I had the unfortunate situation of watching one of my favourite television channels all day only for them to put this on. Good god.
So I can vaguely remember seeing Vin Diesel’s XXX in the cinema, and what I recall was a brazen attempt at a bigger, bolder, American version of James Bond (it even opened with a Bond-esque secret agent getting killed). I also remember my eardrums nearly exploding (no film since has matched the noise that film produced). Overall, it was a mindless but entertaining mess.
I never saw XXX2.
For a start, you cannot replace Vin Diesel with a podgy looking Ice Cube and say he’s “even meaner”, it… its laughable. Replace the director of the first Fast and the Furious Rob Cohen with the director of… oh god… Die Another Day (this was his follow up film!) and we have a recipe for horror.
So why am I filling this review with facts rather than opinions? Because trust me, the facts are more interesting! XXX2 starts with the triple-x base compromised by high-tech ninjas. Samuel L. Jackson (yes he will do anything for a paycheck) decides a new agent is needed (Diesel’s Xander Cage apparently died between films). Enter Ice Cube, a man who isn’t convincing in any of his action scenes.
The threat? The Secretary of Defense is looking to overthrow the US government and the ex-convict Darius Stone is the only one to stop him.
The film is awful. I don’t know why Samuel L. or Willem Dafoe are in this (yes, Dafoe is in here too). But don’t worry, it isn’t exclusively big actors involved, we also have the woman from Species III! That’s more like this film’s caliber! The grade of film that settles for woeful dialogue and an unsettling need to embrace every sort of character stereotype around.
We see Darius up against a rogue military army (tanks and all) and his plan is to rally a bunch of gangsters and street cretins against them… and it actually works? I have to spoil the finale to give you a sense of how this film apparently goes above and beyond its predecessor (you aren’t going to watch this, so it doesn’t matter!) It is the situation where reiterating what happens is easier than expressing how stupid the film is.
The President is kidnapped and onboard a high speed bullet train. Darius is in a sports car. His support helicopter cannot keep up with the train, but the car totally can! Darius guns it up onto the train tracks behind the train (keeping pace as he does!) we see the tyres shred and the car’s wheel rims lock onto the tracks. He then proceeds to gain speed on the frictionless train tracks, and then moves faster than the bullet train!
I… do I really need to say more? This review should have been one sentence only: Do not see this film. It makes 2 Fast 2 Furious and MegaShark look deep.
“XXX” usually means explicit content. Here “XXX” mean explicitly stupid.