‘XXX Return of Xander Cage’ Movie Review: Vin Diesel Resurrects Xander Cage And The ‘XXX’ Franchise

Xander Cage

It has been 12 years since the last entry in the XXX series, which featured Ice Cube in the title role and the absence of Vin Diesel as Xander Cage whose last time in the role was 15 years ago. In XXX Return of Xander Cage the series goes back to the roots and brings back Xander in a new mission. The likelihood of a sequel to this series was seemingly slim, but after many years they decided it was the right time to bring it back. With such a huge time gap  it would be difficult to jump back into the franchise so with all of this at the front of my mind the question is does this movie do the series justice and is it any good? The answer to that question is it is an enjoyable mixed bag.

The plot of the film revolves around Pandora’s Box. A military device with the ability to control satellites that are currently orbiting the planet. This device could be used to cause devastating attacks, so the XXX program is brought back again to stop it. Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), who was thought to have been dead is currently residing in South America until he’s brought back into the fold to find Pandora’s Box and stop it from falling into the wrong hands. With the help of a crack team, Xander goes looking for the villain Xiang (Donnie Yen) who stole it and discovers that there is much more to this than meets the eye.

The first thing that is worth mentioning in this is that it’s an action film from beginning to end. The things that work best in the film is getting to see the main characters use weapons as well as the Martial Arts Talent on display. With as much technical skill as they always have Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa shine as some of the most thrilling performers in the film. Their talents are on full display here in some really intense and impressive sequences. They are really the best elements of the film. The rest of the cast including Vin are good at doing these action sequences as well and every character gets ample time to join in on the fun.

While the action may be a lot of fun the film has a good amount of weak elements. The  weakest of which is the script. The dialogue in the film is extremely poor and contains some of the silliest lines in an action movie in recent years, but this is very similar in the ways in which the first two films were written. A lot of these moments of dialogue are laughable with some of that being intentional as well as unintentional. In addition to the dialogue being poor the acting from some of the characters is weak and the plot is very standard action film territory. It almost feels like a throwback to the late 90s action films and how formulaic they were. There is nothing spectacular or extremely original about the characters or the plot itself.

Another part that is actually fun is that it feels like the culmination of the XXX series. I recently saw the first two films and going in having it be so fresh in my mind allowed me to enjoy the return of certain characters and plot elements that were established in those films. The return of Xander to the series feels right, which makes the film the best of the series.

Overall I still found myself enjoying the film. It was a blast to see the returning characters as well as the fun martial arts and action sequences. It’s by all means a bad film technically, but an entertaining one at that if you enjoy ridiculously silly action films. If you enjoyed the other films in the series I highly recommend you see this because it is the absolute best out of the three and you will not be disappointed.

Score: 6.5

So what do you think of the series? Let us know in the comments!

Christian Michael Stoic

Christian Michael Stoic

Christian Michael Stoic is a writer, filmmaker, and comic lover from Los Angeles, CA. Heroic Hollywood is his introduction into the world of Journalism which...