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xXx: Return of Xander Cage – Review

Action-superstar Vin Diesel reprises his role as the extreme-sports government agent Xander Cage in this goofy, but thrilling action-packed film.

When a team of international criminals steal a weapon known as Pandora’s Box, Xander Cage (Diesel) is forced out of self-imposed retirement to help the American government retrieve it.

As far as plots go, xXx: Return of Xander Cage’s is as thin as it gets. It’s your typical spy/agent film plot we’ve seen done numerous times. Even the pathetically titled ‘Pandora’s Box’ weapon everyone is so desperate to get their hands on is as clichéd as it gets. What’s worse, is the film doesn’t really have many redeeming qualities. The story is terrible; the dialogue cringeworthy; the performances bad. The only thing this film has going for it is its entertainment value, due to some excellent set pieces.

Vin Diesel was born to play roles like this and he’s perfect for them. Even though the characters he plays are completely ridiculous, he makes them his own and shows conviction. He’s helped along in this one by an ensemble cast that includes Donnie Yen, Ruby Rose, Rory McCann, Deepika Padukone, Nina Dobrev, Tony Jaa and Kris Wu, amongst others (it’s an unnecessarily big cast). Each of Diesel’s peers in this film struggle with their acting, though it’s hardly their fault when they have such little to work with.

ruby rose

Thankfully, D.J. Caruso’s fast-paced direction keeps the film flowing, not allowing us enough time to really soak in the badness of it all. Instead, we’re treated to several exhilarating action sequences that make up for any of the film’s wrong-doings. The production and stunt teams have absolutely nailed the action choreography in this film, producing genuine, edge-of-your-seat stuff, which is what this film is all about. We’re promised extreme action from the get-go and the film more than delivers on that front.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage is the current frontrunner for the title of the best worst film of 2017 – and it’s not a title to be ashamed of. There is sometimes no better entertainment than a night of guilty-pleasure viewing, of which this film is perfect for.

Fun Fact:

This marks the second incident where Vin Diesel opted out of the second entry of a series that he originally launched as the lead before reprising the role again. Diesel also skipped the second entry of The Fast and the Furious series.

Nick Janks

Nick Janks

Lover of film, obviously. Knows more about them than you... Or does he?

Deserted Island Movie Collection: The films of Quentin Tarantino.

Best Movie Snack: Nachos.
Nick Janks

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage
5.8

Story

4/10

    Characters

    5/10

      Performances

      5/10

        Direction

        6/10

          Entertainment Value

          10/10

            Directed By

            • D.J. Caruso

            Starring

            • Vin Diesel
            • Donnie Yen
            • Deepika Padukone
            • Ruby Rose
            • Tony Jaa

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