HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Chasing the Dragon
Into the Forest
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
Incredible Paris Incident
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
   
 
Newest Articles
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agn├Ęs: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
   
 
  xXx: Return of Xander Cage Very Free AgentBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: D.J. Caruso
Stars: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Rory McCann, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube, Hermione Corfield, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Bisping, Al Sapienza, Nigel Bennett, Terry Chen
Genre: Action, Thriller, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pandora's Box is now more than a Greek myth, it is the name given to a device that can redirect satellites out of the sky and down to a target on Earth, destroying or assassinating as the operator sees fit. Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) should be well aware of this capability, for he works as an N.S.A. agent who organises the Triple X team of high level adventurers, ensuring the security of the United States and indeed the world is sustained. However, as he is attempting to recruit a new member, one of the sabotaged satellites hits the restaurant he is in, and his bosses back in America receive the news he has died. This makes it all the more imperative Pandora's Box is retrieved - but other forces have their plans for it.

Who's missing from that equation? Why, it's our old pal Xander Cage, the character Vin Diesel tried to make into the next James Bond, much as many other fictional secret agents had done since Dr. No, but failed with his first instalment, therefore he opted to sit out the sequel. Yet by this stage the star had become very attached to sequels and had more than swallowed his pride, now he was positively embracing the notion of making a series of movies with recurring heroes played by himself, therefore in a move nobody was apparently demanding, he revived Cage for this frankly ludicrous effort. The reaction was one of derision for the most part, since its very idiocy was ammunition to be used against it.

But that reaction was misplaced as here that very preposterousness was not only acknowledged, it was embraced, and indeed became the entire film's raison d'etre. As if everyone involved said to themselves, well, hardly anyone is taking these movies seriously, let's make that the theme and style, and give the audience a spectacle that has no logical sense other than it looked cool in a video game chic sort of way. Therefore we were reintroduced to Cage as he fixed a television mast, jumped off it seemingly to his death but actually to ski down a hill (without snow), then skateboarded away from his pursuers down a road, where he sorted a shanty town's desire to watch football and proceeded to make love to a beautiful woman as an encore.

Now, you did not get Bond doing that, probably because even by the standards of that franchise it was bloody stupid, but here was a statement of intent that you may as well leave your brain at the door, because this was going to be dedicated to the ridiculous. This rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way, and it was true the ambition did not quite match the effects budget (which nevertheless must have been substantial) rendering much of what we watched cartoonishly farcical, but if you were on board with that almost self-parodying entertainment then you might find yourself cracking a smile and actually enjoying yourself. It was certainly an improvement over the first two entries which took themselves terribly seriously and therefore were all too easy to sneer at when they fell short, as with this they had settled on the right tone.

The elephant in the room (or on the motorbike that can ride over the waves of the ocean) was that other, more successful series of movies Mr Diesel had taken the lead in, The Fast and the Furious, and it was obvious there had been a selection of lessons learned from there, not least the correct balance between the sincerity of the approach and the silliness of the stunts and setpieces. The same idea of building a team around the leading man, who before had been a typical action flick lone wolf, was well to the fore, most prominently in the person of Donnie Yen, yet again choosing his projects carefully for the maximum global exposure and doing a better job than the original choice for his role, Jet Li. To emphasise the international nature of the production there was also Bollywood celebrity Deepika Padukone, Scottish Game of Thrones stalwart Rory McCann, Thai martial arts legend Tony Jaa (bleached blond to distinguish him from Yen), Aussie icon of futuristic cool Ruby Rose, and more, Toni Collette marshalling them all with a sour expression. Yes, it was borderline moronic, but it was nice to see it was perfectly content with that. Music by Robert Lydecker and Brian Tyler.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 295 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: