"xXx: Return of Xander Cage" - A Millennial's Movie Review

Updated on March 28, 2017

Let Me Simplify it For You

xXx: Return of Xander Cage is an action adventure film which is also the third instalment of the semi-popular xXx series, best described as a cross between Point Break and the Fast and Furious series. The film incidentally also stars Vin Diesel as the titular character who, of course, returns to reprise his role as the extreme sports-loving ex-secret agent, who is persuaded out of retirement when a team of enemies led by Xiang (played by Donnie Yen) steal an important device. This device causes space satelittes to plummet into the earth, acting as an air-strike which can target anyone or any place desired. If that isn’t ridiculous enough, Xander recruits his own team of random misfits to join him on his new mission, as they start to uncover a darker truth behind this dangerous weapon.

Let’s face it, no one would expect much from this film (henceforth known as xXx 3). Director D.J. Caruso isn’t particularly known for being an excellent director, with directorial credits in The Disappointments Room, I am Number Four and Eagle Eye not exactly making for a stellar CV. Vin Diesel again attempts to continue another franchise after his failed solo attempt in the Last Witch Hunter, but one can only wonder if xXx 3’s similarities with the Fast and Furious series contributed to Diesel’s enthusiasm in making it, as the Fast movies have remained to this day a fantastic example of a failing franchise gaining new breath. Can Vin Diesel replicate his Fast and Furious success? Or has that ticket long Xpired?

Initial Thoughts

I walked into this film expecting to see mindless action and stuff popcorn into my face. Those willing to pay the admission fee would be wise to follow suit. xXx 3 was always destined to be a cheesy, over-the-top action film, which doesn’t quite live up to the scale of the Fast series, but does provide some good action scenes and laugh-out-loud set-pieces that leave you wondering what the scriptwriter was drinking as he wrote them in. The plot was unsurprisingly pointless, bordering on silly at points, but Vin Diesel and Donnie Yen’s fight sequences are justifiably fun to watch, and serve as the main attraction even as the supporting cast’s star power is largely wasted.

Motorcycling Jet skis

The main draw of xXx 3 that prevents it from being a downright terrible film are its ludicrous but often funny vehicle-related stunts. As ScreenJunkies’ Hal Rudnick puts perfectly: We walk into this film to see a) Vin Diesel skateboarding off the side of a bus, b) Vin Diesel jumping over cars, and c) Vin Diesel jet-skiing through the ocean waves with a motorcycle. All are scenes from the trailers that give xXx 3 that extreme-sports, Hip-hop, impossible-action vibe. This ultimately shrouds the film in a layer of disposable fun that might just bring a smile to your face if that was what you were expecting. If not, then you’ll likely hate xXx 3 with a passion for wasting 107 minutes of your life.

Fun is a good and possibly overused word that will be used by fans to describe the film, and it certainly seems that the cast of xXx 3 are having loads of it. To its credit, the film never takes itself too seriously, which actually made the film more entertaining, in a ‘so bad its actually good’ kind of way (Think the Room and Mortal Kombat). Every line from every cast member is covered in a sense of awareness that they’re all in an 85 million-dollar action film, as they punch and kick their way through the entire screenplay with smiles of badassery. They can at least smile knowing that the film’s fast pace is thankfully consistent.

Try to Look Dope while you’re Doing it

From the time-wasting, CGI-ed opening credit sequence, one can already tell what kind of film xXx is going to be. Any critic worth his/her salt would point out any number of xXx 3’s many flaws. From the nonsensical plot to the often terribly-rendered CGI that unfortunately gives the film a cheap and dated feel, xXx 3 simply isn’t a good movie. Although some of its action scenes are actually on-point and at the right level of intensity, others are choppily edited such that you never really know what’s going on, an issue that is no stranger to the action movies of the past decade. The hard fistfights are also few and far between, often replaced by gunfire battles which literally takes a substantial punch out of the movie. This is a shame considering you have some of the industry’s best action-movie material including Tony Jaa, Rory McCann and Michael Bisping, all of which are shamefully wasted with minimal screentime and cringe-worthy dialogue.

A few individuals do get given some relatively memorable roles, including Hollywood newcomer Deepika Padukone, Ruby Rose and Nina Dobrev, but all this is merely a consolation to the ambitious but overall poor spectacle of a film that xXx 3 is. For those who haven’t seen the trailers, then a character is introduced towards the end of the film that serves not only to provide an on-the-nose element of intertextuality, but also to spell the obvious fact that there isn’t going to be a fourth xXx movie anytime soon. For many, this particular element may seem neat, but for others, it’ll feel forced and shoehorned in.

Concluding Remarks

January has never been known in the film industry for being the ideal period for releasing great films, and xXx most definitely proves it. Though it’s fun and cool to see Dominic Toretto and Ip Man fight random soldier fodder, the fact that people have to pay to sit through xXx 3 isn’t the best deal for anyone who isn’t expecting to turn their brain off and be entertained by explosions and gunfire. It’s almost poetic that Paramount Pictures named the film Return of Xander Cage, as unless the film is a box-office hit this weekend, Mr. Cage will never return to the screen again.

Overall Score: 5.6/10

Buy "xXx: Return of Xander Cage"

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Trailer

Rate This Film!

3.5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Take the poll!

What will be the most memorable January movie of 2017 (wide release)?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)