xXx: Return of Xander Cage

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xXx came out in 2002 which, according to my math, is 15 YEARS AGO. I didn’t even watch it in theaters and I still feel old. But that’s okay, because xXx: Return of Xander Cage isn’t concerned with the past. Like its titular Xander (Vin Diesel), Return is all about (A) doing cool shit while looking cool and (B) that’s it. This is Rule of Cool cinema from the first window Donnie Yen jumps through to the last explosion Diesel jumps out of. And while xXx felt kinda mean and empty in its pursuit of style points, everyone seems WAY more chill in this outing: Perhaps owing to the fact Diesel’s pushing 50, he’s assembled a gang of extreme rapscallions to pick up the slack, including an aggressively queer anti-poaching sharpshooter (Ruby Rose) and a Chinese Canadian rave DJ (Kris Wu) who ABSOLUTELY foils a villain with rave DJing. Opposing them is Donnie Yen and his gang of extreme rapscallions (including Tony Jaa!), and opposing EVERYONE are the combined might of at least three branches of both the United States and Russian special forces. by Ben Coleman
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Credits
Director
D.J. Caruso
Cast
Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Vin Diesel