OldKingClancy posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 6 months ago

xXx



2002-xxx-2

Directed by: Rob Cohen
Written by: Rich Wilkes
Cast: Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Roof, Marton Csokas, Asia Argento, Eve, Danny Trejo
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Genre: Action, Crime
Official Site: www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/triplex2/
Plot: "Stop thinking Prague Police and start thinking Playstation"

Review:

What was the early 2000s obsession with Extreme Sports? I mean I don’t get the appeal of Extreme Sports in general but there was a period from about 2000 – 2004 where film just embraced the culture for no apparent reason, actually that’s a lie, the reason’s pretty obvious and it involved impressionable young teens wanting to pay to see something hip and cool. xXx capitalised on the ‘Stick it to the man’ idealism that struck every teenage boy of the time between watching WWE and learning how to become the first race of keyboard warriors and threw in Vin Diesel hot off the first Fast & Furious flick for good measure and managed to turn in... well a complete pile of dog-shit.

Basically the plot is as goes; a Russian anarchist group – another hot-button topic of the 2000s period – are planning something which may or may not involve a lost chemical weapon formula (spoiler alert, it does) but the NSA can’t send anymore agents cause they keep getting snuffed out. No they have to send in someone who doesn’t work for The Man, who can get with the anarchists by speaking on their level, someone who’s so cool that all the big stars know his name, someone who namedrops PlayStation because real life is just like a videogame and it’s awesome.

Sadly that man was busy so they settled for Vin Diesel. So Vin goes to the anarchist group, who immediately recognise him because he’s a semi-famous internet star – known mostly for crashing other people’s cars – but because he has a list of cars they let him in and immediately trust him. Some stuff happens, a bad guy turns out to be a good guy, a good guy turns out to be a bad guy but it’s over within a gunshot, Vin keeps doing idiotic things and surviving through sheer force of will, some things blow up and we end the film with Vin’s nipple tattoo.

If I said the phrase ‘Extreme Sports Spy Movie’, the image you have in your head is what this film is, it’s the most clichéd ridden pile of ass-garbage I’ve seen in a long time. It takes the clichés of action movies, Bond movies, early 2000s movies, the only original thing about this film is that it shares its name with 1000 porn films. It’s so blatently trying to come off as smarter than it actually is, I’d almost say that I could’ve guessed the entire script. Though the minute Vin said ‘Welcome to the Xander Zone’ I knew I could never be stupid enough to write this film.

Characters were what you expect, bad guy was some Russian prick going on about the fall of the government and the need to start over, yeah mate that was 15 years ago, shit just got worse but we’ve got Netflix and alcohol, shut your damn mouth.

Asia Argento manages to save some credibility as the love interest, some has some really terrible lines but she felt like the only person on screen who was actively trying her double-agent backstory is revealed to us, then revealed again just in case we forgot but at least it gave her something to do other than look pretty. I can’t say she’s the best part of the film but I definitely hated her the least.

Vinny though, fuck this is just awful. Speaking as someone who was the target audience for this film back in 2002, I hated the target audience then and I hate it even more now, bunch of sideways-baseball-cap-wearing-tossers who go around calling everyone ‘dude’ and ‘bro’ and flashing the 420 sign even though they’ve only smoked weed once at their friend Brad’s place cause his parents were out of town and he was having a house party.

Sorry lost my train of thought, anyway, Vinny is shit, that’s all you need to know, where Asia was trying, Vin tries WAY too hard, he tries to come across as this warrior for freedom, this macho tough guy bastard who laughs in the face of death while snowboarding down an avalanche. Instead he feels like he was written by a twelve year old, or worse, what an adult thinks a twelve year old likes. In a different movie this character works because he’s so over the top and cannot back it up at all that he’d feel like a parody if the film wasn’t so fucking serious.

Of course this comes to us from Rob Cohen who also came over from the first Fast & Furious so that’s what you’re getting. A lot of pointless explosions, a lot of ridiculous slow-mo and a lot of ridiculously pointless slow-mo explosions, and that’s not even getting into the EXTREME SPORTS portion of the film. Cause there isn’t one, for a film about an extreme sports star there’s very little in the way of extreme, it’s all just cookie-cutter car chases that’s we’ve seen a million times over with nothing new to offer and even the film’s main highlight of an avalanche chase has been done before and better. The whole thing is so fucking dull that if I hadn’t kept yelling at Vin to shut the fuck up I would’ve finished this film without ever realising I’d seen it.

Fuck this, I’ve said extreme way too many times todays, I’m putting too much effort into hating a film that nobody cared about in the first place. 3/10, fuck this shit, I’m out.



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