Review – xXx: State of the Union (2005)

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xxx-state-of-the-union-5451f2d7b5102Last week, I reviewed one of Vin Diesel’s earliest and well-known films, xXx. I mentioned at some point, I’d try to get around to the sequel, xXx: State of the Union, starring (apparently) Ice Cube as the lead…which I was a bit confused as to how they’d pull that off. First of all, Ice Cube is no Diesel, second of all…the title referred to Vin Diesel’s character’s name. So I was curious as to how they’d explain that. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons, fresh off the success of his last renegade recruitment, once again finds himself in need of an outsider. Gibbons and his new agent must track a dangerous military splinter group, led by General George Deckert, that is conspiring to overthrow the U.S. Government in the nation’s capital. (IMDb)

So first of all, how do they explain Vin Diesel’s absence? He’s dead…okay, but how do they explain his comeback in the next movie? That’s yet to be discovered. Next question – how do they even call this XXX when that referred to Diesel’s name before recruitment to the NSA? They don’t explain….the NSA just now has an XXX program and that’s that. So far, the introduction to the story and the characters is very, very weak. In fact, the only thing that makes this a sequel is the fact that Samuel L. Jackson is back, playing the same character. If Sam Jackson played a different character, this would be a completely different film.

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You see, the first flick relied heavily on the sheer idea that action will solve their problems. The story itself was rather weak, given it’s a basic good vs. evil, save the world type story while Diesel was basically a hardcore 007 agent with spy gadgets and everything. This movie is once again…the opposite. There is action, don’t get me wrong, but because Ice Cube is more of a comedian than action star, the action is tame and fake vs the realism Diesel brought to the screen. They knew it wouldn’t be as great in that area, so it pulled more focus on the story. The story isn’t terrible, but it’s far from great. When comparing the first and second film, the story is better here (yes, it is), but that’s just not enough. Even when they try to introduce spy gadgets, Ice Cube’s like…screw that, where’s my bullets and guns? So it doesn’t even have THAT to fall back on. If I could rename this movie, I’d call it: ICE CUBE: THE MOVIE…and that’s being nice.

I actually wanted to like xXx: State of the Union, because unlike a lot of sequels, this felt purposefully different. I had no idea what was in store when I watched it, but I unfortunately got what I thought I wanted – difference. The problem here is, you can have difference all you want, but when it changes the spirit of the original, then you might as well just call it something else. The action is boring, the story (while better) is not really captivating, the actors are all basically playing stereotyped versions of themselves…it’s just not what I thought it’d be. If you dare…check it out. They are both on Netflix.

RATING: 5.5/10

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One thought on “Review – xXx: State of the Union (2005)

  1. Thanks for the review. Still haven’t seeing this movie (probably won’t), but I am curious to the new one coming out. So maybe with Diesel’s Xander Cage back in the main spotlight, the third XXX movie will be worth it….or maybe not?

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