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Blu-ray Review: xXx: Return of Xander Cage

May 16, 2017

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

When Agent Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) is taken down, and a satellite-controlling device known as Pandora’s Box is stolen by a rebel group led by Xiang (Donnie Yen), extreme athlete turned special agent Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is called back into action to work for the government.

Refusing to work with other soldiers, Xander assembles his own team of young thrill seekers to help him out, including sharp shooter Adele Wolff (Ruby Rose), martial artist Nicks Zhou (Kris Wu), getaway driver Tennyson (Rory McCann), and gadgets expert Becky Clearidge (Nina Dobrev).

Following the 2002 franchise starter xXx, and the 2005 sequel xXx: State of the Union starring Ice Cube, xXx: Return of Xander Cage delivers pretty much exactly what you expect, which turns out to be a good thing.  The film harkens back to the more lighthearted action movies of the 1990s and early 2000s, to offer a solidly entertaining mix of stunt work, hand to hand combat, car chases and shootouts, along with a healthy dose of tongue in cheek humour to let us know that we shouldn’t be taking any of it too seriously.

The one-liners are often amusing, the diverse cast of both old and new players has good chemistry together, and the action scenes are well staged and a lot of fun to watch.  So if you’re in the mood for an unpretentious and fast moving action film that embraces its own outlandishness and aims merely to entertain, xXx: Return of Xander Cage is an enjoyable ride.

The Blu-ray also includes the four production featurettes Third Time’s the Charm: Xander Returns, Rebels, Tyrants & Ghosts: The Cast, Opening Pandora’s Box: On Location and I Live for This Sh#t!: Stunts, as well as a short gag reel.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage is a Paramount release.  It’s 106 minutes and rated 14A.

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