Film Review: xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Film Review: xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Xander Cage and his team is lured out of retirement by the NSA to help save the world from a weapon that can control all satellites orbiting the Earth.

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‘Desperate times call for desperate measures’ is often quoted. This is especially true in Hollywood where actors and producers revive old franchises in the hope of regaining lost glory. Vin Diesel, for instance, was once a rising action star who initially discarded his popularity by refusing to appear in anymore Fast and Furious or xXx films. Due to dwindling star power, Diesel returned to the Fast and Furious franchise which considerably raised his stocks. xXx: Return of Xander Cage continues his career redemption with a litany of explosions sure to please many admirers.

Long thought dead, extreme sports star Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is forced out from the cold. Lured by NSA agent Jane Marke (Toni Collette), Cage is tasked with bringing down a mysterious villain controlling the Pandora’s Box, a powerful weapon. Gathering a crack team of adrenaline junkies, Cage’s quest spans the globe as he tries to save the world from Armageddon.

The best thing one could say about xXx: Return of Xander Cage is that it’s well-produced nonsense. Those looking for depth or subtlety won’t find it as the film exists purely as an action extravaganza and explosive spectacle. In that regards it works very well, with each high-octane scene lovingly filmed within an inch of its life. Although billed as director, DJ Caruso doesn’t have to do much other than to control the excess in which the production wants to go.

The plot isn’t much and neither is the acting. From Diesel onwards, each performer’s tongue is firmly in their cheeks as they spout increasingly silly dialogue. Their handling of the action scenes are admirable even if most are hard to watch. This is an incredibly fast-paced film with the editing zipping through each stunt with high speed. This detracts from enjoying each sequence and produces more headaches than awe. The sense of fun permeates throughout, making the action bearable even if you can’t take anything seriously.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage is disposable celluloid rubbish that will have its fans. It’s enjoyably silly and frequently underscores the over-the-top nature of the threadbare script. This could be another franchise for Diesel to sink his muscles into, with his brawn and biceps often more startling than the ridiculous hokum in which he participates.

Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Twitter: @PatrickMoore14

Rating out of 10:  5

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