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xXx: Return of Xander Cage | Movie Review

xxx return of xander cage movie review

The xXx film franchise has always been about fast-paced, over the top action. The latest film in the series, xXx: Return of Xander Cage brings back the original xXx, Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), along with a bevy of newcomers that give him a run for his money. It’s been 12 years since the second film in the franchise, but not much has changed for the xXx crew, good or bad.

If you’ve seen the two previous films, xXx and xXx: State of the Union, you should already have a pretty good idea of how things play out. This is not a film that makes any kind of sense. The primary draw is the over the top action that looks like a cross between the X-Games and a Jason Bourne movie. While that style of filmmaking worked back in the early 2000s, the bar has been raised in the action genre by none other than Vin Diesel’s own Fast and Furious franchise.

The last two Fast and Furious films didn’t make a lot of sense when it came to things like dropping cars out of planes and having them parachute down and actually land on the road in one piece. However, Return of Xander Cage takes that nonsensical vibe and cranks it up as far as it will go. This film completely ignores the laws of physics in many instances. In addition, a lot of things happen solely for the sake of plot convenience. If you’re going to enjoy this film you need to go into it with your brain completely shut off.

Now that we’ve established the mind set you need to be in to see this film, let’s take a look at some of the newcomers. Donnie Yen and Ruby Rose steal the spotlight in most of their scenes as Xiang and Adele Wolff respectively. Adele is a sharpshooter that covers Cage’s back from a distance, while Xiang is the martial arts equivalent of Cage himself. Another standout newcomer is Nina Dobrev as the tech-savvy Becky Clearidge. She’s basically tech support for Cage and his crew, providing the latest weaponry and gadgets, similar to Q’s role in the James Bond franchise.

If you’re looking for some brain-dead action with a plot that doesn’t make a lot of sense, Return of Xander Cage should be right up your alley. If you’re accustomed to the more modern action films that feature a splash of humor and a plot that may actually make sense, you probably won’t be interested in anything xXx has to offer.

While Return of Xander Cage falls in line with the two previous xXx films, in order to really stand out it needed to grow up a bit to match the more recent mindless action films that have released over the last few years. As it stands, Return of Xander Cage feels dated in its approach to action films, but fans of the series will likely still find a lot to enjoy here.

xXx Return of Xander Cage:

About xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Synopsis: Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.

Director: D.J. Caruso

Writer: Rich Wilkes

Stars: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1 Hour, 47 Minutes

Bryan Dawson
Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.
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