Lights, Camera, Action! The last statement in particular is what my next review is all about. You may remember back in the day when Vin Diesel took the spotlight as Xander Cage, the action daredevil turned secret agent to take out terrorists. The movie was about bringing extreme stunts into a spy world to create an action-packed spy thriller. Despite releasing a failing sequel about ten years ago, Hollywood still hasn’t given up on this series. That’s right as you can read, my review is on XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. What lies in store for this film? Robbie K is happy to answer that question with another review. So, let’s get started my friends!
- Comedic at parts
- Nostalgic references
- Action Packed
I know, comedy is not what you expect in this film, but give me a break there isn’t much to this film. Xander Cage brings his wise-guy quips back into the works from insulting authority to playing verbal assault tennis with terrorists. Some of the dialogue is well timed and a great laugh to ease up the tension, which helps add some entertainment to the mix. Past the minor comedic stunts though, this third installment has plenty of nostalgia to bring you longtime fans back into the series. Whether it’s a simple line or a very familiar stunt, Xander Cage’s latest adventure will more than fill you in on everything leading up to this point, while providing more laughs.
However, the biggest selling point of the move (to no surprise) is the action of the film. This film is all about the flashy bangs, choreographed fights, and over the top stunts that will rock any action junkie’s world. Much of these stunts are physics defying sequences that we fantasize about, but it doesn’t make the flashiness any less impressive. Xander and his team will bring a little bit of everything into the mix, which is sure to entertain many who love Diesel’s franchises.
- Predictable story/Dropped the Spy aspect
- Pressured Comedy
- Didn’t utilize the team aspect as much
- Action crosses over into cheesiness
No surprise, the story of Xander Cage has not gotten any deeper. The movie’s plot is very thin to say the least, and despite trying to add a few twists to the mix, there is very little one can’t see coming. As an added (disappointing) bonus, the directors’ decision to substitute plot for action resulted in the spy aspect crashing like one of the stunt cars. If you liked the intelligence gathering of the first movie, sorry, but that ship has sailed for poorly constructed villains and an equally cheesy plan. Another let down pertaining to the plot, is how little the other characters were utilized. Oh sure, there are a few of the elite team that get there moment in the sun (characters played by Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, and Ruby Rose), but the other “elite” warriors were reduced to very shallow roles of idiotic flipping, random stunt show offs, and forced comedy. The latter in particular was hard to stomach, as the writers got a little zealous in trying to get a laugh that is become more annoying than entertaining. Finally, despite the action being awesome at many points, it is also very unrealistic at the same time. Remember those incredibly cheesy stunts in Furious 7? XXX amplifies that factor times ten, with mediocre animation and stunts that will make you roll your eyes. But hey it still has the excitement you could be craving.
Bottom line, XXX: Return of Xander Cage is a simplistic, unbalanced, high-adrenaline movie that will provide a good laugh and some thrills. It is a shame they scrapped the spy aspect and essentially grated the story, but hey it gives you that action packed punch we’ve been craving. So therefore, if you can swallow the ridiculous, sometimes ill-timed, stunt sequences, corny jokes, and forced action, then check this movie out for the theater worthy special effects. However, in all reality, this review suggests skipping this film and catching something else instead.
Movie Overall: 5.0