Director: D.J. Caruso
Writers: Rich Wilkes (based on characters created by), F. Scott Frazier
Stars: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone
Plot: Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.
Running Time: 1 hour 47 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 45% Audience 38%
Why I Watched it: Well I saw the first two movie and no they weren’t great but B-Action movies is my jam, yes I did just write that and yes you just read that.
Thoughts:Why another XXX movie cause everyone likes franchises, studios, actors and by the box office numbers so do audiences so we go back to see if we can milk a few more dollars or movies from a dead franchise.
The first two movies weren’t very good, the first one was boring and I liked the second one cause it was so silly so the only thing I was interested with this movie was the cast.
What I liked:This is an over the top cheesy silly action movie but you know what get your favorite treat grab a couple of beverages of your choice and enjoy the silliness. I thought the film had a good energy and it wasn’t as boring as the first one, they tried to make Xander Cage a new age James Bond in the first film this time it looks like they were trying to build a team not unlike The Fast And The Furious franchise and I think this works better. They went for a slicker and lighter tone here which suits the film, you can’t take this serious, well you can but don’t.
The director is DJ Caruso and he’s made some really good genre movies, I love an underrated film of his called The Salton Sea and it’s sad he’s a gun for hire but good he’s still working. The good thing here is he knows what he’s making, he’s trying to make a fun action film and he kind of does it.
I like the international cast and if this opens up Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa to a bigger audience I’m cool with that. Oddly the thing I like the most about the film is the team dynamic, I’m a sucker for action films that have a team come together or recruited and even though not everyone works it does throw enough interesting actors at you where at least there’s something for everyone. I do think it was smart cause Xander Cage on his own is just another bland action hero. Now Vin Diesel has settled into these roles, he’s not so much acting as he’s just being his persona, it’s fine but to be fair you don’t buy any of the over the top action sequences he’s in.
What I Didn’t Like: We’ve seen this kind of movie done before and better and yes they rely on almost every action cliche they could think of. Like most so so films they borrow from much better films. The biggest waste here is the cast, Tony Jaa really has nothing to do and he doesn’t get to show off his amazing fighting skills that much. I liked Nina Dobrev she brought some energy to the tech role. Toni Collette is doing her Joan Allen impersonation, I do think she’s in another better film. Samuel L Jackson is picking up a paycheck and it shows.
The main problem here is you just don’t care, there’s no hook for us, it’s a fine looking film but it doesn’t standout and the whole extreme sport thing doesn’t really carry well to this film, it does seem like a lesser Fast and Furious film, I think the big reason for the cats is Diesel just can’t carry a film on his own, Cage is a blank slate, we know nothing about him, he has no arc and Diesel is content to play cool and macho.
Final Thoughts: It wasn’t as bad as I thought, I got through it and smiled at the silliness of it all, I call these type of films “they are what they are” it delivered on the poster kind of movie. It was a harmless but generic action movie.