Published on August 12th, 2002 | by Erich Becker0
XXX (Triple X, man the search engines are going to love this page) does just what is promises, but fails to live up to what some of the critics made it out to be, in my opinion of course. The movie is a high-adrenaline rush full of extreme sports stunts, high-octane driving, one seriously cool Pontiac, and Vin Diesel as the coolest spy this side of Bond. But better than Bond? No way, no how, and any critic that says so is lying through his teeth to please Sony.
Where James Bond, and the 18 movies under his belt, deliver a more cerebral type of spy movie, it is nice to see someone give the standard spy-work a nice kick in the ass to get it into a different gear, but Bond has grown over the years since the disastrous times of Timothy Dalton, and the movies have been getting more and more in touch with high tech gadgets and big explosions, while keeping the thinking man’s spy action alive.
Vin Diesel is Xander Cage, or X as his friends like to call him (stupid nickname, by the way). Xander is well known for video taping his death-defying stunts and making money off of them, a la Jackass. He is so famous that professionals like Tony Hawk (who must have sold his soul to Sony) and Mat Hoffman both appear in the movie to show Xander how much they look up to him. Yeah right…
Which brings up this movies biggest problem, it isn’t believable in any way, shape, or form. At no time during the movie do you believe there is any real danger to any of the characters, and with the cliché “cop switching sides” and “bad guy finds out who you are” plot points inputted between avalanches and a race through Prague in a GTO (sweeeet) you never feel a real connection to the characters because you know they will be okay.
Even before the movie was released in theatres this past weekend, Sony already made it a point to tell everyone that a sequel was on the way. So we know the main character doesn’t die, and all of the satellite characters are meaningless, because if Bond movies prove anything, aside from M, Moneypenny, and Q no one makes the cut to be in a second, third, fourth, or even 19th movie.
The stunts are unreal, but very fun to watch, and while I mentioned they are completely impossible, you still get a kick wondering how they did such a feat. While I don’t think a motocross bike can base jump over a 20 foot fence, or that it can fly over a huge warehouse with a jump off of a trailer, they are still cool things to see. The biggest disappointment was the drastic under use of the spy car. Most of the trailers hyped the card to include tons of weapons and gadgets (wait till you see the dash), but when the time comes the only thing they use are two rockets and a harpoon gun. Yippee! Exciting to say the least.
The movie is the mindless fun we came to expected from Rob Cohen, director of The Fast and the Furious, it has no real plot, events that happen don’t make much sense, but it sure is a cool movie to watch, and watch it you will.