xXx: The Return of Xander Cage movie poster
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xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage movie poster

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is a bad movie, but it owns up to it in a way that makes it very hard to fault it. This is the type of movie that is impossible to review because it doesn't give a fuck, and neither should you. Turn your brain off at the door--seriously, turn it way off--and you very well may enjoy parts of it. Parts of it.

Vin Diesel is back, playing the role he's best at--hell, the only role he's good at--a smug, muscle-bound douchebag who is nearly invincible and can do no wrong. In this sequel, he and director D.J. Caruso attempt to copy the Fast and Furious formula, only with an even dumber plot, dumber characters and a we-truly-don't-give-a-fuck attitude that is laughably bad, and hopefully at least semi-intentionally.

The characters bounce from one zany, stupid situation to the next, and only during the generally entertaining action scenes do you get the chance to try and piece together the incoherent things the characters do that resemble a story. Everything about it is idiotic, but when you have a scene where a man gets shot in the stomach on board an airplane followed by another scene where he is safely on the ground, seemingly unharmed, you have to hope that the filmmakers were purposefully throwing shit into the wind to see what stuck.

The action works, and when the movie is trying really hard to be extra stupid, I laughed. Still, at an hour and 45 minutes I found myself checking the time a couple times, and the movie suffers from stretches of tedium. Diesel and his band of merry imbeciles are pretty obnoxious more often than not (save for Ruby Rose), and some of the filmmaking is pretty atrocious. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is not a movie I envision ever wanting to watch again.

Nonetheless, action fans looking for the glorious stupidity of late-era Steven Segal films, for example, will find enough to enjoy here to make it worth it. I can't recommend it--I certainly didn't like it--but xXX: The Return of Xander Cage has its odd, D-grade charm.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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