Beauties And Zombies

carosuel, Soldiers hug on Tuesday Nov. 10, 2009, at a memorial service at Fort Hood, Texas, for the victims of the Fort Hood shootings. CBS

Will "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" be as good as the first? And why are critics buzzing over an indie-horror film called "28 Days Later"? John Leonard gives the inside word in his CBS News Sunday Morning entertainment report.


Those who have come to believe that movie trailers use all the good stuff, so that when you sit through an actual film what you get is yak and padding, are in for a surprise with "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle."

The noisy sequel of the blockbuster action-adventure-comedy hit released by Columbia Pictures in 2000, is all trailers — one production number after another.

It is filled with snap, crackle, pow and pop, with pretty people either punching, kicking or exploding one another. If this leaves very little room for exposition and none at all for character development, tough darts. It's a loud sell.

This action-packed movie reunites the all-girl trio of Camerion Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as the unstoppable crime-fighting heroines who once again demonstrate their abilities as masters of espionage, martial arts and disguise. Comedian Bernie Mac substitutes for Bill Murray as the Angels' guest host.

The trio ends up in Mongolia. Their mission has something to do with the Federal Witness Protection Program, which may explain Justin Theroux and his Irish mobsters. But the premise fails to account for Demi Moore, a former Angel who looks great but behaves badly. Meanwhile, the girls shake and strut their stuff.

These Angels were surprisingly adorable the first time around. In the retread, they push it way too hard, especially a giggly Cameron Diaz, who's so ultra-adorable and all over the place that you want to leave the room for Guatemala.

The Living Dead

In Danny Boyle's new movie, "28 Days Later," absolutely nobody in it is adorable. Most of them, in fact, are dead.

The director of "Trainspotting" has made a zombie movie. Imagine waking up in a hospital, as bicycle courier Cillian Murphy did, and then discovering that all of London has gone somewhere else.

When he meets Naomie Harris and Christopher Eccleston, they explain the disaster but haven't a clue what to do next. With Brendan Gleeson and his daughter Megan Burns, they set out for Manchester in a cab. The army's not a big improvement on the zombies. But at least something nice is going on with Murphy and Harris. Until the Living and the Dead act out.

With SARS, AIDS, anthrax and terrorism, a digital-video biothriller is just what the paranoid doctor ordered. And keep an open mind because these zombies move fast, as if they're very late for a very important date.

Of course, they aren't going anywhere we haven't been before, but the splendid company of Naomie Harris is doubtless worth it. Harris starred as Clara in the public-television production of Zadie Smith's "White Teeth," set in a very different, vibrant sort of London where everybody would want to live.

And believe it or not, she's dead gorgeous.
  • Tiffany Womack

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