xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage Review – James Bond On Steroids (& I AM LIVING)

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Did you know it’s been 15 years since the original xXx and 12 since it’s sequel, State Of The Union?

I’m guessing after the incredible success of the Fast & Furious franchise, they thought it time to bring back the xXx franchise.

Because what better way to ride the success of a modern-day commercial classic with the lead back in another action role many remember him for?

But does this pay off…


Extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), thought to be long dead, comes out of self-imposed exile as recruited by the CIA to race villain Xiang (Donnie Yen) to recover a powerful weapon known as “Pandora’s Box” which can control military satellites which could cause catastrophic damage.
Recruiting a group of thrill-seeking cohorts (a sharpshooter and a hacker), Xander finds himself caught up in a deadly conspiracy of corruption among world governments including insiders in his own country’s government.

After 15 minutes of the film, it does.

When you get that much into xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage, you realise they don’t really give a shit about what you’re there for or expecting. The film is there to have some good old action packed fun in the world of extreme espionage! (ed. I’d assume that’s what it’s called with an extreme athlete becoming a spy)

And boy does it.

I like to think the original xXx films were a spin on James Bond in some way, because this latest iteration plays into that camp with aplomb. Orgies float in-between dialogue about the identity of the antagonists, following escapades through a South American jungle on skis.
Master Martial Artist Donnie Yen turns up in one of the best table dancing scenes I’ve seen in years, with Tony Jaa robbing Sebastian Stan of his ‘Best Motorcycle Mount’ stunt from last year’s Captain America: Civil War. Deepika Padakone plays la femme fatale while Nina Dobrev portrays Becky with the good hair, delivering this come-to-life meme’s infinite dialogue with ease.
The cast actually keeps going from there, so well-rounded with many well-known actors ( ed. THE HOUND!) that I could sit here all day rambling about them.

But on to the story which doesn’t want to be any more than it is, releasing itself to the control of the action that’s taking place. And that’s AWESOME. It’s actually so awesome. It’s not rocket science on-screen, it’s just action! And espionage! And it’s big and dumb and FUN! You know how I said it’s like a James Bond spin? This film literally has gadgets, women throwing themselves at Cage and some of the craziest damn stunts I’ve seen in a while.

And it’s completely happy to be that way.

Summary

xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage is absolutely bat-shit crazy AND I AM LIVING FOR IT...

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