xXx: Return of Xander Cage (Rewatch)

#14 – Rewatch

One of the best things about an action or a comedy that you take at face is that the rewatch value can be very high. xXx: Return of Xander Cage is exactly what you think it will be and leans into it. This review is going to be the spoiler filled rewatch review … as much as you can spoil a movie like this.

Let’s run down the prerequisites for xXx: kick some ass, get the girl, and try to look dope while doing it. In the tradition of the non-conformist Xander Cage, let’s break the mold of the normal format and review it based on those conditions. 

I would still give this movie 7 “sweet lion tattoos” out of 10.

KICK SOME ASS

The first xXx movie tried to get by on stylized action with very few fights or shootouts that come to mind. xXx: Return of Xander Cage still kept some over the top action set pieces, but had quite a few more shootouts and fights. Donnie Yen stole the show in this aspect since almost every scene he was in paid off. The CIA boardroom and airplaine fights in particular got to show off his speed and technicality … not so much when he faced Vin on screen (especially since he supposedly has a clause in his contract saying he cannot lose a fight). The final shootout in the warehouse was also very entertaining, even if the back to back shooting was done better in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. I would say it is safe to say they kicked some ass.

GET THE GIRL

Well, Xander did get the girl. Then he got several girls at one time. Then he got several more girls’ attention before he got the main girl. I guess they were still trying to make him the extreme James Bond since almost all of these scenes were pointless and had zero payoff.

TRY TO LOOK DOPE WHILE DOING IT

This franchise attempts to be all style. While the cinematography isn’t the best you’ve ever seen, everyone does their best to make sure you are having fun watching it. If you are going off fashion for looking dope, the ridiculous fur coat and nipple tattoo makes a come back … and there are plenty of skimpy ladies outfits. If you are basing looking dope on over the top stunts, then you’re in the right place. A footchase on the freeway while dodging cars, a dirtbike chase over / underwater, a knockout by boat, and a sniper shot between two fingers are only some of the crazy antics. Of course the only way to end the movie is crashing a jumbo jet into a falling satellite while Xander runs through the plane and lands on a parachuting supply drop … all completely plausible since another character got it on video! Which character video taped it? The one who’s special power was being a DJ and having fun.

OVERALL

In a day and age where everything gets a sequel and is part of an extended universe I am ready for Furious v XXX where Dom takes on Xander in the longest downhill race ever …. down the Mariana Trench. In all seriousness, this is a fantastic movie that I am glad I saw on the big screen twice. It will also make a great movie to catch on tv no matter what part its at.

RECOMMENDATION

The movie that seems to be haunting me lately is the quintessential 90’s classic: Point Break. As far as I am concerned it was the first great action movie to be paired with unconventional sports. It also happens to be one of my favorite movies that also inspired one of my other favorite movies … The Fast and The Furious! Next to John Wick, I think it was the role Keanu was born to play.

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