xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, directed by DJ Caruso, is the follow-up to xXx: State of the Union. In this installment, Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is resummoned to the xXx program in order to stop a rogue xXx team from possessing and utilizing an encryption device capable of hacking into satellites and military software programs. This movie has a star-studded cast spearheaded by Vin Diesel, and supported by Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone, martial arts specialist (and actor) Donnie Yen, Samuel L Jackson (this man needs no pretext), global football icon Neymar and UFC middleweight legend Michael Bisping.

I never expected this to be a good movie, and this wasn’t surprising considering the runtime of the film. Whenever I notice that an action movie has a runtime under 120 minutes, red flags are raised. The xXx series confirm this hypothesis quite well. In my view, they are a “lowlight” of the action/adventure genre because these films have no real storyline, contain ludicrous bits of dialogue and feature action sequences that defy logic and the laws of physics. The Return of Xander Cage is no exception.

The plot of this movie is by in large a ripoff of some of the Fast and the Furious and/or Mission Impossible movies. I couldn’t believe some of the bits of dialogue that came out of the mouths of the characters, especially given the context behind which they were delivered. Notorious examples include “the things I do for my country” or “rock, paper, scissors, grenade launcher”. The action in this film was a bit choppy and suffers from what I like to call the “Bourne Syndrome”; sequences that induce nausea due to too many cuts and camerawork that feels like its being managed by a toddler (excessive shaking of the frame).

On the flip side, there were some action sequences that caught my eye. In particular, there was a zero gravity sequence that was well shot. Donnie Yen also brings some positive aspects to this movie because of this martial arts abilities. There was also a cameo near the end of the film that caught me off guard; it was pretty well executed.

In short, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is a mid-to-lower tier action flick. Its plot and dialogue aren’t particularly inspiring, and its action is a mixed bag. However, it does manage to pull together a pretty impressive cast and I partially admire it for the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Regardless, y’all can skip over this movie. It just isn’t worth wasting 107 minutes over.

RATING:

6

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