Director: DJ Caruso
Notable Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette, Samuel L Jackson, Nicky Jam, Rory McCann, Michael Bisping, Ariadna Gutierrez, Hermione Corfield, Tony Gonzalez, Neymar Jr.
Fifteen years is a long time. In the grand spectrum of things it’s not a super long time, but for a franchise like xXx, it’s long enough to create a James Bond meets X-games knock off, lose your key star who refuses to return, try and replace him in an inferior sequel, die, become a footnote in the history of the action films, allow said original star to revitalize two of his other franchises, and then recruit a series of new talent and the original star back for a surprise third entry. A third entry that, in all seriousness, is easily the best of the franchise. “How can this be,” you ask. “How can xXx: Return of Xander Cage exist?” Considering that Vin Diesel has elevated two of his other franchises (The Fast and the Furious and Riddick) from the bowels of hell, is it that odd? What does make it odd is that Return of Xander Cage is so much fun. While the first two entries have their merits as B-movie entertainment, they leave a lot to be desired, but Vin Diesel has learned a lot from the re-emergence of his other two franchises and takes those lessons to heart for this third entry. It’s not as good as either of those series, just in principal it lacks a sense of grounded seriousness, but Return of Xander Cage is outrageously entertaining. What can I say except that, despite some very distinct eye rolling at the first third of the film, I had a blast.