Film Review: xXx : The Next Level

xXx: State of the Union

xXx: The Next Level

Runtime: 101 Minutes
Tagline: Prepare for the next level
IMDb Rating: 4.3

Ice Cube Darius Stone/XXX
Samuel L. Jackson Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons
Willem Dafoe General George Deckert
Scott Speedman Agent Kyle Christopher Steele

Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Written by: Rich Wilkes (characters), Simon Kinberg (written by)

The first xXx wasn’t bad as a film & actually out shined Die Another Day in the same year. An outdoor sports junkie super-spy, a dream job for many I’m sure, making it as escapist as it can get. Some wishing for such a job offer, some wishing they had the chops for it. Vin Diesel made it his own; as believably as such films can allow.

With success obviously comes franchising. The inevitable sequel was on it’s way. Referred to in the United States as ‘State of the Union’, it was to release in the U.K. as ‘xXx 2: The Next Level’, robbed directly from it’s American version tagline.

The fact Vin Diesel didn’t want to do the sequel in itself was a bad sign. Then they picked up the director of that inferior film of that year that I mentioned above, topping off this disaster in the making with an Ice Cube. They couldn’t have really cast somebody that unbelievable to replace the protagonist, unless, maybe this was re-written accordingly & going to be a comedy now?! Trailers didn’t seem that way, but they are known to lie.

So, all this negativity and trepidation put aside, I decided to give it a chance. You know how some brain dead piles of waste can still be entertaining provided you take it for what it is? It might be one of those, I told myself. Those films that pleasantly surprise with how ‘not bad’ it was. Oh how wrong I was.

It was utter shite, absolutely horrible. The shaky camera work, the awful dialogue, Ice Cube’s one single constipated expression. The over the top unintended cheese was the only cringing highlight when I seek one clutching at a single mutilated straw. Samuel L Jackson phones it in, likely contracted to. Willem Dafoe & Scott Speedman are wasted in such a mess. A rare thing to come from me but a total 2 thumbs down!

Apologies to the colleagues I dragged along to see this.


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