xXx: Return of Xander Cage – Movie Trailer Review

 

Playing major theatres starting in January 2017. Rated R for Role Model, which is exactly what Vin Diesel should be considered to all young men everywhere. 191 seconds.

Remember the first time you saw the Sixth Sense? After that first full viewing of the movie, it became impossible to watch the movie again. You knew the twist. You knew the pay off. The thrill of the first view was gone. I can say with full confidence that based on the trailer, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, doesn’t suffer from will-only-watch-once syndrome.

The green-bander catches your attention from the very get go with the incredibly charismatic Xander Cage, played by Vin Diesel, who you will remember from the first xXx movie, and from his enormous muscles, and if you’re over the age of 30, probably ‘Boiler Room.’  This is a huge deal, since the last xXx movie (known as xXx: State of the Union) featured a protagonist named Darius Stone.

Stone flopped because he didn’t have an X in his name, and because he was played by the cool, but totally phoning it in for his kids Ice Cube. Stone is MIA from the new flick, and that’s a good thing because instead of finding another bored former rapper, Paramount Pictures and company is treating us to Vin Diesel with his dreamy biceps and gravely voice that brought us Groot.

In case you somehow forgot the fully fleshed-out profile of Xander Cage from the first xXx movie, you’ll need just a few quick seconds of this trailer to remind you that Cage is an adrenaline fueled, ass-kicking machine who is regularly coerced into serving his country in between base-jumps. He’d probably make a killing as a GoPro spokesperson, but more than that Cage is part Dominic Toretto, part Richard B. Riddick, part Johnny Utah and part pre-Wahlburgers Marky Mark.  He’s the kind of guy who can kill a batch of bad guys with a BMX, while still managing to snag a high-five while skateboarding down a hill, past a moving bus. Which is exactly what he does in this movie! What will he do next? It’s anyone’s guess, but I’m putting money on ‘retires from extreme sports with crippling arthritis and an oxy-addiction.’

Thanks to the brilliance of Diesel, Xander is the true xXx experience, proven by his ability to dump a whole squadron of backup Special Ops bros out of a plane. “I’m not going to have clowns watching my back,” he snarls, just before snapping into a Slim-Jim.

That airplane stunt allows us to see a whole rag-tag team introduction montage. Yes, this time Xander brings along his friends, and like him they have a penchant for making things up and calling them extreme sports. We have people climbing poles, flipping vans, kicking things and being ridiculous. This is whom Xander has on board because he’s not Ethan Hunt or James Bond, and instead wants to have a good time saving the world. Duh.

Opposite of Diesel is Donnie “He’s the new Jet Li” Yen, playing the bad guy Xiang. He showcases his fancy footwork by perfectly executing a bicycle kick; the very move you had trouble getting right in the arcades on Mortal Kombat. (It was easy, just hold low kick for 5 seconds and release… you noob.) Xiang shoots people, he kicks people again, he beats the crap out of everyone, and he’s looking for something ominously named “Pandora’s Box.”

Maybe he should try Kay Jewelers? No matter – Xander is on the case too and well, what do you know, this trailer has a twist already.  Xander and Xiang team up for a moment, bringing in two out of three expected Xs. I should also point out that Tony Jaa is also in the movie and he’s Ong Bak-ing the shit out of people. Maybe next sequel, he gets an X too.

The first time you watch the trailer, you’ll probably be blown away by the idea of base jumping and skiing through a jungle, since you know, skis typically work best on things like snow, sand or water and not soil… But this movie not only introduces this new extreme anti-alpine interpretation of skiing  -which will probably become so popular we’ll see it as part of the next Olympic – but also brings in several other extreme sports including some kind of three-way grenade oriented version Russian roulette.

Still, what’s the hottest moment of this trailer? No, it’s not the gorgeous half-naked women in swim suits. And no, it’s not the witty banter between Xander and the other half naked woman who happens to be armed. The coolest moment of pure xXx bliss is with the motorcycle that transforms into a jet ski. Not only that, but the fucking motorcycle jet ski GOES UNDERWATER TOO.

Make no mistake, ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ marks a major juncture in how action movies will be done from now on. We’ve seen too many super hero movies, too many space cowboys and too many pirate dramas. It’s time to bring back the action hero that we know and love, and it’s right here with xXx.

Every time you watch this trailer, you’ll be astounded by something new. I promise. Watch it again, and remember Xander’s philosophy of kick ass, get the girl and try to look dope while doing it. Five Russian roulette grenades out of five.

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