XXX: Return of Xander Cage Review

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers, I’m telling you now so you don’t pretend to be outraged later.

It’s been almost 15 years since Vin Diesel last played the role of Xander Cage in XXX, the film that to this day you can’t search on Google at work without getting some ‘questionable’ content. The film was a financial success but Diesel didn’t return for a part two because he was filming the hit classic The Pacifier. Three years later, they did a sequel called XXX: State of the Union, this time with rapper/actor Ice Cube in the lead role. The film stunk and was barely a success and with that, many thought the legacy of XXX died in the early 2000s. That was until Hollywood decided to resurrect the film after the success of the Fast and Furious series. With Vin Diesel’s resurgence in Hollywood, he’s back to star and produce a film people had long forgotten about. However, we all thought that Fast & Furious was dead and here we are waiting on the 8th movie so here is XXX: Return of Xander Cage.

Image result for Nina Dobrev XXX Return of Xander Cage

The movie begins with Not Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) trying to recruit soccer superstar Neymar into the XXX program. Before Not Nick Fury can tell Neymar that he is building a team of heroes, a giant satellite falls from the sky and kills him. Meanwhile, Xander Cage is hiding in Brazil being the world most dangerous cable guy when he is confronted by the NSA to retrieve a dangerous weapon called “Pandora’s Box” which can control any satellite in space and turn it into a giant predator missile. Cage decides to go back to work in the memory of his dead mentor and ensembles a team of a lunatic, a lesbian, and a guy who really doesn’t do much so you wonder why they called him in the first place. Together they tail Xiang (Donnie Yen) and his own group of dangerous outlaws who are trying to sell the weapon to the higher bidder.

When it comes to dumb movies, the one thing that I ask is to let me know the movie is dumb right away that way I don’t have to worry about taking the film seriously. This is one of the reasons I loved the film Kung Fury so much, it lets you know that it is ridiculous right off the bat and so does this film. The opening 10 minutes is so over the top camp, you cannot go any further with this film with your serious critic face. One of the things I noticed is considering the first movie came out in 2002, this feels very much like an early 2000s film. Many elements such as the extreme sports, the overload of macho action, and Vin Diesel getting all the women (which is something I’m sure he put in himself seeing that he is the producer of the film) are little details that is somewhat refreshing to see because it’s not seen much in movies today because of how outdated it is (and likely because it triggers feminists too).

XXX is very much a Fast and Furious movie without all the other characters in a Fast and Furious film. Ridiculous stunts, gorgeous women, and people surviving being hit by a car going 35 mph, only to get up and run another 30 miles…it’s all here. The story puts one XXX team vs another. We discover that Xiang and his gang are all part of XXX as well, so toward the end, the film becomes a team up where they have to stop the real enemy who is…some guy. Really this guy isn’t introduced and he is a villain for about 13 minutes. But this guy opens the door for a former XXX agent to make his grand ret…it’s Ice Cube. Now I’m not one who bitches about spoilers, you can tell from reading the beginning to every review I write but holy hell, who thought it was a good idea to spoil Ice Cube’s return in the trailers? What would have been a mark out moment for the audience turns into a mild smirk because the studio couldn’t help themselves. The film concludes like every other action movie with the good guys riding into the sunset. So when the question gets asked, was this a good movie or not? I can only go…uhh?

Image result for Return of Xander Cage Movie XXX

These kinds of movies have honestly become extremely difficult to review for the reason that if you were judging these films without any knowledge of the earlier series, you would likely tear it apart. But at this point, people who are going to watch these films know exactly what they are going to get, dumb fun. XXX: Return of Xander Cage is dumb…but damn it’s a fun movie. Who knows at this point if this film going to lead into a 5-6 more XXX films in the future (God help us). But we didn’t think Fast and the Furious would have the comeback that it has had and here we are. XXX: Return of Xander Cage is a great film if you just want to tap out of reality for a couple of hours but don’t expect anything else from it.

OFFICIAL RATING: **

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