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Review xXx (2002): Bond wannabe!

genre: action, adventure, espionage







xXx is a film I watched many years ago and back then it was a nice time waster although I wasn't really impressed by it. The sequel to this film, xXx: State of the Union, changed that because it compensated the elements I was missing in the original. Strangely enough Vin Diesel was replaced by Ice Cube and trust me that did raise my eyebrows considerably but I think it was the first time that Ice Cube managed to surprise me acting wise (I mean in the sense that he was convincing as an a tough as nails action hero). No matter how stupid the film was he made it worth your time. Now with Vin Diesel returning to the franchise in xXx: Return of Xander Cage ( a film I have yet to watch) I decided to revisit the original and the first sequel especially because of the heavy criticism towards the third part. Because from what I have heard and read so far people are condemning the film for sticking to the formula attached to the franchise. I just want to make sure how these movies were and will be when compared to Return of Xander Cage.

I really hate to be the bringer of bad news but xXx is not a good film by any means. It does offer some things and doesn't feel like a complete waste of time. But nothing in the film is very memorable apart from the fact that it seemed like that they were trying real hard to make their own Bond film and failed miserably. In a way though I do appreciate this effort since I am a huge fan of the James Bond films (especially the old school ones). However a lot of elements that make the Bond films so very unique are missing in xXx. For one thing Vin Diesel while certainly a presence doesn't convince as a secret agent. I am aware that him being nothing like 007 is the whole gimmick. And yet Xander Cage is not a particularly interesting character. Why? Because he is basically a dumbed down Dominic Toretto from The Fast and the Furious. Less serious, less hard hitting and therefore less compelling. There isn't a single one liner that arrives. Not even in the so bad it's good way. Asia Argento wasn't given much to do but her appearance for the most part was pleasant. I only wished she and Vin had more dialogue because their interactions did have a Bond vibe to them.

Compared to the first time I saw it the film hasn't lost that much of it's effect the second time. But like I said, the first time it already wasn't impressive so naturally it remains the opposite. It's one of those movies very suited for quiet weekends or when it happens to be on the tube. Other than that I would skip it. 



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