Review #2: XXX – The Return of Xander Cage (19 January 2017)

I have no words to say how much I hated this movie and this is coming from someone who loves the Fast and Furious franchise. I went in expecting a dumb action flick, but this was way beyond expectations. There is something to be said when you come out of an action movie such as this laughing at the unintentionally dumb dialogue or the terrible editing. I wanted to enjoy this movie so much, because I really like the first one. It was a fun, yet over the top movie about a extreme sports and spy agency. Yet, in this one, I was bored for most of the movie. How can you go so wrong with that type of premise? Anyway, this is xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

This is the sequel to the 2002 movie xXx and the 2005 movie with Ice Cube xXx: State of the Union. The first movie was as I said before, not perfect, but a good action flick. It has great visual and a fun story. It is meant to be a little be extreme and over the top which makes it so great. The second movie Vin Diesel was replace with Ice Cube and it was meh. I honestly only saw it once and I thought it was a bad story and a little bit boring. This third instalment is the continuation of the franchise with the return of Diesel. He and his gang are working for the government looking for a device.

This is a simple premise so why is it so hard to get it right? I have to say that the 10 first minutes with Xander Cage in this movie are enjoyable. It is the only action sequence that is well edited and it feels like there is a flow through the sequences. It’s the scene with the skis at the top of the tower. That is enjoyable. Then it all goes downhill. It doesn’t feel like someone took the time to even write a story, they just went along and made the movie. A lot of scenes or plot points just go nowhere. We go from one scene to the next and they are not even connected together in the story, making it quite hard to follow. As for the dialogue, some lines are the worst I have heard in decades.

Of course, the acting in this movie is not helping. The only good actor is Donnie Yen who is amazing. Some of his lines are wooden, but it is not the worst. I enjoy watching him doing martial arts throughout the movie. He was actually the only likeable character and of course he is badass. I was excited to see Vin Diesel come back in this role, but here, it just looks like he is clocking it in. I know how cool he can be in the Furious franchise, but he puts no effort in saying his lines and his actions sequences seem lazy. Nina Dobrev plays a nerdy character and she is barely memorable and quite annoying with time. Ruby Rose had few funny lines, but not enough to make her likeable. The other characters are either barely in the movie or they are cardboard cut-outs so I can’t remember them.

Finally, the introduction to the character was stollen from Suicide Squad and it just felt lazy, like the writer and the director had no idea what else to do and they didn’t want to write something original, so they took it from that movie. It was lazy then and it is even worst now. Plus, the information given was pointless, so what was the point anyway.

What did you this of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage? All in all, I thought it was one of the worst movie I have seen in a while. I like Donnie Yen and one action sequence, but that is not enough for me to like this film. When I went to see this movie I expected a popcorn flick like Fast and Furious, but instead I got Transformer: Age of Extinction.

GRADE: E

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