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xXx (DVD)

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    24 Reviews
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      19.08.2011 19:51
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      This is a great movie by vin diesel. So if you're looking for an action-packed movie then watch it.

      This is a great movie if you're into action movies. I watched this movie 7-8 years ago for the first time and watched it again after that. When I watched this movie for the first time I figured wow a lot of action in the movie. The story line of this movie isn't the best and I would definitely not try to give a high ranking for it. I felt that writer of the movie wanted to copy a lot of things from 007 but Vin Diesel is not a kind of actor that should be compared to a 007. Vin Diesel is like a wrestler and macho type invidual who wants to kick ass but on the other hand james bond character are extremely smart and skillful with their gadgets. These 2 characters are completely different characters that they shouldn't be mixed but somehow the writer and the producers of the movie felt otherwise. In terms of action I would definitely rank this movie very high because there are a lot of scenes in the movie which are full of action.

      Now I should tell you a bit about the plot of the movie. NSA operative Augustus Gibbons played by Samuel L. Jackson runs a project to find the right person to infiltrate Anarchy 99. Augustus Gibbons fighures that he should try to find a brutal style of agent for the job. So searches among many criminals and finally after a test he chooses xander cage for the job. Finally Xander Cage gets sent to Czech republic to do the required job and this is where the real action begins. Like I said earlier a lot of things in the movie were copied from 007 such as using special gagdets. Xander Cage doesn't do a bad job using these tools. One of the great scenes that I really liked in this movie was when he was on the skate board trying to fight the enemy. Somehow I got a feeling that skateboarding wasn't actually done by Vin Diesel himself but I maybe wrong. Specially the part where he used a grenade to start up an avalanche. That scene was extremely impressive.
      Overall I would give this movie 7/10. For the action I would give it 9/10 and for the storyline I would give it 5/10 which would be an overall rating of 7/10. If you're looking for an action-packed movie then this is the movie for you but if you're looking for another 007 then it's not the one for you. So if you're looking to have some fun for weekend then go ahead and get your popcorn and enjoy the movie.

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      03.08.2011 22:07
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      XXX - good film to watch with your clothes on!

      James Bond has always had imitators to deal with throughout the years, The Man from Uncle, Matt Helm to name just a few. It's always interesting to note that they are always American in nature and usually without the class and style of 007. Probably one of the better contenders for the title over recent years was XXX, and the ironic thing is that they use the same formula to a tee. The plot of XXX is quite simple; Xander Cage is a loose canon who is well known for breaking the law for the extreme stunts he performs that are uploaded to the internet with alarming regularity. This gives him the advantage and gets him noticed for the wrong reasons, without choice he is recruited into the National Security Agency as an operative, mostly because of his skills and against his will is sent to Eastern Europe to infiltrate an organisation called Anarchy 99 whose past efforts to understand who they are and what they do as previous attempts by the NSA have failed dramatically.

      Vin Diesel plays the lead character of XXX, a man wanted by the Government for his outlandish behaviour that has a large on-line following, and he is perfect for the role. Shaved head, well muscled and inked on the arms. He completely resonates the style of a character that does thing on an illegal basis and also shows that he is willing to simply do these things to have fun, on the flip side it also shows he is bored with the life he has and wants more. Diesel's voice is deep and throughout the film he is placed in situations that aren't necessarily clear that he will escape and I found this to be refreshing to see as his escape methods weren't reverting to a gadget that was pulled out at the last second, in fact he uses his brain to address an issue.

      Co-starring with Diesel in the film is the legendary Samuel L Jackson, in my opinion he is an actor that seems never to say no to a role and here he is the boss who overlooks XXX in his training and mission, a name that he gives Cage as his codename due to the Tattoo on the back of his neck. Jackson's character called Agent Augustus Gibbons, and the fact that he shows his scars on his face and isn't afraid to tell anyone the way it is and what he wants from them makes this a kind of standard Jackson character in his approach. In fact with the hairpiece he wears Jackson's appearance is totally different to how we have seen him before on other films. That's not to say that the character is a loss, in fact he is the catalyst that launches XXX into a new world, he first entry being a test scenario that XXX passes with flying colours and so Gibbons becomes a point of gravity in the film.

