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xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE Review

Posted 5 months ago by Brandon Keith Avery

Movie Information

Release Date: January 20, 2017
 
Director: D.J. Caruso

Writer: Rich Wilkes, F. Scott Frazier

Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrey, Rory McCann, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube, Hermione Corfield, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Bisping, Al Sapienza, Nigel Bennett, Terry Chen, Daniel Kash, Andrey Ivchenko, Shawn Roberts, Nicky Jam, Neymar, Ariadna Gutièrrez-Arèvalo, Charles Carroll, Hèctor Anibal, Bailey Rose King, Helena-Alexis Seymour

MPAA Rating: PG-13
 
Runtime: 107 minutes

Production Company: Maple Cage Productions, One Race Films, Revolution Studios, Rox Productions, Paramount Pictures

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Language: English
 
Country: USA

Budget: $85,000,000 (estimated)

xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE ReviewxXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE ReviewxXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE Review

It’s known that each year there’s a ton of trash talk when it comes to movies released in January. Who’s to blame, with the material normally not reaching standards that are considered great? On average, they consist of cheaply made generic cash grabs that will make a profit solely on default. Though like all walks of life, it’s all about the money. So, when a film is honest about it, all can be forgiven for the sake of popcorn entertainment. That’s what makes xXx: Return of Xander Cage so great. Not only is this film over the top in ways you can’t imagine, it takes breaks in the script to remind you of such. This is possibly one of the most self-aware films I’ve ever seen, bragging about its stupidity and being completely unapologetic about it.


In most cases I can’t stand opening credits, especially when it halts the momentum right after an epic scene that came right before it to look at names flash across the screen. This time it was different, being more of an appetizer for what’s to come, making me smile. It came, and it came hard with no filter. xXx (Vin Diesel) is back, catering to all the stereotypes jumping around like a super character with infinite lives. There’s no stopping this guy. He’s in perfect shape, has all the women, gets all the fame, but tries to pull off the definition of humbleness by always giving back to the people. It’s so far-fetched it would be hard to believe in a dream world where you’re in control, but here he’s loud, bold, and fun to a degree that hasn’t been reached before.


The rest of the gang are just cherry picks of randomness to dish out the action. There skill sets don’t even match the mission at hand. Other than a lone sniper (because you always need a sniper) everyone else is just a rag tag group of people full of flips, kicks, and destruction. That’s just the point though, not to gather a gang of goons together for function, but for fun comedy and that’s it. The action isn’t ever tailored around the story, but it is for the characters that are chosen. No complaints here, because even with all of the absurdity it manages to work. The mayhem is cranked up to a level so high you start to laugh from shock of how far the film decides to go. Everything is designed to succeed, even with the bad guys getting a time to shine to create tension.


That is another aspect that’s so fascinating. There aren’t any bad guys. Just good guys who wake up on the wrong side of the bed wanting to hurt someone. The whole thing is nearly a slap in the face to filmmaking, not taking things seriously in regards to the resources used to produce such material. Usually this care-free attitude of production may only warrant a 5-million-dollar budget, but here every dollar is used in a creative way that will force you to appreciate it. Seriously imagine a young boy or teenager seeing every action film in the 90’s, then immediately starting to make his own scene of craziness in his living room with all his action figures. Nothing would make sense, but it would be a fun ride. I actually thought some of the characters were about to break to fourth wall, talking to the audience about the lines they just delivered. The women are so sexualized, praising men for their stature, it was nearly scary; but still fun.

 

Even when you think it’s all done, there’s still a surprise around every corner. I didn’t care too much for the first two xXx films, but now I want even another sequel. This isn’t the best film of its kind, but I respect it the most for knowing what it is and going for it with no care in the world. It sets out to accomplish certain forms of artistry and pulled it off with flying colors. Just like Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) said in the trailer of this film, “Kick some ass, get the girl, and try to look dope while you’re doing it,” plain and simple sums up everything this film is and more, and if that’s what you want, that’s what you’ll get.

Trailers / Videos

My Rating: 7.5/10


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