Saturday, January 21, 2017

Movie Review: xXx

Riding off the success of Pitch Black and The Fast and the Furious, Vin Diesel kept up the stealing cars and criminal hero act with xXx. Diesel plays stuntman Xander Cage who is recruited by NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) to help nab Russian criminals in the Czech Republic. The leader of this group of criminal is a stock villain named Yorgi (Marton Csokas). The acting is over the top and the stunts are outrageous making for a mediocre action flick.

Xander Cage takes on a role as an anti-James Bond and solves the international crises that men in nice suits can't. The scar-faced Agent Gibbons puts xXx through a series of tests, knocking him out and throwing him into situations a normal person wouldn't survive. Xander uses his extreme sports skills from biking to skating to outrageous driving to get out of trouble. 

Facing a lifelong prison sentence, Xander agrees to work with the NSA and heads to the Czech republic. He quickly falls in with the group of criminal using his lack of respect for rules as a gateway into gaining the trust of Yorgi. Xander encounters and falls for the mysterious Yelena (Asia Argento) who he discovers is a secret agent herself. When Xander reveals her secret to her, she doesn't believe him until his cover is blown and he is taken off the mission. 

xXx has all the necessary requirements for a secret agent film from new technology used for espionage to daring escapes to a Russian villain with a destructive plan that he likes to discuss in detail. The gang of criminals have acquired a new biological weapon called Silent Night that causes people to die, not to violently since the movie had to keep its marketable PG-13 rating. 

The movie is good for some mindless fun, like vehicles exploding in exaggerated fashion and over the top physics. The acting was not a top priority for this film and Vin Diesel had not yet taken on a role where he had to drop more than a few witty one-liners. However, it is Diesel's rising star power that brought this movie forward and delivered another sequel but the legend Jackson brings the class to the movie and appears in both sequels. 

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