XXX: Return of Xander Cage – Another Mindless, Cheesy Action Film

With the Fast and the Furious series winding down, Vin Diesel is going to need something to do so why not resurrect the XXX series? I forgot about the series all together until this was announced. It was 15 years ago and it’s Ice Cube led sequel was 12 years ago. Is it still relevant? Does it even matter at this point?

Synopsis:  Extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage comes out of self-imposed exile, thought to be long dead, and is set on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments. (IMDB

Starring: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, and Deepika Padukone.

Writer: F. Scott Frazier

Director: D.J. Caruso

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 107mins

Trailer: 

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Xander Cage (Diesel) is back and it seems like nothing has changed. The story is pretty irrelevant as no one will be thinking about it while being mesmerized by the action on screen. The XXX series has never been cerebral and that didn’t change here. For those who want to know, a group of extreme thieves stole a weapon known as Pandora’s box from the CIA, and new leader Jane Marke (Toni Collette), so it naturally takes an extreme group to get it back and that’s where Cage comes in.

Being the guy that he is, he wants his own team that he can trust so he enlists the help of a sharpshooter named Adele (Ruby Rose), a stunt driver named Tennyson (Rory McCann), and a fun guy to be around, seriously, named Nicks (Kris Wu). There wasn’t much to them as all we got was some bios posted on screen when we met them. They had no chemistry and they were only there to reboot the series by giving Cage a team but all they seemed to do was spew cheesy dialogue.

Going back to the story, it was a mess as it got harder to follow as the film went on, stupidly twisting and turning for no reason. Characters kept flipping and flopping and their motivations kept changing for no reason, becoming the people for whom Cage stood against. It was trying to have a message but most people won’t care as it was just difficult to care about anything at that point.

The film’s mindless nature continued with the action. There was nothing new and It was decent to watch and over the top at times, mostly during obvious CGI moments. All the various stunts and action sequences did not make any sense and defying the laws of physics but why should they?

The acting was mediocre to poor. It’s still hard to take Vin Diesel seriously. He didn’t do much other than be smug and spew one-liners. He had no chemistry with anyone which made the film devoid of fun since he was in almost every scene. Yen was great at the action scenes but he could have been used more.

Overall, this was a mindless action film, encompassed by cheese in a series that doesn’t look to end anytime soon.

Score: 5.5/10

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2 thoughts on “XXX: Return of Xander Cage – Another Mindless, Cheesy Action Film

  1. Pretty much meh. Liked a few characters, such as Yen’s and Dobrev’s, but Xander felt so dull and hunting for laughs this go around, I liked him better in the first.

    This really should have been made a few years after that one. Diesel looks fine in Fast and Furious, but shows his age here.

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