Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.
Forget the Oscars, forget #ManchesterbytheSea, forget #Moonlight, go see #xXxReturnOfXanderCage for a great night out. I grew up in Dublin, Ireland, loving films like #RaidersoftheLostArk, #ET, #StarWars, #Terminator2JudgmentDay, and so forth and while there is a time and a place for more serious fare, the whole reason we went to the movies when we were kids, was to have fun. These are the kinds of films I live for, I love the big summer movies that spawn lines around the block and cause our jaws to hit the floor when a massive explosion appears onscreen, or the hero barely makes it to safety before the monster has a chance to make a meal out of him. For me, films are all about escapism. Some people inject, others snort, all in the name of getting high and forgetting about their troubles. Here’s an idea, go to your local movie theater instead, sit down with some popcorn and a drink, and be transported to a galaxy far, far away, and I guarantee you, afterwards, there’ll be no side effects. Except maybe a yearning to see the movie again.
#VinDiesel returns in the role of #XanderCage, an extreme athlete turned government spy who goes by the nickname, xXx. At the end of the first film back in 2002, Cage completed the mission he was assigned and then disappeared to a tropical paradise where he said he was retiring. #IceCube took over the role in #xXxStateoftheUnion in 2005 but the movie flopped without Diesel in the starring role. Cut to 2017 and Vin Diesel is back, better than ever. When it is reported that NSA agent Augustus Gibbons (#SamuelLJackson), the man who started the xXx program, has been killed, the agency locates Xander Cage and recruits him to hunt down a mercenary named Xiang (#DonnieYen), stationed in the Dominican Republic and who has in his possession, a weapon known as #PandorasBox, a powerful device that controls military satellites that in the wrong hands, could cause catastrophic damage. When Jane Marke (#ToniCollette), Gibbons’ replacement, assigns Cage with a platoon of soldiers, he refuses, instead, choosing a team of people who he has worked with before and trusts. When Xiang turns out to be a xXx recruit that had originally been hired by Gibbons to retrieve Pandora’s Box, Xiang and his team join forces with Cage but when the device in their possession proves to be a decoy, they discover that the real Pandora’s Box, has fallen into the hands of a traitorous U.S. government official, and they must make their way back to the United States before satellites start falling from the sky.
“xXx: Return Of Xander Cage” is evocative of the #JamesBond films of the 1970s, when special effects were king, and story exposition and character development took a back seat. Going into this movie, you have to know that in order to enjoy it, you must switch your brain off and just have fun. Vin Diesel returns in top form and is joined by an eclectic cast, including the aforementioned Donnie Yen and Toni Collette, but also #DeepikaPadukone, #KrisWu, #RubyRose, #TonyJaa, and #NinaDobrev. Diesel is clearly having the time of his life but he also gives each of his supporting cast, their own individual moments to shine, whether it be martial arts, weapons deconstruction, or flashes of humor. Together, they make for a winning combination and I can only hope that the xXx program will be brought back online.
In theaters Friday, January 20th
Check out Irish Film Critic for more exciting news, reviews, and giveaways.