xXx: The Return of
Xander Cage

2 Waffles!

This movie is further proof the world is not running out of overgrown boys who want to see stuff blow up while sexy, exotic ladies wearing bikinis walk in slow motion.

Vin Diesel is back as Xander Cage – a CIA agent in the secret xXx program who is thought to be dead. Of course, you couldn’t have a movie if he really was dead, so we learn he has been hiding out all over the world riding his skateboard, loving beautiful women and generally finding ways to fight The Man. However, his idea of being incognito includes becoming some sort of Robin Hood who wears a huge xXx tattoo on his neck. Very subtle.

A superskilled group of thieves has broken into the CIA building in New York City and stolen a device which can control any satellite in the sky, including the ability to drop it on whoever they might want. Needing an equally superskilled group of people to take it back and stop the device from falling into the hands of our enemies, Agent Jane Marke has found Cage and convinced him to take on the task.

Who stole the device?

Can Xander and his motley crew take it back?

As far as mindless entertainment goes, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is entertaining. The reason a character like this exists and becomes the center of a franchise is because we like to see someone who can throw a strong punch with one hand while popping off with a witty (or half-witty) one-liner. This is the movie’s strong suit as Cage constantly has comeback after comeback and Diesel gets to ham it up with his machismo and tough guy attitude. It’s kind of campy, but you have to laugh at it as if it was meant to be so.

Yet, writer F. Scott Frazier doesn’t stop there. He gives us some comic relief as Nina Dobrev shows up as some sort of Q character who provides the tech support, Deepika Padukone is the sexy femme fatale who will trade sexually charged dialogue with Cage and Donnie Yen is the other leader of the thieves who has enough ability to match Cage step for step. It’s a very equitable distribution of one-liners giving almost every single character in the movie a chance to let one fly.

Then, in between bon mots, director D.J. Caruso blows stuff up. It starts off basic, but exciting. However, Caruso continues to escalate the action to absurd levels. By the end of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, you might think he is some sort of combination of Superman, Batman and James Bond.

This movie will entertain you, but let’s not consider it to be anything special.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of gunplay and violent action, and for sexual material and language.

107 Minutes