‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ DVD Review

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Our Rating

1 orbiting satellites out of 101
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Vin Diesel’s other, other, other franchise.

I apologise but I’m sure like most people, I didn’t catch the second xXx film, I can only hope that it doesn’t impair my ability to review the third outing too strongly.

If we are all being honest with ourselves, we sort of forgot that Vin Diesel ever made xXx, the whole Fast and The Furious thing took over from it. But this being the year of reboots he’s back in the fur coat and he’s brought that trademark wooden acting that worked so well for Groot with him. This is going to be a car crash in more ways than one.

xXx is only one frame away from being a Scooby Doo episode with all of its irrelevant and unneeded plot twists, it seems like every other scene the protagonist villain, I don’t know if anyone told D.J. Caruso, but he isn’t making a thriller. The truth is no one cares who the bad guy’s are or if it has a deeper impact on society, people are watching this film to watch Vin Diesel have big dumb fun and take ridiculous risks in tropical locations, and thankfully that’s what we get. In spats and splurges at least.

There are some sequences in xXx which didn’t make me feel totally bored, they were in order:  a conversation about some gloves and a man dropkicking another man off a bike while it’s in motion then instantly jumping onto the bike and driving it. It’s a very silly film.

For some unknown reason (let’s put it down to excessive drinking) xXx also goes for the “Suicide Squad” introduction to characters, that being a freeze frame and titles over it, these are some of the high and low points of the film, in the opening sequence the film references The Avengers, while Samuel L. Jackson recruits a hopeful xXx candidate. Samuel L. Jackson speaking about another Samuel L. Jackson it’s Samception!

xXx is every stereotype you could ever imagine, women are either bad ass mercenaries or helpless damsels, there is a totally unjustified orgy complete the morning after were all the women are topless and unconscious and Cage is topless and still standing, the men are tall adrenaline junkies or scumbags, somehow Xander Cage is the smartest man in the world. Whole characters are never properly justified, and entire sequences could be cut out without noticing their absence. Did I mention that he runs through a plane in free fall and flings himself out of it? No? That happens.

That’s just a small sample of the total idiocy that xXx has to offer, it’s a film that falls into the “Gun’s never have to be reloaded” category of silly cinema. Personally I blame Fast and The Furious, it’s all about escalation, gone are the days when you could make a film like Die Hard that relied on acting and script work to get by, now we can just have another explosion at the screen and a half-baked one liner for good measures and if we are really, really pushed we can throw in a cameo (Double points if they are British).

While the ride is in motion, xXx does the job it’s supposed to, most of the sequences are kinetic but as soon as the plot or story picks back up the entire movie works at a snail pace with wooden acting and a story that no one cares about.

 

 

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