HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
Holiday
Lovin' Molly
Manhunt in the City
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer
Teen Witch
Devil's Brigade, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  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 873 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 do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: