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@duffythewriter Return Of Xander Cage Review

I mentioned in a social media post recently that I was afraid that Vin Diesel was suffering from Stallone-itis.  In that, he wakes up and actually believes he is a mash-up of Xander Cage and Dominic Toretto. Watching XxX Return of Xander Cage confirmed this for me.

So how did XxX Return of Xander Cage hold up?

This movie was so ridiculous; it was hilarious. Starting right from the first time we see Xander Cage living it up in a shanty town and sorting out the satellite TV so the locals can watch the soccer. A little kid looks up to Xander and says “Thank you for bringing the world to us Xander Cage.” Cue a huge groan and muffled laughter from the audience as Xander kneels down and gives the kid some philosophical advice about “holding the world in your heart”. Touching stuff.

The rest of the movie is pretty much like that with a few awesome and not so awesome action scenes. Yes, you may say “what do you expect from a film like this? It’s hardly going to be plot and character driven.” But, XxX Return of Xander Cage doesn’t even try.

The Cast

I have no idea what Academy Award-nominated Toni Collette is doing in this movie. She is a fantastic actress, but in this one, as dastardly Jane Marke, she walks around with a strange frozen face, talking as if she should have a ventriloquist dummy on her lap, her eyes looking dead the whole time.  I don’t blame her; maybe she was just reconciling what a huge mistake she had made in signing up.

Nina Dobrev holds up well as agent Becky Clearidge but begins to grate as the movie rolls along. Samuel L. Jackson basically plays Jules from Pulp Fiction after he decided to ‘walk the earth’, and is lucky to have limited screen time, which may help him escape the wrath of the impending movie criticism.

Then there is Ruby Rose. I understand why she was signed up for this movie, but she seemed to have very little in the way of the storyline (equally the others, this movie is all bout Xander) and lines. Ruby seems to spend the film commentating on what’s happening and asking Xander Cage if she can shoot this or that person. Maybe the writers didn’t know what to do with her, which is a shame. It will be interesting to see how her acting holds up in the upcoming Resident Evil and  John Wick movies.

The plot holes are glaring and an hour in I was done. The clichés were just too much and as mad as the world is at the moment, I would rather believe that Batman and Thor can save us over a professional footballer and a DJ.

Should You Spend Your Money?

I hope that this movie is meant to be a tongue in cheek comedy, but I came out of the movie with a niggling feeling that it wasn’t. The Expendables at least has a balance of comedy and action. It also has two things that XxX Return of Xander Cage does not. Actors that can act, and characters that you care about.

Don’t waste your money seeing this at the movies (it’s expensive!) wait until you can watch it at home for a bit of a laugh when you need a midweek boost.

1 out of 5, purely for the laughs it gave me, Ice Cube, and the return of that spectacular flea bitten coat.

Out in cinemas now.

Return of Xander Cage XxX review @duffythewriter