Director McG, obviously acknowledging the incompetence and vacuity of the script, attempts to spice up the pathetic proceedings with knowing references to a dozen other films – “Cape Fear,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “Die Hard,” “Flash Dance,” and so forth. He also plays games of “spot the stars,” with cameo appearances by worthies such as an uncredited Bruce Willis, John Cleese, Pink, Carrie Fisher, and many others. The soundtrack also offers an eclectic array of songs, constantly competing for attention with the feckless frolic on film, and highlighting artists from Brian Wilson to MC Hammer to White Zombie.

When a movie needs to distract you from its own vacuity with musical cues, celebrity cameos, and cinematic references, you can assume that the filmmakers have no confidence in their own material. The off-color humor provides a further indication of their desperation — especially in one extended bit in which Lucy Liu inadvertently leads her father, John Cleese (!) to believe that she and her friends are prostitutes who have serviced gangs of sailors and twisted women. Speaking of twisted women, Demi Moore may look svelte and sophisticated on screen, but she phones in her performance, and it’s impossible to avoid pitying her during a brief scene of lesbian pornographic appeal.

In fact, the whole “Full Throttle” project feels embarrassing, incompetent, and insulting to its audience. The PG-13 remains disgracefully unsuitable for this putrid peep show, and the only redeeming feature for the film involves a peripatetic pace that mitigates the pain. ONE AND A HALF STARS.       


Michael Medved hosts a nationally syndicated daily radio show focusing on the intersection of politics and pop culture.  He's the author of eight non-fiction books, was co-host for 12 years on "Sneak Previews" on PBS, and is the former Chief Film Critic for the New York Post.