Blu-ray Review: ‘XXX: Return of Xander Cage’

I’m not really sure who asked for another ‘XXX’ movie. Especially considering how stupid the entire concept is. I mean, the idea is that the government would hire a bunch of extreme sports guys to do the missions that their baddest soldiers couldn’t do. Quite an inane concept, but it could be cool if the stunts are cool. That’s the reason the ‘Fast & Furious’ movies keep getting made.

Alas, there has never been anything memorable about a previous ‘XXX’ movie and there is certainly nothing memorable in the new one. Just a mind numbingly stupid concept, some more brain cell reducing plot points, and less than a handful of laughs. There are also a bunch of poorly cut and choreographed action sequences that show off a handful of cool (and unmemorable) stunts.

However, if you are inclined to enjoy any movie with cool people doing stunts and cracking jokes, then you may have fun here. But you will have to ignore a plot that has bad guys using satellites like remote control airplanes to crash with pin point accuracy, every woman being a scantily clad slut (including the supposed smart one), government officials hiring a DJ for Top Secret missions, skinny women holding massive guns while hanging from a tree like a Pink concert, and a dozen other things that will make those of us with functioning brain cells lose our minds.

Then you take into account that the best writing and acting comes from a glorified Sam Jackson cameo. Toni Collette delivers some of the worst dialogue of her career. Vin Diesel’s one liners are mostly eye rolling (there are a few good ones). And why the hell do supposedly bad guys turn into good guys and every good guy turn into a bad guy? I know the film tries to explain it in the narrative, but it comes off as just an excuses for one person to fight with or against another and for Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) to fight every damn person that he can.

The one thing I can say positively about this movie is that the actors are clearly having a good time. They smile and cut up the whole way through. Which had to have been great fun when coupled with the stunts and gunplay. So, if you are brain washed into thinking you had a good time after seeing this movie then I get it. It is certainly some dumb fun. Watching a bunch of people have fun for a few years can be fun, but it will take you about five minutes to forget everything you watched.

I just watched the movie an hour ago and I’m having a hard time discerning a plot. Basically, there is a device that has been created to manipulate satellites. Some people (who might be bad) steal the device from the people that have it (who might be good), and then the (maybe) good folks hire an old extreme sports guy to get it back. Ridiculous events occur after that.

Nathan Ligon

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