26 February 2017

Some Trash Potato

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XXX: Return Of Xander Cage is an interesting title because it implies that people give one solitary fuck about Xander Cage. That's about the only thing interesting about the movie really. If it wasn't for the fact that XXX was in the title and that the poster featured the giant chicken nugget-like head of Vin Diesel, then I really wouldn't have a clue who Xander fucking Cage was. The film begins fairly promisingly with a Donnie Yen fight and then Diesel himself skateboarding down a hill. Sadly I hadn't realised that as Diesel was going down hill, the film would manage to beat him to the bottom. In fact, I've quite literally seen two people banging each other in an Amsterdam titty booth and yet I've never seen anything going down faster than the quality of XXX: Return Of Xander Cage. As Donnie Yen lay the smackdown on a bunch of goons, I stupidly thought I might actually enjoy this film too. I love the Fast And The Furious movies from the fifth instalment onwards, so maybe this would be in a similar vein to those? Well, if Fast Five, Six, and Seven are the film equivalent of a steroid-addled super-freak, then XXX: Return Of Xander Cage is both tedious and predictable- the film equivalent of watching a bodybuilder lift too much and accidentally rupture his anus.

Xander Cage is forced to return to action because people with reasons insist that he must. Have you seen literally any generic action movie made within the last thirty years? Then you'll be able to predict each beat of this movie to the point that watching it is a bit like having alzheimers. Everything seems kind of familiar but without anything being specifically recognisable. Who are these people? Have I seen them before? They don't look familiar but I know exactly what they're going to do at every turn! At one point, Vin Diesel pops on a fur coat that looks fucking ridiculous. I'm sure it was meant to make him look cool but he just looked like somebody had left the cowardly lion from the Wizard Of Oz to fester for a few decades. Possibly as a result of this, he decides that he needs a team to help him complete his mission. I assume his cowardice is the reason anyway, because at least two members of his team do quite literally fuck all to actually help either him or the story in any way. As we're introduced to the members, a title screen flashes up a la Suicide Squad, to give us a bit of quirky information about them. With one of the members that did fuck all, it states “He's fun to be around”. He wasn't. I didn't catch his name but mentally I spent the movie referring to him as Paint Dry.

And speaking of peoples names... I can only assume that Xander Cage has been working undercover as Dominic Toretto because I honestly can't tell the difference between them. In fact, the only thing I could find to separate them is that Toretto says the word “family” a bit more than Cage and Cage is a little more of an adrenalin junkie than Toretto is. I can only assume that Cage's need to show off by performing the most dangerous stunt he can is his way of compensating for something. Probably the fact that he looks like Humpty Dumpty, and so falling off a wall just wouldn't be cool enough. At one point he asks a member of his team if their next stunt will be difficult, to which she responds “It'll be like looking for needles in a stack of needles”. I don't know about you but that sounds fucking easy. Looking for a needle in a hay stack sounds hard, but needles in a needle stack? Fucking take your pick as to which needle you want. I have a whole fucking stack of them over there for some reason. Presumably for when this movie gets as painfully fucking boring as it does at around the seventy minute mark and I need something to slam directly into my own eyeballs.

There are two main problems with this movie, with the first obviously being that there's so little freshness to it that if it were an item of clothing, it'd be in a charity shop and you'd just know that somebody had died in it. The other is in quite how much the film is like watching Vin Diesel pop his stumpy little legs over his big bald head and attempt a spot of skull-buggery. However just because he wants to swallow slop like this, I don't see why we have to. XXX: Return Of Xander Cage fawns all over Diesel as though it's a fat person looking at an advert for the museum of discounted chocolate. When we're not meant to be picking our jaws off the ground from how brilliant he is however, it seems that every female character can't help but obsess over him. I can only assume that they must have mistaken him for something more interesting, like, I don't know.. the worlds biggest potato or something.

I wouldn't mind if he actually was attractive or if he wasn't so smug about being considered so irresistible, but he honestly looks like somebody has tried to sculpt a camel out of old bits of dick. At one point he meets a woman who is so gushy over him that she completely loses her shit and starts talking pure bollocks. I think the message of the scene is that she's in love with him, but for the first few minutes I honestly just thought she must have special fucking needs. Of course you could probably say the same thing about James Bond in that the female characters just drop their pants when laying eyes on him too. Well, firstly, that is slightly more believable with Daniel Craig, or Sean Connery, and secondly, I guess this blatantly misogynistic depiction of women is a problem for that franchise too. When the first XXX was released in 2002, it claimed that Bond was on his way out and that it was his rightful successor. Well, they were right in that in 2002 the Bond film to be released was Die Another Day, which was also a generic and boring action film. However in the last fifteen years the Bond franchise has evolved whereas I'm not even quite sure that Vin Diesel has ever evolved.. let alone this shitty franchise. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.