“xXx: Return of Xander Cage”

LOUISA: 4 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

You have to love a balls-to-the-wall action flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” is outrageous, mindless fun. This is an insane adrenaline fest fueled by massive shootouts, fiery explosions, and extreme skateboarding. It’s packed with cartoonish stunts and playful humor, all adding to its irresistibly rambunctious spirit.

The presumed dead secret agent Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is back to save the world like an intense, badass, tattooed James Bond. This time he has to recruit his own team of slightly insane buddies (including Rory McCann and Deepika Padukone) to help him fight the bad guys and reclaim a secret weapon known as Pandora’s Box.

The plot is basic and no new ground is covered as far as Hollywood big budget action movies go, but it’s the film’s tongue-in-cheek style that is so deliciously amusing. Case in point: each character is introduced with a sarcastic title card that gives their personal stats, including things like their “favorite movie” and their “go-to karaoke song.”

There are a couple of familiar faces that show up (including regulars Samuel L. Jackson and Ice Cube), along with fresh newcomers Nina Dobrev (who is very, very funny as a mousy CIA agent who is easily impressed by sizable muscles) and Toni Collette (wickedly hamming it up as the government lady in charge). There’s some astonishingly polished stunt choreography from martial artist Donnie Yen as well as several delightful, whimsically staged scenes like a table full of firebrands playing hot potato with a trio of live grenades and a raucous brawl that breaks out onboard a free falling cargo plane in a nosedive.

This film may be loud and ridiculous, but it’s also tons of fun. I had a smile on my face throughout, and many of the creative and thrilling action pieces had me cheering out loud. This is the perfect display of mindless, escapist action cinema, and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” proves there’s lots of life left in the franchise. I can’t wait to watch this movie again.

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6 thoughts on ““xXx: Return of Xander Cage”

  1. Loved the skateboarding AND the lion getting the hunters. THAT was a standing applause, throw confetti moment for me. Yay for the LION!!! It was fun but seriously, how LONG does it take a plane to fall from the sky? That was just realllly silly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, as an animal lover, I absolutely agree with you about the lion scene — I totally saw that coming but It. Was. AWESOME! I really loved the hell out of this movie, it was just so much fun because it didn’t take itself too seriously. The plane was silly but that weightless fight was fantastic!

      Like

  2. I have mixed feelings about this movie. Personally, it was pretty ridiculous, stupid, and tried too hard to be like the Fast and the Furious movies. However, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    Like

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