xXx in a Day

A series in which I watch the entirety of a movie franchise in one sitting and then I share with you some of my thoughts on said franchise. This month: xXx.

First of all, can I suggest that you don’t just Google ‘xXx’ at any point. Unless of course you’re after porn, in which case you’ll definitely want to Google ‘xXx’. In relation to that, if you’re reading this because you thought that it was about porn, I have some terrible news for you.

The xXx series currently consists of two films: xXx (2002) and xXx: State of the Union (2005). There will be a third one in January of next year so it seems like a perfect time to refresh my memory of the series. I had some vague memory of watching them but nothing substantive enough that would mean I knew what to expect. This was effectively, my stream of consciousness throughout the xXx-perience:

xXx (2002)

  • Opening with angry, German, punk music – now I know it’s about being extreme.
  • Out of all the intelligence agencies in the US? The NSA? Aren’t they all coders and hackers that spy on peoples’ emails?
  • “They can smell the training on our agents a mile away.” – so we’ll throw random civilians in there instead. These are not good choices Samuel L. Jackson.
  • This is literally kidnapping. Kidnapping and wilful endangerment of life: not the best recruitment process.
  • “I LIVE FOR THIS SHIT!” – said Vin Diesel, the world’s most wooden actor. Which casting director thought it was a good idea to hire him as a wild thrill seeker?
  • Do they have to begin every single scene with a shot of his tattoo?
  • I am so down with the impossible stunts in this movie: jumping a motorbike through the gap in some barbed wire may not be logically sound but it looks dope.
  • “Kiss my ass, scarface.” – Jesus Christ, just go back to jumping bikes. The less dialogue, the better.
  • So Vin Diesel’s character likes cars, particularly GTOs. Interesting…
  • “Bitches: come.” – who wrote this???
  • Naturally playing Call of Duty automatically makes you an arms expert.
  • The creepiest, most uncomfortable kiss ever on film. It’s hard to look at the screen.
  • Russian scientists: this sounds hella original.
  • Dramatic rooftop scene with pretty, sad music and rousing inspirational speech all culminating in… are they eating each other’s faces? Add kissing to the list of things that this film can’t get right.
  • Why are there 30 more minutes of this movie? This is so unnecessary.
  • Vin Diesel doesn’t really age, does he?

xXx: State of the Union (2005)

  • Okay, next movie: I have a very strong feeling that it’s going to be worse than what I just saw. Fortunately, I now have snacks.
  • There are horses – this seems much more chill.
  • Scratch that, everyone’s dead.
  • Did they name an NSA facility after xXx?
  • They have a new director and cast – Samuel L. Jackson is the only constant.
  • The new xXx is Ice Cube and he’s playing… an angry black man. Mind-blowing.
  • One line is dedicated to explaining Vin Diesel’s disappearance. Apparently he died in Bora Bora. There are worse ways to go.
  • The prison break’s new. And fun. Maybe this won’t totally suck.
  • “I don’t blend.” – well you’re not going to be a very good secret agent, bro.
  • “It wasn’t an attack; it was a diversion!” – you see, if you watched a movie every now and then, you would have seen that coming.
  • It’s a sequel so now we’re blowing up boats instead of motorbikes. I guess that’s logistically more impressive because of all the water around them…
  • The music is a step up. Now our main character is black, we get to hear a lot of background hip-hop.
  • We can also make racist jokes because we have a black guy and that means it’s totally okay. Yay. Now we just have to make them funny.
  • It’s only halfway through and I’m kind of done – I’m fairly certain of the plot. Sequels suck.
  • Another film where Sam Jackson is dead and then his subordinates mourn but then he’s not really dead. Did the Russo brothers steal from xXx?
  • “Compassion? Understanding? What world are you living in?” – these films have the worst villains with just awful dialogue.
  • And we end promising a completely new face for the new xXx. Ha ha. Flash forward 12 years to that amazing new trailer with of presumed dead Vin Diesel.

Overall, that wasn’t terrible. The first one was definitely better than the sequel (although the first one wasn’t great either). Let’s not focus on the plots – because the directors didn’t seem to think that that was important either. The stunts are amazing and based on the trailer for the new film, I would guess that they’re really focusing on those this time around.

xXx is never going to win an Oscar and if you have a free afternoon, I wouldn’t recommend watching the first two movies but they are really good at blowing things up and looking cool emerging from said explosions.

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