xXx

xXx

*1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

There are action pictures with style (James Bond). There are action pictures with humour (Jackie Chan). There are action pictures with stunts (xXx). All are valid. What is less than forgivable is vulgarity and Vin Diesel's follow up to The Fast And The Furious has oodles of that.

Even a scarred Samuel L Jackson can't save this alleged movie from choking on its own screenplay. Vin Diesel's acting makes Steven Seagal look convincing. One-liners are lost on him and, for a man whose sex appeal depends on a smouldering scowl, he should be told not to open his mouth. Also, he's surprisingly lumpen in the running-about sequences.

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The plot is positively puerile. It's an excuse to spend money on explosives. Essential requirements are tattoos, motorbikes, fast cars, bald heads, skateboards, snowboards, any kind of gun, Prague. Dialogue is of the "Catch him fast, kill him slow" variety. Any man with a mental age of 14 will love it. Any woman who thinks a painted hunk with fat lips and a double chin is bonkabloodybeautiful needs to stand in the rain for half an hour.

Forget the story, stunts have usurped spontaneity. Extreme feats of cinematic daring, involving scrambler bikes, parachutes, a snowboard and every available metal object are visually exciting, while on earth actors chew the scenery.

In many ways, xXx continues where The Fast And The Furious left off. Sex is speed, girls are furniture. The soundtrack becomes more important than the script and the camera's taking drugs. Noone dares ask Sam Jackson what he's doing here.

For those who notice such trivia, the best thing about Vin's entry into The Guinness Book Of Bad Choices is the poster.

Reviewed on: 17 Oct 2002
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xXx packshot
Extreme action picture with Vin Diesel as rookie special agent in Prague.
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Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: Rich Wilkes

Starring: Vin Diesel, Asia Argento, Marton Csokas, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Roof, Richy Müller, Werner Daehn, Petr Jákl, Jan Pavel Filipensky, Tom Everett, Danny Trejo

Year: 2002

Runtime: 124 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US

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