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XXX

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
2002
Studio: 
Columbia Tri-Star
Genre: 
Action
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.33:1
Directed by: 
Rob Cohen
Cast: 
Vin Diesel
Asia Argento
Samuel L. Jackson
Movie: 
1
Extras: 
4
Bottom Line: 
1

 Everything about Rob Cohen's xXx is extreme. From the base-jumping, rock climbing, rally racing methods of it's lead character to skull crushing nu-metal soundtrack that seemingly accompanies his every onscreen move, xXx plays out like a 100 million dollar Mountain Dew commercial - Big, loud, and dumb as fuck.
 
Diesel plays Xander Cage, an extreme sports star who is recruited by Augustus Gibbons (Jackson with a Silly Putty "scar" appliance that's laughably obvious) to serve the N.S.A. as a new breed of secret agent. Dubbed Triple-X, Xander is given a bunch of gizmos, trained for a week, and then sent into the field to stop a Russian terrorist bent on unleashing a toxic gas called Silent Night on the world. Xander parachutes, snowboards, and slaloms his way into the heart of the terrorist's main squeeze (Argento), who informs the ape-like agent that she wants to help him stop her man's nefarious scheme. When XXX blows his cover (gee, he blends so well in Prague!) Gibbons orders him home, but XXX has other ideas.
 
XXX aspires to be a James Bond for a new generation, and, to an extent, succeeds (This is, of course, the same generation who turned Cohen and Diesel's brainless The Fast and the Furious into a pop-culture phenom). That being said, I never cared for James Bond much either, but at least that series had an undercurrent of libido flapping camp. XXX offers nothing more than loud music, bloodless deaths, and truly inane dialogue of the "I'm to old for this shit" variety. Vin Diesel is a sex symbol and wildly popular actor, but for the life of me I can't understand why. He looks like a pumped up Gumby with all of the expressiveness of a baby cow. When he and Argento (who's a bit easier on the eyes) swap spit, Diesel's maw almost engulfs the actresses head in a disturbing display of anti-eroticism. It's as if this "new Bond" has spent so much time in the weight room watching ESPN and benchpressing small Chevy's that he's never kissed a girl. Hardly the stuff of an international man of mystery.
 
XXX's lone saving grace is it's terrifically impropable action sequences. While they're more laughable than awe-inspiring, they do entertain, even when punctuated by groan inducing one-liners ("You've been Xanderised!").
 
The DVD from Columbia/Tri-Star is, as expected, loaded to the gills with supplemental features, including: Director's Commentary, A Filmmaker's Diary Documentary,"Diesel Powered" Featurette, "Building Speed: The Vehicles of XXX" Featurette,"The GTO is Back" Featurette, deleted scenes, storyboards, a music video by that tool from Bush, and more.
 
While the DVD is loaded with substance, XXX itself is completely devoid of it. I'm sure teenagers with tricked out '88 Nissan Pulsars will eat this right up, but those with more discerning tastes (ie; an education) oughta pass this one up.
 
It's Extreme allright. Extremely bad.

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