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xXx (2002)
Genre:( Action | Thriller)
IMDb Rating: (5,7/10 from 103 056 users)
Director: (Rob Cohen)
Starring: (Vin Diesel, Asia Argento, Marton Csokas)
Plot:
Xander Cage is your standard adrenaline junkie with no fear and a lousy attitude. When the US Government “recruits” him to go on a mission, he’s not exactly thrilled. His mission: to gather information on an organization that may just be planning the destruction of the world, led by the nihilistic Yorgi.
xxxxx
This movie was another dissapointment. This movie was horrible. that Vein Deasel, however you spell his name, can't act for crap. The worst part of the movie was how far fetched it was. The part of the movie where he was outrunning the Avalanche made me laugh. Yea he just happens to land exactly where he needs to be.lol. I did give this movie a 1 for some cool action parts but other than that it sucked.
I'll be the first to admit, I am a sucker for mindless action flicks. Because of this, I am pretty easygoing on most of them, even the...less than stellar ones. I've found myself up many a night watching movies on Cinemax that never even made it to theaters. With that in mind, this weekend I finally watched XXX. The one with Vin Diesel. NOT A GOOD MOVIE. At all. I can't pinpoint the exact cause of my dislike, but things just didn't come together. The worst thing, that for an action movie - it was boring. Way to many pondering, plodding scenes. Right before that we watched Shanghi Noon, with was Godfather in comparison.



I am also digging into my DVD's I got for Christmas. I watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. While I have been desperately waiting for these, I was a bit disappointed in the transfer. Dirty Harry, which was 13 or so years older, looked better. It's not bad, and I know it is an older movie, but still. What did shine, however, was the soundtrack. They did an incredible job bringing it into 5.1. I almost turned my bass down a bit, it was so strong. But I didn't. :)



In other news, I am dropping off my brand new Martin D-15 next week to have the action lowered. It's just way to high for me. I'll be without it for a couple days. I hope I can survive.
I had to give XXX a good rating simply because Vin Diesel is in it. The story line is pretty good. The video is somewhat lacking, but is over all pretty good. I would rent this, not a keeper unless you like the music and the kinda cheesey accents.

I'm bored, angry, and frustrated right now. So that is why I decided I'd review XXX. We own it, and it's been awhile since I had seen it so I watched it. Oh, by the way It's Been Awhile by Staind isn't too bad of a song.

Frick. I hate life right now.
More movies...
XXX (Rob Cohen, 2002)
The "less is more" factor is one of the main reasons that The Fast and the Furious was a surprise hit back in 2001. There was little buzz about that little drag-racing flick, and almost no pretension in the movie, and so, with low expectations, the movie proved entertaining to many (me included) and zoomed off into summer movie box office glory. Certainly the characters in the movie were utterly expendable, and the plot was thin soup. But because the flick didn't take itself too seriously, and because everything was in the correct proportion (i.e., the plot knew it was silly, so we had fun with it; and Vin Diesel's large physically-but-compact personality-wise acting abilities were kept in check), we were better able to enjoy its corny, coupe-size (rather than Ford truck-massive) charms.

Vin Diesel's new movie, XXX, however (directed by Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen, oddly enough), does the opposite. It piles on More - more buzz, more noisy action stunts, more Vin Diesel - and winds up with much, much less. In this grating action movie, the shaved-headed, round-muscled Diesel plays the stubble-headed, muscular, thuggish extreme-sports fanatic Xander Cage (nicknamed Triple-X because of the gigantic symbol tattooed across his thick neck), who uses his prowess with extreme sports (snowboarding, parachuting, motorcycling, etc.) to... um, I don't know, steal a sleazy Senator's convertible and drive it off a bridge. Anyway, such illegal behaviour lands him behind bars, whereupon he's recruited by Samuel L. Jackson, who plays some sort of NSA honcho, to go on some sort of mission, because if things go awry, this mook is ultimately expendable.

