by Ian Morton
When someone comes up to me tomorrow and asks what my cinema experience was like after watching xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, my answer will be surprisingly simple; it’s like watching someone get the worst action film, stuff it with the second and then asking it to be remade by a drunk 4 year old….on meth!
After spy satellites start falling out the sky like flies, Xander Cage is recruited back into the xXx programme to hunt down the terrorists and restore order to the world. Bringing together a high tech team of mercenaries and outcasts, the stage is set for adventure, as our extreme warriors take down the latest threat to modern society.
While Vin Diesel may be raking in the cash at the box office with the Fast and Furious franchise, his latest attempt to break away from the money making saga is once again in vain as even the over-the-top appeal of xXx doesn’t provide the platform he needs to make it on his own.
From its messy opening to its extraordinarily bad ending, director DJ Caruso has managed to bring a film that not many people wanted to see back to the big screen. While ridiculous, over-the-top action is to be expected, the film suffers tremendously from the simple fact that it’s not fun. Whether you are watching Cage CGI jetski over a CGI ocean, jump out of a CGI plane into CGI air or even have any form of conversation with anyone, the audience is never left with their hearts pounding or jaws dropping but rather ungracious yawning and unintentional laugher.
While most people may not walk into the non-awaited sequel with intent on taking it too seriously, the real problem isnt necessarily the outrageous action sequences but rather the idea that its just a reproduction of something we have seen many times before. Since the original, this type of film has been made more times that you can shake your finger at, and more importantly, it’s been done better. The result is a rather long winded throwback to the early 2000s, rather than the upgrade a comeback like this should have been given.
To top it all of, ‘The Return’ suffers greatest from it’s completely wasted cast. Those of you expecting to see great action set pieces from fighting legends Tony Jaa, Donnie Yen or even UFC’s Michael Bisping will be thoroughly disappointed as none of their talents are put to work at all. With the rest of the cast feeling like Expandables’ write offs, the only way to describe the talent is with a lazy, cynical *sigh*.
While some may be excited that Xander Cage is returning to the big screen again, the final product will leave even hardcore fans feeling nothing but disappointed. Falling short every which way you can think of, this will easily make some peoples shortlist for the worst film of the year. 1 out of 5 stars.
Agree with what you read here? Check out what we thought of last years movies and see if we got it right with out top 10’s: