In a world that is flooded with overproduced blockbusters nowadays, sometimes it feels great to look back on what was known to be extremely stupid from the past. XXX was never known to be an award-worthy picture, but critics were divided on whether or not they could accept the extremely dumb premise and enjoy it for what it was. Having seen this film over a decade ago, I was among the viewers who found this film stupid, even though it did have quite a few awesome action sequences, admittedly. Having said that, this film has improved with age. I genuinely think this is a fun, disposable action flick that action junkies can now appreciate. There is nothing special about its cliched premise, but the set pieces are very memorable. Here is why I believe XXX has become underrated. d
Movie Star Syndrome
Like any decade in film, as soon as an actor breaks out onto the scene, studios will do everything in their power to get one of them into their biggest releases of each year. After 2001's The Fast and the Furious, it was without question that both Paul Walker and Vin Diesel were going to be asked to do bigger and better things. At the time, Vin Diesel was a very one-note actor who everyone loved for what he did. I personally love his charisma as well and actually look forward to every movie he puts out. Having said that, at the time of its release, XXX undeniably felt like the same character that he played in Dom Toretto for The Fast and the Furious. I never found myself gushing over this film, but looking back on it, it has some pretty damn impressive sequences, sans the early 2000's CGI.
The Tired, Yet Exciting Premise
It's one thing to build a film around a dumb story and add cheesy one-liners and crazy action sequences to go along with it, but when you can tell the film is completely self-aware of its bombastic premise, it can be very enjoyable. Like most blockbusters nowadays, you are supposed to throw all sense of realism out the window. If you can buy into the fact that an ex-con can be recruited by a secret service in order to take down bigger threats and do parkour stunts with a snowboard, motorcycle, and a parachute, while firing guns in the air and still having time to deliver his one-liners at the end of every action sequence, then you may just find yourself having a blast with this film. Yes, this premise has been done to death, but there is a certain charm that comes with the aging of this film, and I just can't quite put my finger on it.
How The Cliches Help 'XXX'
When it comes to bombs heading for a city, the villain having a girl that becomes infatuated with our main hero, and extreme action sequences to levitate the tired premise, XXX checks off just about every mark. That being said, it also knows exactly what it want to be, which warrants the cheesiness and tiredness of these cliches. Now, if someone looks back on XXX and calls it one of the best films they have ever seen, there may be some backlash to be had with that statement, but if someone were to say that it is one of the most fun movies they have ever seen, that statement can be backed up in a debate. There are too many predictable aspects for this film to be great, but the action is ridiculous and memorable from beginning to end.
My Overall, Updated Thoughts
In the end, XXX is definitely a film that has gotten better with age and I highly recommend giving it another shot if you were on the fence about it in the past. Sadly, it has become slightly dated and probably won't win over people who are just watching it for the first time now, but the cheese factor has lessened over the years, thanks to some of the dumb blockbusters of today. It has a tired story and you can predict the entire film from beginning to end, but if you are looking for a disposable action film that you can enjoy for the incredibly well-staged action sequences, XXX is the movie for you. Not really all that good, but awesome to look at. XXX holds up better than most films of its kind. Overall, enjoyable for what it is.