HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Amulet
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
   
 
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  xXx: Return of Xander Cage Very Free Agent
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, AdventureBuy from Amazon
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 1916 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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: