‘xXx: Return Of Xander Cage’ Can’t Even Get “Brainless Action Movie” Right

‘xXx: Return Of Xander Cage’ Can’t Even Get “Brainless Action Movie” Right

Posted by January 19, 2017 Comment

xxx: return of xander cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage commits the cardinal sin of a bad action movie; it’s boring.

Title: xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Director: D.J. Caruso
Summary: Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons

There is nothing wrong with a dumb action movie where you can turn your brain off and just watch a bunch of stupid action scenes. However, just because you’re making a dumb action movie doesn’t mean you get to slack off. You have to keep being inventive in different ways if you’re going to be lazy with your plot and characters.

Before now, the purpose of the xXx movies appeared to be coming up with the most insane, over the top action scenes possible and putting them on film. xXx: Return of Xander Cage doesn’t have anything like that. There is an extended ‘running down a mountain’ scene at the beginning, a dirtbike chase that goes out onto the ocean at one point, and fight in a crashed plane. Aside from those three scenes, the first hardly counting, the movie just recycles gunfight after gunfight. There are two of the best hand to hand combat fighters working in film in this movie, and it feels like they aren’t used to this degree and they should.

xxx: return of xander cage

Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa are both finally getting some recognition from western audiences, which is fantastic, but in a movie like this they almost don’t fit. They are both so good that whenever you see them fighting anywhere near the rest of the cast it’s like they are doing the movie a favor by not breaking every single person over their knees. The moments when they get to shine are the only good parts of the movie, and the opening scene with Yen taking out an entire army is almost the sole highlight of the entire feature.

Adding real fighters to the cast was an admirable effort, but it does make xXx: Return of Xander Cage feel like two movies; one with good action scenes and one with bad. However, it’s hard to even keep track of Yen and Jaa when they are on screen since director D.J. Caruso employs the shaky cam so much you can’t follow where anyone is at any given time.

The thing that ultimately kills the movie is the fact that it’s really quite boring and poorly acted, even for a dumb action movie. As previously stated, the action scenes aren’t really that inventive, and once you’ve seen one gunfight in this movie you’ve seen them all. On top of that, you have the great Toni Collette putting in a performance so bad she’s nearly unrecognizable while Nina Dobrev proves that she probably shouldn’t have left The Vampire Diaries. Dobrev might be one of the worst characters put to film as she plays the Q role to Xander’s Bond, only she keeps making weird, kinky sex jokes, awkwardly hitting on Xander and squealing in fear when she’s around guns. She’s the sort of character who screams when she fires a gun then drops it and watches as a dropped gun clears a room.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage is a film that is going to come and go very quickly. The series appears to be a passion project for Vin Diesel considering the Fast and Furious are basically paying Universals bills right now. Paramount, apparently, is hoping that lightning will strike twice.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage
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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, comics, and political satire. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com

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(Last Updated January 27, 2018 1:23 pm )

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