Movie Review: XXX: The Return of Xander Cage

By: Orlando Sanchez

xxx1

Starring: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Ruby Rose, and Samuel L. Jackson

Director: D.J. Caruso

I don’t know what I expected. I sat down on a Tuesday night screening for XXX: The Return of Xander Cage because hey at $4.75 it would be foolish not to see it. How bad could it be…famous last words.

The random assortment of filmed scenes because lord this shouldn’t be dignified with being called a movie, begins with Samuel L. Jackson trying to recruit a world-renown football player into the XXX program. For those unfamiliar with the Mountain Dew soaked extreme sports meets James Bond series of movies, the XXX program is what Spec Ops wish it could do only you know with snowboards and shit. Neymar thwarts a would be baddie by get this, using his superior football skills by kicking a napkin holder to knock out the assailant.

After snapping out of my fever dream I seem to recall the plot centering around the previously thought dead Xander Cage coming out of retirement to steal a McGuffin I shit you not literally called Pandora’s Box. It would be great if everyone involved was truly self-aware but Vin and the crew play it with so much winking that it ceases to be clever or insightful. But therein lies the rub, XXX: the Return of Xander Cage can only be successful overall if it is self-aware. Long story short Armand Assante is the bad guy because I mean come on look at him. Not even Toni Collete can save this and she is clearly there to cash in a paycheck for a film made because China doesn’t care about the quality of our movies so long as you throw in some crazy action sequences starring a B-tier squad of Fast and the Furious wannabees.

Except Donnie Yen, Hollywood really screwed the pooch on not recognizing the sheer talent he brings to a film until he was much older. I cannot stress this enough… just don’t see this movie. You’re better off chugging a six pack of Red Bull and bashing your head in with a tire iron.

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