Reviews

Review: ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ is Style Over Substance

January 14, 2017
3 min read

‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ begins with a rogue satellite attack on earth in which the founder of the XXX program Gibbons is killed along with Neymar Jr. Yes, the football player Neymar. As to why he is in the movie that we will try to decipher later. The very next moment we are taken to a classified meeting headed by a lady boss Jane Marke where they discuss about a certain Pandora’s Box which is to be guarded from falling into the wrong hands. Guess what happens next? A gang of expert thieves steal it from right under their nose with finesse athleticism and accuracy. So to retrieve the Pandora’s Box someone with dexterous and physical skills is needed and Xander Cage/xXx, who was presumed dead, resurfaces back in style in a skateboard while stealing a TV transmitter from a TV tower. It’s during the introduction scene of the lead Vin Diesel you get an idea that the film is going to full of mindless action sequences. What follows next is a cat and mouse chase choreographed with style, attitude and speed.

Xander Cage/Vin Diesel is not only brawny and obsessed with his fur coat but women seem to be unable to control their libido around him. Talking about women there are a lot of them in this one; skimpily clad, beach bodied and full on badass.

The film tries hard to cater to Latinos and particularly Asians which explain the presence of so many actors of Asian origin. Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone shines the brightest among the hordes of actors who play second fiddle to Vin Diesel. Vin and Deepika do have a certain physical chemistry going on for them. Her calmness perfectly complements his restlessness. In a way Deepika gets a standard old school Hollywood debut; a gun slinging babe who gets to kiss the hero at the end. Donnie Yen/Xiang as the leader of a rival gang packs a solid punch. Ruby Rose exudes physical perfection when she hangs from a coconut tree and shoots at targets. Nina Dobrev as a geeky, cutesy tech expert is utterly forgettable. The otherwise adorable Tony Jaa (with coloured hair here) has been reduced to a caricature of his own glorious self. Kris Wu as a DJ cum agent is a total waste as his role is almost non-existent.

‘xXx: Return of the Xander Cage’ is nothing but a messy conglomerate of actors from different parts of the world. It takes over 45 minutes just to introduce them to the audience. The film is a teenage guy’s wet dream; mean machines, bikini babes and action packed with no emphasis on storytelling and the use of logic. The whole movie is designed as a canvas for Vin Diesel to showcase his heroic qualities.

Individual fans of various talented actors in the cast might flock in to watch it but let me remind you that it’s mediocrity at its best. Don’t be surprised if the film rakes in more moolah at the box office outside the US. Towards the end Gibbons tells Xander Cage “Kick some ass, get the girl and try to look dope while you’re doing it”. If that’s your idea of a fun film then go for it, otherwise give it a miss.

About Neymar Jr’s presence in the film one cannot help but get an impression that he is Gibbons’ toy boy as he accompanies him everywhere.

Rating: 2/5

SPONSORED LINKS