Return of Fun
This is one of the most confusing sequels in recent years. The first xXx was bad but xXx2: The Next Level is even worse. In fact I hear it’s now used as a form of torture in some countries but I guess people must have liked them though? Otherwise why would there be a sequel?
Imagine my surprise as I walk into the screening and it is jam-packed, wall to wall… with empty fucking seats. Who signed off on this film to get made?
Even co-stars like Donnie Yen and Ice Cube would have been expensive to bring onboard let alone Samuel L Jackson and Vin Diesel. Clearly someone was banking on rebooting this as another mega-franchise like Fast and Furious because at an estimated cost of $85 mill this gamble is going to lose some serious dollar.
And rightly so. It’s a crap film. It’s offensive to all senses, even Bruce Willis in the sixth sense is offended! Spoiler alert: He’s the ghost.
Yet for all its stupid bullshit I really enjoyed watching it.
There are a five reasons for this and three of them are Donnie Yen. If you don’t know Donnie Yen he fights like Jackie Chan only a bit less campy. Donnie Yen is such a bad-ass action star that he makes everything look effortlessly cool. Thankfully he holds a lot of screen-time.
The rest of the film makes no sense. Why would Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) want to bring a DJ or a brain damaged guy whose “thing” is to be terrible at driving into his crack team of anti-heroes? Or why is he skiing down a forest or racing motorbikes in the sea? In the fucking sea?!
I don’t have those answers. I can tell you it’s a beautiful chaos. Sort of like the Lego movie that features a magic cat that lives in a rainbow land. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t have to – it’s a magic rainbow cat. Some times things can just be fun for the sake of being fun; of bringing a smile to one’s face. That can’t be all bad, right?
xXx knows that this isn’t the next Bourne franchise so it rolls with it’s own stupidity, poking fun at itself along the way. I wish it wasn’t 14 year old boy fantasy fun though. If you are a feminist… probably skip this one yeah!?
Literally everywhere Xander Cage goes there are scantily clad women throwing themselves at Xander Cage and him taking full advantage of it even though we know that Donnie Yen is the real deal here!
The film does try to be progressive with the inclusion of Adele Wolff (Ruby Rose) who is a hardcore and somewhat gender neutral sniper with green hair and nice tats – I mean tattoos, not boobs – but this seems like a token gesture even if Rose owns her role.
The Return of Xander Cage seems to have been met with a box office flop. I’m not sure how I feel about that. The film is tongue-in-cheek rubbish but with the world seemingly going more crazy by the day why not return some fun to it?
The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:
+ Donnie Yen
+ Ruby Rose
+ It’s actually really fun to watch!
– Hugely sexist
– Pure crap
– Nonsensical plot and action scenes