“Franchise Retrospective: xXx”

The third film in the xXx franchise is being released Friday. Vin Diesel is reprising his role, but he wasn’t in the latest installment of the series. Ice Cube actually took up the mantle for one film and they didn’t touch the franchise for more than a decade. With sequels becoming more event style films, Vin has decided to come back to the franchise. It’s no secret that the plots to xXx aren’t exactly the reason we watch them. It’s the action, I’ll breakdown the films below.

The action in the original is stylish. The extreme sports aspect was timely for the early 2000’s. Rob Cohen did a really good job keeping you invested in the sequences. You aren’t really getting lost along the way. You can keep track of everything that’s going on. That’s a testament to Cohen. Even now, there’s a ton of shaky cam which is nauseating. Diesel is fun to watch here. He was a modern Bond. Not the suave, ladies man and gentleman. He was forward, pulled no punches, and a hard nosed bad ass. He had a great performance as Xander Cage. It was also good to see Samuel L. Jackson, as the leader of the xXx program.

xXx: State of the Union was more self aware. It’s more of a B movie than the original. The visuals effects are solid, as is the action sequences. This is still a fun film to watch. Just as much dumb fun as the original. Ice Cube is a good addition to these action franchises. He’s believable in the role, and has good comedic timing to break up all the action going on.

All in all xXx is a good, mid level action franchise. When you see a new one is being released it’s worth looking forward to. Im looking ahead to The Return of Xander Cage. Dumb fun in January? Count me in.

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