2002 - PG-13 - 124 Mins.
|Director: Rob Cohen|
|Producer: Neal H. Moritz|
|Written By: Ritch Wilkes|
|Starring: Vin Diesel, Asia Argento, Samuel L. Jackson, Marton Csokas, Michael Roof |
|Review by: John Ulmer
Vin Diesel, of "The Fast and the Furious" fame, is a new breed of secret agent in xXx.
Xander Cage (X to his friends) is an adrenaline riddled, extreme sports junkie, who one day happens to be arrested by the NSA, and is basically forced into hunting down a Russian drug lord by the man-with-the-plan, Samuel L. Jackson.
Because he is a criminal, he fits in well with the crowd of drug lords and murderers, and earns the trust of them, all except for Asia Argento, the "Bond girl" for this film.
What xXx tries to accomplish isn't easy - taking over the reigns from James Bond.
I like that Asia Argento in an interview said she hates Bond, because the films are sexist, and her character in xXx "has her own opinion." What's funny about that is, in numerous scenes, women are used as deal-closers, brought in after business. At one part there is a party, and Asia Argento is dancing sensually, with the camera shooting low, if you catch my drift. Then at another point in the film, women in a pool outside are lifted by two men, and are clunked together like beer glasses, and in one scene, which I was surprised didn't garner an R rating, a woman (in bikini/thong) seductively dances for X, leading to X saying "The things I'm gonna do for my country..."
Real non-sexist, Asia.
The thing is, Vin has the acting ability of a gorilla, and the voice, as well. But, however, that is almost always the case with action stars, and what I find hard to overcome is his attitude in real life - a "tough guy" much like X in the film.
The film has some interesting stunt sequences, many of them ridiculous, like when X soars through the air on his motorbike, hangs on to the seat, and fires a gun at an enemy. Ridiculous: yes; fun: yep.
Like most action films, it's just pure stupid, but nevertheless fun. I enjoyed xXx as a summer flick, and found even though its overbearing attempt to overtake Bond is sickening, it's still a fun, testosterone-packed action adventure. Reality lovers beware.
Roger Ebert nailed this film with his review, and I agree. It won't by any means be taking over Bond, but it's "Terrific entertainment," as he wrote in his review...