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Film Review – xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

The next attempt from Vin Diesel to kick-start another franchise other than the Fast and Furious is here with xXx: Return of Xander Cage.  This is the third movie in the xXx franchise with the last movie coming out in 2005.  Who asked for this movie?  Who knows, but it’s here whether you like it or not!  As always, the following review will be spoiler free so that all you massive xXx fans can go out to the theater to see it for yourself.

Background

xXx: Return on Xander Cage is directed by D.J. Caruso and stars Vin Diesel in the title role along with Donnie Yen, Toni Collette, and Nina Dobrev at his side among a large cohort of supporting actors.

We follow Xander Cage after he comes out of a self-imposed exile in order to stop a rogue group of trained fighters from stealing and using a weapon known as Pandora’s Box which can link to all the satellites and take them out of the sky in a matter of seconds.  Now it’s up to Xander and his team of thrill-seeking extremists to stop what turns into a massive conspiracy.

Image result for xxx: return of xander cage 2017

image via ComingSoon.net

Background…Continued

As soon as I heard that this movie was being made, it sounded like another sequel to a franchise that was going to be made way too late for people to care.  The first xXx was fun for what it was, but the film was based on extreme sports that aren’t really in style anymore.  Then Ice Cube can around and tried to move the franchise forward in a sequel that hardly anyone enjoyed.

I can’t say I’m the biggest of Vin Diesel‘s work.  He attempts to be the 2010’s version of a 1980’s action star that has one-liners and kicks a ton of tail with no remorse.  However, all he does in the Fast and Furious movies is scowl and talk about family, which bogs down the over-the-top action (which is the only reason we want to see the those movies).

Needless to say I didn’t have high hopes for Return of Xander Cage, but I held out hope that it could be a trashy, guilty pleasure of a movie.

Image result for xxx: return of xander cage 2017 vin diesel

image via ComingSoon.net

While Diesel and co. clearly attempt to make xXx: Return of Xander Cage stupid fun, it’s just plain stupid.

What I Didn’t Like

The movie tries so hard to be cool that its insufferable at times.  Every scene is filled with house music and one-liners which just comes off as annoying.  Return of Xander Cage even models its character introductions after last summer’s Suicide Squad, which isn’t necessarily the best way to form your movie.  The movie is so focused on showing “cool” people doing “cool” stunts with “cool” cameos that try to say “cool” one-liners that it doesn’t even really tell a story.  In the end, these “cool” elements just really get on your nerves.

These “cool” people create a hilarious contrast with Toni Collette’s character, who clearly did not want to be in this movie whatsoever.  She delivers all her lines in complete monotone with zero life or charisma.  Every time one of Diesel’s “cool” teammates says a one-liner her frown droops a little lower.  She clearly just wanted to get her paycheck then promptly leave and get away from this mess of a movie.

Image result for xxx: return of xander cage 2017 toni collette

image via The Courier

What I Liked

Despite my clear displeasure for xXx, Donnie Yen is pretty awesome to be expected.  The martial arts expert has some awesome hand-to-hand combat scenes throughout the movie that made the audience squeal with glee.  On top of that, his character is one of the few likable people onscreen.  The unfortunate part is that when he engages with Vin Diesel in combat, the action becomes super choppy and edited around Vin Diesel because he and stunt double can’t keep up with Donnie Yen’s awesomeness.

Image result for xxx: return of xander cage 2017

image via Phase9.tv

What I Didn’t Like…Continued

But Yen can’t save the RIDICULOUS amount of one-liners in this movie.  If you played a drinking game to this movie where you you took a drink every time someone said a one-liner, you’d be passed out in the first fifteen minutes of the movie.  As I write this, I can’t recall one of them actually landing.  Everyone in the audience cringed at Diesel’s attempts at humor.  This movie tries very hard to be funny but fails very miserably.

Conclusion

In the end, if you enjoyed the first two xXx movies you might find some enjoyment out of this movie, but everyone else need not apply.  xXx: Return of Xander Cage gets a D.  Stay at home and watch Furious 7 instead since that’s clearly what this film is shooting to make a rip-off of in its execution.

xxx: return of xander cage

image via Movies WBB

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Thanks for reading!  Did you see xXx: Return of Xander Cage?  Comment below with your thoughts!

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to like, share, and subscribe!

What should I discuss next?  Whether it be old or new, the choice is up to you!

 

 

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Nick Kush

A current college student, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016 in order to provide insightful film analysis that is meant to educate and entertain. Nick is also a member of the Internet Film Critics Society. You can follow Nick at the official MovieBabble Twitter account @MovieBabble_

12 Responses

  1. Tricia says:

    Once again, fantastic write-up?. I was soo disappointed with the second installment of XXX. Ice Cube had absolutely no business being in that movie. The first one was good because of the extreme sports. There were plenty of horrible one liners in that film too, but the action made up for it. I am not thrilled to see this third film. Thanks for the heads up ?. I’m sad about the choices which Vin Diesel are making. As much as I LOVE the Furious franchise, to me, he just doesn’t seem to fit. Exactly what type of actor is he? I really like him and wish for something more for him. Not sure if he feels the same for himself. I am curious to know.

    • Nick Kush says:

      I feel like he’s the modern day version of a Jean Claude Van Damme in that he doesn’t seem to have a lot of substance to his action movies but you seem to like him anyway lol

      • Anonymous says:

        Lol. It’s like I feel compelled to continue to want to like him and his movies. I feel like I’m watching someone try their best to be good at what they feel is their passion but doesn’t want to believe that it isn’t a good fit. I think the dollars may be getting in the way. I agree 100% with the Jean Claude Van Damme likeness and I am getting to the point where I cringe a little when I see him act like I do with Van Damme. ? Oh, well…

      • Nick Kush says:

        Here’s to 15 more Fast and Furious films lol!

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  4. This film is only good for throwing on the pyre along with The Mechanic Resurrection, Agent Cody Banks and the Charlie’s Angels (short-lived) franchise!

  5. Jason says:

    Good review. I agree. Fans of the series will probably like this movie, but, despite having some mindless fun elements, Return of Xander Cage was pretty blah. I rather just watch Furious 7 or wait until The Fate of the Furious comes out.

  1. February 2, 2017

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