The mission specifics, of course, don't matter at all to this movie. I think Triple-X is supposed to stop some crazy European anarchists who need a good shower and a good shave from accessing and deploying bioterrorism weapons of mass destruction. This mission will call on him to use his skills at extreme-sports to foil the baddies. And it also calls on him to flirt and lock lips with Asia Argento, which, I'm sorry, doesn't really qualify as a selling point.

What's important is that XXX is being billed as a new kind of action hero for a new generation, a sort of new and improved James Bond. But where Bond has spirit, class, and suavity, Triple-X simply has nothing going for him. He's a hollow action hero without a spirit, a motivation, and a reason to believe in him. He's a charmless thug costumed in a wooly yak herder's jacket and a sleeveless black T-shirt highlighting his biceps and pectorals who has been built without a soul, a heart, or a brain by the producers who dreamt him up. This is also supposed to be Vin Diesel's launchpad into stardom, but since he's been given no good dialogue to recite, no personality or character dimensions to develop, and no intriguing villains to play off of, he's hitting the road to stardom in a vehicle that's already running on empty. (And wasn't The Fast and the Furious the movie that already made him into a star?)

XXX completely misses out on the small B-movie charms of The Fast and the Furious, because it's so darn big and stupid. It's massive and show-offy, steroidal and crammed with big action stunts. But most of the stunts also fail to excite, because the movie mistakenly tries to milk them for all they're worth, repeating them from every possible angle, then once more for good measure (i.e. when Cage jumps over a burning drug lord's hideout in Colombia while straddling a motorcycle). Its villains (the Eastern European anarchists) are also an underdeveloped mass of accented, badly groomed, bumbling goons and hissing idiots comparable to the ones in the embarrassing and tired Collateral Damage.

This movie is the nadir of the hollow summer action flick. I don't see how Triple-X, a muscled mook without a spirit, a motivation, or any reason to exist, could possibly be the viable action hero of the future, or how XXX's franchise, which has already begun to seriously sputter in only the first instalment, could even begin to rival the durable 007 franchise. Back in May, Spider-Man was the rare action blockbuster to engage our emotions, because it had a hero who stood up for something, who was easy to believe in. But in XXX, nothing is exceptional, and I have to ask: What's in it for us? D
Even with XXX's unbelievable stunts and unbelievably corny lines I still liked it a lot. It took time to develop it's characters and that's something you don't see in a regular popcorn action flick. XXX is filled with snowboards, motorbikes, and cars and if these things don't appeal to you, then don't watch this movie. XXX appeals to mostly teenagers and that's why all those bad reviews are up there, so if you're a teenager, don't listen to those reviews because they're just a bunch of grown-ups who have outgrown mindless action flicks. I'm a teenager and I liked it a lot!

Overall, XXX is a movie that tries to appeal to mostly teenagers, and it does get the job done at appealing to them.

XXX
(ROB COHEN, 2002)
PG-13
2 HOURS 4 MINUTES



When done well action movies are great fun, they are, after all, the single most important genre in making Hollywood studios successful. Take Face/Off for example, visually stunning, innovative, wry and with the obligatory ridiculous story - big screen fun at it's best.

XXX or xXx or whatever it's called, is none of the above, mainly because it takes itself way too seriously. The set up is simple, the NSA want a civilian to infiltrate a gang of Russian anarchists and they plum for extreme sports junkie Xander Cage, who agrees in order to avoid prosecution for his most recent stunt. The first hour is enjoyable enough, Bond for the X Box generation apparently, but then it all goes very wrong. The one liners stink, the action is average and Diesel is far from convincing. You're just left left with the feeling that Cohen got a little over confident as he went on his merry way.

You've got to wonder what constitutes a Hollywood star these days. Sure Vin Diesel has been in a couple of good movies, but it's something of a condemnation if his ruputed salary for xXx is correct. Seeing as he is missing for the forthcoming sequel, you can only assume the studio has realised his presence will not guarantee box office success, while everyone else looks to Riddick to see if a star really has been born. This movie in a word, well take a look at the mood. :(