Best Bad Action Movies #10: xXx

Year 2002
Stars Vin Diesel

Plot Tired of losing agents to terrorist organization, Anarchy 999, the NSA hires extreme spots bad boy, Xander Cage to infiltrate the group, wear an amazingly huge fur coat, and save the world.

Rammstein playing their weekly church show in Prague. No big whoop.

Highlights Much like the second Expendables, xXx is a throwback to the action flicks of yore. It is mindless action set around a ludicrous plot involving a group trying to kill the world, or something – it even has a screwy WMD (as if we needed to invent another one). It has a huge scope and does not care how many aspects are entirely unbelievable or completely inaccurate – in fact, it thrives on them. And, much like the old bad action movies (or BAM), it involves Eastern Europeans as the villains (how I miss the old days), who are inexplicably evil – a BAM must. … Personally, I believe that, given the correct role and direction, Vin Diesel can deliver a decent performance. Neither are present here. Vin throws in the perfect BAM display – his one-liners are forced, he is often robotic, he has the hulking voice, he brings the ripped physique that had become optional after the turn of the century, and most of all, he commits to the absurdity of the flick. … There are a wealth of great lines. … The Eastern European accents and stereotypes are second to none. I mean, the movie opens with fricking Rammstein playing a concert in a small, old building that looks like a converted church because… well, its Eastern Europe! What the hell else do they do at night? … Sam Jackson plays Xander’s heavily facial scarred boss and does not suck like he did in Avengers. … Oh yeah, did I mention Xander Cage is an extreme sports nut turned secret agent?

While photoshopped, this is not much more of a stretch than what actually made the final cut.

Drawbacks The glaring weakness in xXx is the PG-13 rating. There are no boobies nor gratuitous blood. These are keys to the BAM genre. … The movie clocks in at over two hours. The editors inability to whittle down a BAM under the two-hour mark is unforgivable.

Best Take When Xander first encounters Anarchy 999, he has a “witty” exchange with Yelena.
Yelena: Conversation. A word with four syllables. Do you want some ice before your brain overheats.
Xander: Ice. Yeah, you could chisel some off your heart, [terribly awkward pause] if you could find it.

Many Bothans died to make that coat.

Justification I admit, this entry was questionable. I have a soft spot in my heart (I can find it.) for xXx for a few reasons. First, it is a throwback to the golden years and I was hoping it would continue as a franchise with Diesel at the helm – as he turned in a lovely BAM performance. Unfortunately, this proved not to be the case, as Vin went on to choose some terrible (and not funny) roles – with the possible exception of the sometimes entertaining Fast & Furious franchise. But there is hope! According to IMDb, a third installment of the xXx franchise has been announced with Vin as the lead. Yes, they disclosed in the awful sequel (with Ice Cube as the lead), that Xander Cage had been assassinated, but what is more BAM then bringing back a character who was killed in the previous film? Second, while it does not have the bloody action, there is still a shitton of ridiculous action going on in this flick. Xander’s character allows the director to take full advantage of having him do extreme sports-ish stuff all over the place while explosions and gunfire erupt around him. Finally, the movie looks very good. Opting to go with real stunts and kabooms! over CGI translates into a movie that is a decade old, but looks like it could have been made today.

Next Up? Part cop, part animal lover, part joint hater, all badass.

About Judas Pato

Just another hard working member of the press, covering the Chicago Bulls and nonsense - often both, simultaneously.
This entry was posted in Movies, Top Ten Best Bad Action Movies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s