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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (5/16/2017)


Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of gunplay and violent action, and for sexual material and language.

Starring Vin Diesel, Deepika Padukone, Donnie Yen and Samuel L. Jackson

Directed by D.J. Caruso (I Am Number Four, Eagle Eye and Disturbia)


Todd's Rating: A Coaster

Dynamic ImageThere are action movies that ask the audience to check their brains at the door and suspend reality in order to enjoy it, xXx asks us (the audience) to check our brains at the door and put them in a blender.

This is the third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller. In xXx we find extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.

Let me just begin with the only positive thing about xXx. Vin Disel is cool.

Yep, that was it. Everything else about the movie is silly, gratuitous and so forgettable.

The movie begins with a satellite screaming towards Earth and Samuel L. Jackson delivering a speech and some lame "Avengers" joke. Then we see Xander Cage, smirking, winking, and wisecracking his way down a mountain… in the most extreme way possible. And the rest of the film is just as ridiculous.

I blame D.J. Caruso for most of this. He clearly just wanted to see a lot of things blow up. The action rarely makes sense and the editing is terrible. There is a scene where Cage, Serena and Xiang toss around a couple of grenades but then are interrupted by the Russians. So, of course there is a lot of shooting and kicking and punching. But what happened to the grenades? Honestly who cares?

When you watch a chase sequence featuring Cage and Xiang racing motocross bikes/jet skis … yes I said motocross bikes/jet skis you kind of just laugh or look around and wonder why this movie got made.

I know there are fans of the xXx franchise out there… but this movie is a “Coaster” for sure.


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
There is no sex or nudity, but there is plenty of violence.

The F-word is said several times.


CONVERSATION STATER:
  1. What qualities of Xander Cage do you admire?

  2. What qualities of Xander Cage should not be imitated?

  3. How do we decide which is which?

  4. Read Philippians 1:9-10

      And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.

  5. How can we display love, knowledge and discernment?




Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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