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Synopsis:

The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments. Packed with the series’ signature deadpan wit and bad-ass attitude, “xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE” will raise the bar on extreme action with some of the most mind-blowing stunts to ever be caught on film.

donnie-yen-and-vin-diesel

What We Thought:

XXX: Return of Xander Cage is way over the top, but a lot of fun. If you liked the original with Vin Diesel, you’ll like this one as well.

I liked the first film that came out 15 years ago. Overall I enjoy Vin Diesel’s work. I was looking forward to this, but not quite as much as the next Fast & Furious film. After seeing this, I can’t imagine how crazy that one will be because this one is so over the top ridiculous.

Not that you go into this wanting a plot driven drama, but the plot involves a new technology that can crash satellites on to targets wiping out everything around the crash. A team of ghosts steal the technology and Cage comes out of retirement to get it back along with a new team he hand picks. That’s all you need to know.

The best part of the film is Donnie Yen. We here at The Nerds Templar are huge Yen fans and love seeing him breaking through in American cinema. With a major role in this film along with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, American audiences are finally seeing more from him then they did in Blade 2 and Highlander: End Game. I wasn’t sure what type of role he would have here, but he gets second billing behind Diesel and has a significant (and badass) role. Tony Jaa (who we also enjoy) is in the film as well, but it’s more a supporting character like what we saw of him in Furious 7.

That’s the surprising thing about this flick, it’s highly diverse. It’s not getting the diversity love that Rogue One did for some reason though. Along with Diesel, who is biracial, and Yen and Jaa, Indian actress Deepika Padukone also plays a major role. The absolutely stunning actress is far more than the expected love interest. She’s pretty badass herself and handles action scenes with Ruby Rose quite well. I expect to see a lot more of her in American films/TV if she chooses.

But you are watching this movie for the action and there’s plenty of it. Whether it’s Diesel skiing down a mountain without snow, dirt bikes turning into jet skis and riding waves or big shoot outs, there’s plenty of loud in your face action. Plus the plane sequence towards the end is fantastic. Yen and Diesel and a plane full of soldiers equals one of the better action scenes in years.

Critics are going to crush XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. They will call it sexist because there are shots of beautiful women for the sake of having shots of beautiful women. But there are multiple women in the film who serve major points. Toni Collette is the woman in charge. I mentioned Padukone and Rose already and Nina Dobrev plays a nerdy tech support that’s vital to the team. It’s an action movie with loud explosions, beautiful women and men and it’s a good way to kill a few hours just having fun. Plus there’s a fantastic cameo. That’s all I wanted from it.

RECOMMENDED!

Cast & Crew:

  • Vin Diesel
  • Donnie Yen
  • Tony Jaa
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Toni Collette
  • Ruby Rose
  • Deepika Padukone
  • Nina Dobrev

Recommended If You Like:

  • XXX
  • The Fast & the Furious Franchise
  • Vin Diesel

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