Now Available: xXx: STATE OF THE UNION (2005)

Colombia Pictures
Director Lee Tamahori's 2005 actioner, xXx: State Of The Union, wasn't something I caught onto right away when it was released following Rob Cohen's xXx in 2002. Point in fact, I completely dropped the ball even as it arrived on VHS and DVD over the years; It was one of those movies I never got around to.

Low and behold, close to 11 years since then, I've finally had the chance to see it, essentially learning why it bombed as hard as it did at the box office. Looking at it from top to bottom, the film's second half just plays out as a bitter reminder that it supposedly didn't need Vin Diesel to be just as badass. Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube replaces the franchise predecessor in claiming the title role as his own iteration of the titular tattooed badsss, here as a former soldier with a past as a government serviceman done wrong by his superiors.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson returns to carry the film once more in the supporting role of NSA agent Gibbons, joining Cube as they set out to take on a deadly conspiracy that could involve the assassination of the U.S. president by one of own, with the help of Gibbons's other half, Agent Shavers, played by Michael Roof while Scott Speedman joins in as an FBI agent tasked with investigating the attack on Gibbons's NSA base. Actresses Nona Gaye and Sunny Mabrey give the film ample eye candy as the two love interests that are central to Cube's character.

I can't lie - the film works as an action piece with some very fun moments featuring Cube who lends some screen-worthiness as an action star in his own right. However, it is a shame that the rest of the movie voluntarily veers off course and into a direction that just fails well more than the first film under Rob Cohen. Moreover, the fact that it even took ten years for there to even be movement on a third film just goes to show that this stunted franchise was coming from a wrong angle.

Really, the only performances that work here next to Cube are that of Jackson and Speedman, and actor Willem Dafoe who never fails to impress as a scene-stealing actor. Alas, the rest wallows in augmented immaturity and predictability that one needn't really endure unless you're bored one day and have nothing else to do.

Let's hope Diesel's marketability as an actor now helps revitalize his current efforts on xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage next year. It does have Jackson returning along with Jet Li and Tony Jaa, so this could easily be a great film if they do it right. But by all means though, no more Shavers - I get that he's supposed to be the comic relief but he really isn't, so no more of him, please.

Comments

  1. Michael Roof passed away in 2009, so he won't be returning

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah... I stand corrected then. Thanks for the update!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

BEYOND SKYLINE: Frank Grillo And Iko Uwais Battle Aliens In The International Teaser Trailer

Shannon Lee Responds To BIRTH OF THE DRAGON, Calls It A 'Travesty', 'Inaccurate' And 'Insulting'

THE HIT LIST: August 14, 2017