Bru’s Reviews – xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE BRINGS BACK DARING DIESEL AND DARLING DAMES January 31, 2017 – Posted in: Bru's Reviews

 

By Bru-Hed
All original written content is (c) 2017 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed art is ©2012 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.

NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Vin Diesel takes a FAST & FURIOUS break to come back as the franchise-focus, assemble a new team, and go after a gadget that can control spy satellites and turn them into lethal missiles. Of course, not all is as it (and they) seems, and all hell breaks loose.


BRUS-REVIEWS-BUTTON

 

Written by Rich Wilkes (based on characters created by F. Scott Frazier). Directed by D.J. Caruso.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROS:

  • Overall I liked the casting. Diesel is his usual big-and-ripped, tattooed, caveman-growl smartass-self, going from laid-back to high-fightin’ speed and back again in a blink.

  • The ladies? Indian babe Serena (Deepika Padukone) has eyebrows as big as hedgehogs, but they work with her giant brown soul-peepers and long dark hair (the bikini and skin-tight pants didn’t hurt either); the green-haired sniper-chick Adele (Ruby Rose) does a great job too, and when she and India team-up for target practice, it’s a beer-gutted guy’s gun moll fantasy come to life. The new IT-girl Becky (Nina Dobrev) was fine. Toni Collette as the cold government-chief Marke was sorta-sexy and played up the authority-thing well.

  • Best dudes? Having the new STAR WARS; ROGUE ONE monk (actor/real martial arts champion Donnie Yen) do his Kung Fu thing in Flash-like speed was awesome. Sam Jackson is his usual psycho-cool self but only in cameos. Nice to see Kansas City Chiefs future Hall-Of-Farmer tight end Tony Gonzalez as a military moose, too. (I’ll let the ladies and gay dudes make their own “tight-end” jokes; but, sorry, he only wears baggy cameos.)
  • I go to these flicks to see action, and, once this gets going, I got it! Bullets and beatings, weapons and wrecks, kicks and crashes, fights and fists, you name it. Rapid-fire, slow-mo and regular speed. Stupendous and silly, cool and crazy. Bam-bam and boom-boom!
  • The other reason I see these are the babes, boobs and butts, and again, I got ‘em. No nudity, sadly, but I haven’t seen this many close-ups of full lips, bikini bottoms, flat tummies and tight tops since the last Michael Bay BAD BOYS movie! (Probably not bring-your-female-date-type fair, unless she dresses slutty and has a bi-streak in her. In which case, please send me photos.)

  • We meet future (and previously unseen) members of the xXx program.
  • Motorcycle jet-skis! Sky-skiing and split-second skateboarding! Sharpshooting through a half-inch hole! Flying through a plane into the clouds without a chute! Super-stunt work and green-screen goodness abound.
  • Story was decent and actually had some unseen twists—there’s a couple “big reveals” that took me by surprise. Or maybe I was too hypnotized by the action and T&A to notice what was obvious to others. Doesn’t really matter.
  • Special cameo near the end by another star and his car. All I can say without spoilers.
  • Plenty of room for a sequel…or four, depending on Diesel’s contract and future grosses. I think the studio’s trying to make this another Fast & Furious-type franchise. (Good luck.)

 

 

 

CONS:

  • As I said above, “once this gets going,” it rocks solid. Problem is, other than one awesome extreme-skateboard scene to introduce Xander Cage, the movies spends 30 minutes or more just assembling his team. A bunch of people chatting and standing and basic set-up that should have been trimmed. Less talky and walky, more shooty and booty!

  • I’d swear the writer of the first half was different than the second. Most of the dialog in the first part was just “too clever,” you know, the type that only movie characters speak. Just too many unnatural quick quips and snarky comments from too many characters; especially when the tech girl was introduced. Who talks like that, ever? (She gave Cage a line about a “safe word” that they said three times, and then was never mentioned again. I think a scene was cut out.)
  • Suspension Of Disbelief Dept.: Like I need to mention this? Turn off the brain because there’s a lot of things you’ll never see in a physics class. Some of it was so over-the-top I had to laugh. (But that sometimes added to the fun.)

  • When doing an image search on the Web for pics of this flick, make sure you type xXx and add the words, “Xander Cage,” “New release,” or “Vin Diesel” or something, because searching just “xxx movie” will get you a lot of…err…“not safe for work” images!
  • No button at the end! More wasted opportunity for a laugh or future setup.

 

OVERALL RATING:

See ItSEE IT.

Other than some scenes, I wouldn’t watch it twice unless there was nothing better on cable after I had a couple six-packs. But this was definitely what I should have seen last week instead of the Ben Affleck mob movie. Didn’t go for the 3D but there are several parts that look like they’d work well for it; up to you if you wanna blow the dough. But definitely see it in the big seats, because the action deserves the size. To paraphrase Sam Jackson, this kicks some ass, gets the girls, and looks dope doin’ it!


Later,
Bru

 

P.S.: You want action, muscle guys, hot babes and/or hot cars? Get an original art commission from Pascale! He’ll draw you up somethin’ awesome in good time at a fair price. Just ask Craig here!

 

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, secret government agencies, bikini babes, stuntmen, the NFL, or big muscle guys with tons of tats. Bru would like to get a tat, but prefers tit instead. (He’d like to give tat in exchange but so far no one will take him up on it. Who’d trust him with a needle?)

 

 

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