It's been 15 years since we last saw Vin Diesel (The Fate of the Furious) as Xander Cage, a thrill seeker with a knack for saving the world. Cage is back again to save the world from a piece of technology that can turn a Satellite into an Earth bound projectile.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage gives us ludicrous set piece after ludicrous set piece, and thank god, because when bag guys aren't being pummelled to death by Donnie Yen, I wanted to claw my eyes out. Of course, what can we expect from a xXx film? That doesn't give the screenwriters any excuse to create something as slap-dash and generic as this. The script feels as though it was written by a child, with Vin Diesel in his ear, constantly reminding him that he's a "really cool guy".
After xXx: State of the Union, we were led to believe that Xander Cage had perished in an explosion, but here, he is very much alive. We're reintroduced to the character atop a satellite pylon, where he clips himself into some skis and proceeds to ski down a Brazilian jungle. This ridiculously entertaining scene really lets us know exactly what we're in for.
The xXx program, which takes talented individuals and turns them into terrorist hunting super spies once again recruits Cage for a mission. He is sent to hunt down some government attacking radicals led by Xiang (Donnie Yen, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). These radicals have stolen "Pandora's Box", a piece of equipment that shuts down Satellites and send them plummeting towards the Earth. The plot is ridiculously straightforward and the dialogue is frankly atrocious. It seems as though every five minutes, we're yet again reminded that Vin Diesel is a "super cool guy" and that Xander Cage is a "legendary" character, even though most of us had already forgotten about this franchise many years ago. This is nothing more than two hours of Vin Diesel figuratively performing self fellatio via a screenplay.
Luckily for us, the plot is nothing more than a thin piece of string used to connect some pretty entertaining albeit dumb as hell action sequences. Most of them are inconceivable yet fun, but Donnie Yen really gets to shine in his hand to hand combat sequences, especially one on board a plane in the finale.
The cast is diverse but the characters are utterly forgettable. This is an entertaining yet ultimately forgettable sequel in a franchise that should have been left dead and buried.