landing safely. She doesn't have a jetpack or an Inspector Gadget propeller hat. She just flies.
Before that moment of sheer absurdity, there's a bit where Cameron Diaz falls over at some school reunion, and for no reason whatsoever the film suddenly goes into a dance routine. These cheesy, awful moments were explained in the comparatively brilliant prequel as being some kind of dream sequence, but in this horror of a sequel, they just happen, and no attempt is made to explain why.
In another scene, the Angels soar up into the sky from a boat through a wooden grate thing. When in the air, they all -- and this almost made me cry -- grab a piece of the broken grate and use it to land safely on one of the chains connecting the boat to the dock. They then use the bits of wood as surfboards.
So many things are stupid. In practically every single scene, something ridiculous happens. I mean, seriously, from the start we have a scene where evidently 30 bodyguards suddenly die, just like that, apparently due to one woman, the character played by Demi Moore. She was shooting them with a desert eagle. That she could kill 30 or so guards -- needing at least 5 magazines to do so -- in such a small space of time and so quietly is ridiculous enough. But later, she is seen flipping through the air with two gold desert eagles, firing them accurately. Do you know just how powerful the recoil is on a desert eagle? And do you know how hard it is to be accurate with those things normally, let alone when you're upside down in the air?
The film botches the physics of kevlar, too. She shoots the Angels in the torso area, and they fall off a 30 foot building. Kevlar won't stop a .50 round from a desert eagle from 20 feet away, nor will it protect against a 30 foot fall. But they get up without so much as the wind knocked out of them.
Then the *big* action sequence in the film -- the bike one -- is just...arrgh. While well shot and clearly well acted from the talented bike crew, the bit where the guy's in the air, turns upside down, fires a clear 15 or so bullets at the Angels, and still has time to turn, re-holster his guns, get back on the bike, and land ok is just...stupid.
Then there's the bit where Cameron's bike explodes, and again she's fine. Screenwriters always seem to assume it's the fire from an explosion that kills you, not the jagged shards of metal flying everywhere.
The Matrix-style bullet-time sequences are shoddy, too. Time slows down enough that you can see bullets soaring slowly through the air, but you can still see the tires on the bikes spinning. Do these filmmakers even realize how fast bullets go?
I can't imagine that the film was meant to be entirely realistic, yet there's never the sense it isn't trying to convince us everything is really happening. It seems to want us to marvel at the spectacular stunts the characters are "really" performing.
Perhaps the worst part, though, is the horrendously ineffective cameo sequences, including, sadly, a deplorable running joke by the great John Cleese. Never has John Cleese been so unfunny in a film.
Words cannot describe how awful this film is. This is, in my opinion, the worst film ever made.
I think the ultimate way to sum up this film is to steal a line from Peter Sobczynski's far better review over at rottentomatoes.com:
"This is not merely one of the worst films in recent memory, but it could well go down as one of the worst things ever conceived by human hands."
The man speaks truth.
Rating: 1 turkey.
Scene to watch for: The Angels figure out EXACTLY who a suspect of theirs is from a small stain on a wall and a shoe print on a floor in about 10 seconds flat.
Best line: "Ah, the Angels' @$$-kicking move!"
Things that make you go "Huh?": Absolutely everything.