The Daily Cup 16 of 365 xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.

There is no such thing as a guilty pleasure film. If you like a film, enjoy it, guilt free. Film is a subjective art and we need to get off our snob patrols and let people like the movies they like. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is a motorcycle surfing thrill ride that is fun from minute one to very end. I loved every minute of this action fueled thrill ride, it was pure, stupid fun.

The latest entry to the xXx franchise, whose last film happened in 2005. It is a curious choice to revive a franchise over a decade later, but this one worked. They took what was cool in the first two movies; thrilling action sequences, silly gadgets, cool cars, and delightfully dumb dialogue and turned it to eleven. Vin Diesel returns as Xander Cage an extreme sports anti-hero super spy, called once more to save the world. He works alongside a eclectic and diverse team of other anti heroes including Ruby Rose, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, The Hound from GOT, Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone, and Kpop star Kris Wu. They of course save the day and do it in the coolest way possible.

On a very serious note, I was really impressed how diverse the cast of this film was. The women characters were awesome not because they were women, but because they are kick ass spies who happened to be women. Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa are just badasses, not Asian action stereotypes. I was really happy to just enjoy a silly blockbuster and have characters from several races represented. Likely a strategy to help the film make big box office numbers overseas. It did poorly in the US, but more than tripled its take around the world. This has me hoping for a sequel, because this film sets up a franchise very nicely.

 One of many amzingly fun moments in the action sequences

One of many amzingly fun moments in the action sequences

The action sequences are fantastic and have the right amount of intensity and humor added to them. Motorbikes used as weapons, then driven on water (it makes sense in the movie), silly and amazing gun battles (Ruby Rose and Deepika Padukone shine especially in this regard), and my favorite a pitched low gravity battle on a giant plane in a deep dive. It’s all ridiculous, but follows its own extreme action logic the whole time.

A toy box of silly fun and action in every minute. The cast is extremely likeable and delivers the most amazing bad dialogue in the coolest way possible. This is the kind of film I want to watch when I’m in the mood for pure enjoyment and action. Grab some popcorn and a friend and enjoy this ride together.

Tally

Movies new to me watched: 14/292

Other movies: 2/73

Total movies watched: 16/365

Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at kyle@hotchocolatemedia.net or on Twitter at @kbdekker.