Friday, January 20, 2017

xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

Presumed dead, former government operative and extreme athlete Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) returns when a powerful weapon that can control satellites and bring them crashing back to Earth is stolen. With his old boss Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) gone, Cage now must report to the aggressive Jane Marke (Toni Collette). Xander assembles a team of daredevils to keep the deadly device out of the hands of alpha warrior Xiang (Donnie Yen) and save the world.

Explosive action, non-stop stunts and a barrage of barely passable special effects cover up the thinnest of familiar plots. Director D.J. Caruso ("Eagle Eye") seems keenly aware that the story is threadbare and the dialogue is goofy at best. He wisely maintains a frenetic pace (filled with scantily-clad women and beefcake men) that keeps the audience from thinking about the film's shortcomings. Vin Diesel is a believable action star, but he has
trouble delivering the silly Bond-like lines straight-faced. The international supporting cast members have the same problem in this super spy adventure. Besides Donnie Yen, the "extremists" include Deepika Padukone, Tony Jaa, Ruby Rose, Kris Wu and Rory McCann among the good and bad guys. Nina Dobrev provides a bit of comic relief as a non-violent computer whiz agent assigned to assist Cage. It's no surprise that Ice Cube reprises his role as agent Darius Stone from "xXx: State of the Union". Toni Collette appears to be angry and pouting in all of her scenes. Did she not read the script before taking the job? Regardless, she's firmly on board a critic-proof fan pleaser. "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" plays fast and furious, but not smart, with moviegoers. (2 CAMS)


Rated PG-13 / Running Time: 107 minutes