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Movie Review: XXX RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

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XXX RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

movie review by David Blackwell

 

107 minutes, Rated PG-13

STUDIO: Paramount Pictures/ Revolution Studios/ One Race Films

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 1-20-2017

 

STARRING Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, Deepika Padukone, Nina Dobrev, Kris Wu, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson

DIRECTED by D.J. Caruso

NSA Agent August Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) is apparently killed by a crashing satellite in Brazil.   Shortly afterwards, four rogue XXX agents steal the device known as Pandora’s Box (which can control and even crash satellites) from CIA headquarters.  CIA Agent Jane Marke (Toni Collette) finds the presumed dead Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) in the Dominican Republic where he is recruited on the mission to retrieve the Pandora’s Box and he assembles his own team of crazies to do the job: sharpshooter Adele Wolff (Ruby Rose), DJ Nicks (Kris Wu), and crash driver Torch (Rory McCann).  They track the rogue XXX agents to a remote rave in the Philippines where Xiang (Donnie Yen) wants to use Pandora’s Box and Serena (Deepika Padukone) wants to destroy it.   Sparks immediately fly between Serena and Xander before an interesting scene of hot potatoe using live grenades plays out.   Soon Xander finds out the mission isn’t all black and white and that more players are wanting the Pandora’s Box for themselves.

 

XXX RETURN OF XANDER CAGE sees the long return of Xander Cage and this sequel is an improvement over XXX STATE OF THE UNION (which didn’t feature Vin Diesel), but this sequel still isn’t as good as the first movie.  The fun cast and action set pieces make the sequel very watchable despite a weak script and no clear strong bad guys. Given the big Asian cast involved in the movie and some Chinese co-production money, this is Paramount and revolution’s attempt to make the movie appeal to a worldwide audience hence why the script is probably simpler than the first two XXX movies.   

 

Toni Collette plays Marke with a resting bitch face through the entire movie (and unfortunately Gibbons isn’t in most of the movie) while Nina Dobrev plays comic relief as weapons specialist Becky Claridge.  A surprise cameo is in the third act, but the marketing people at Paramount ruined the surprise with the last TV spot for the sequel.   I would return for another sequel with Xander and this cast of characters.

 

This review is 1-25-2017 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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