[Review] xXx: Return of Xander Cage – Start of a new Franchise

Director: D.J. Caruso

Cast:  Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika PadukoneTony JaaRuby RoseSamuel L. JacksonIce Cube

Our Rating

3_star

TRAILER

Xander Cage is back but question is that does Vin Diesel want to continue with this franchise for future releases? This answer might not be as simple as what we might think but then again, this movie proves that it doesn’t matter anymore.

xXx started of in 2002 and Vin Diesel was already riding high on the success of The Fast and The Furious & Pitch Black. The concept of a super spy who has the tendency to defy all order and do things his way was presented in the light of Gen-X. Movie was an instant hit making Vin the bankable star of new concept action movies. With an increased fame came increased sense of movie selection for which Vin declined to star in any more xXx sequels. It did not matter as in 2005 xXx: State of the Union was released with Ice Cube staring as the lead protagonist. People hated the new xXx and the movie bombed the box office across the globe. It seemed that xXx was dead as the sequel had already shown Xander Cage to have died during a mission. This is the easiest way to kill a character.

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After over a decade, the franchise is revived again and that’s only to have Vin Diesel coming back to life as Xander Cage. The hype was through the roof especially in India who have now seen their second female actress Deepika Padukone (first was Priyanka Chopra) taking the lead as xXx girl (something like Bond Girl). The release was quite impressive but then again most viewers failed to connect with it as it was after such a long time. The producers made sure that this time it would have a star cast and story which can actually not depend on Vin Diesel for future sequels thus roping in Asian heavy weights like Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa. Well, let’s wait and see what the future hold for them so on with the movie review.

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The story starts with Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) trying to recruit the famous football star Naymar Jr. in the xXx program but during their meet up a rogue satellite crashes down on the cafe they are in, killing them both. In the meanwhile, CIA top leadership is meeting to discuss the discovery of a device which can control and drop the satellites like flies. This would mean that in wrong hands it can be a disaster. During their meeting, they are attacked by a group of people headed by Xiang (Donnie Yen) and have Serena (Deepika) & Talon (Tony Jaa) as partners in crime. Well CIA loses their possession to them and looks towards someone who can get it back for them. Look no further as our beloved super spy is back, stealing TV transmitters for helping people view football matches in Brazil.

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The story goes on, Xander learns about Gibbon’s death and agrees to help CIA recover the device. He then speaks a couple of cheesy dialogues about getting his own team and in the process throws out the US Seal team out of the flying plane. Well he gets his team on board and they start their hunt for that same group which CIA cannot find as they are defined as Ghosts. Well he finds them partying in some remote asian island and decides to crash the party. There he learns that they are not ghosts but are also xXx (Gibbons you dawg!). Well there’s a fight and some action and they finally get the device only to have it blown to pieces by Serena, on a beach, in a skimpy outfit. Well, Serena also joins them back and they move on to decode the device and learn that there’s another device present as well. Rest you can very well imagine what might have happened.

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The best part about the movie was the action and there was a lot of it. Donnie Yen in my opinion was the real star in this flick with his amazing martial arts skills and some giggly one liners. He could very well be the next xXx. Tony Jaa was unrecognisable and had a smaller role but Deepika was smoking hot in whatever she was trying to do. It was weird to see her speak in the Indian accent but that doesn’t matter as her action sequences were amazing. She should be considered for future action roles as well. The cameo by Ice Cube was a nice touch.

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VERDICT

The movie is out and out an explosive action movie which wastes no time and showing what was the actual bottom line, that is, non-stop action. Although it did not fare very well at the box office but it will make it up though TV releases & DVD/Blu Ray sales. Vin Diesel has given a breath of life into a dead franchise and we can surely see more coming our way in the future.

 

 

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