      There has to be a girl involved in the story and here in the formula it's the beautiful Asia Argento, an Italian model turned actress who is stunning to see. She balances up the cast in a very poitive manner, she also is the hero's lady and although the character she plays looks very much european in appearance and style she convinces the watcher of the film that there is more to her than meets the eye. The way she is dressed for starters in short skirts and thigh boots will grab the attention of the male cast immediately.

      With the film set primarily in the Czech Republic, its clear that they are giving this film its own identity straight away, and the cast not only look like they come from this area of the world but also have the right accents as well. This gives the film a lot of credit in the foundation of the film and makes the film more believable as the locations are real and not computer generated. As the film grows the action sequences tend to play to the situation and only go outside the realms of the situation and is quite tightly focussed in the locations where they have been set, the exception being the climax to the film which involves a river chase which he explained well in what happens and is an attention getter for the right reasons with what is at stake. Going back to the locations used in the film, they are presented well and don't go into "postcard" territory like other films have done although you do have to admit that the city of Prague where most of the latter parts of the film are set does look magnificent as a backdrop.

      As I said earlier the film does stay to a well known formula and they even have a scene in which XXX is issued with equipment for the field, you cannot help but to notice that the scenes here are slightly leaned towards the more comedic side and I do think that the script writers were "giving it" at this stage as a pop elsewhere. It's a shame that they couldn't really let this go as the film is completely detached and is quite an original premise given the person who has been recruited. The high octane scenes that have Cage using his skills to the full are good and reminded me of the Transporter film where Jason Statham uses similar skills to acquire his goal, the same is here as XXX uses extreme biking to pass his test and by the end he is telling his superiors what he wants which sees a car customised as he wants in his fashion, and it is used to good effect towards the end of the film. There is more of an edge to XXX and even though you have an idea of what he is capable of doing, the script does ensure that the audience are placed in a position of underestimating the character completely, which I thought was quite a clever plot device. In fact the cleverness extends to XXX using nearly every type of transport in an extreme method whether two, four or even no wheeled varieties , a good example is the opening scenes that introduce us to Cage as a Senators car is stolen and is used for one of his stunts that he manages to record in the process.

      Now when it comes to extras on a DVD or Blu-ray, the opportunity to have a plethora of information should be overwhelming, well not here as the film doesn't actually have any extras associated with it and I think that is a great shame as the star and director worked together on the first Fast and Furious film and the chance has been well and truly missed. Personally I would have liked to have seen something relating to the film and not have menu options classed as extras when in fact they are standard.

      This is Diesel's stand out film and I do prefer this to other films he has appeared in such as Pitch Black, the characters are fleshed out and the action is to a high standard that doesn't disappoint at all, in fact this is perfect Saturday night viewing. Not that they would show a film like this on Saturday night unless Ant and Dec were in it or you had to ring in to vote the least talented off! This is a film that I would like to see on Film4 in its glory, and in its glory is what you get with the Blu-ray version as the colours are vibrant with a sharp picture that clearly defines depth and scope. However the soundtrack is a veritable bonus of its own and the mix of musical genres will give your TV and even your sound system a thorough Bass workout; such is the quality of the disc itself. Director Rob Cohen has delivered a strong film in terms of action, basically the first half an hour is the recruitment stage so the early part of the film is establishing the characters and the cast. The remaining 94 of the 124 minutes is basically the mission and the end results. The story is well paces as well and every scene is energetic and never static in nature as the film evolves and grows. Obviously the main comparison is going to be 007 and as a fan of that franchise I would say its safe, but if fate had een gentler and further sequels with Diesel had been produced then I think that XXX would have had further sequels rather than the follow up called XXX: State of the Union or XXX: The Next Level in some countries. In fact in interviews Cohen was quoted as saying that Bon's days are numbered, well in some respects he was right as it wasn't long after this that Pierce Brosnan was replaced! Although some will think this film is a rip-off copy, but the point was proved with the fact the sequel had another character as XXX, labelled as the new XXX, and completely bombed.

      My copy was the first time that the film had been released on either Blu-ray or DVD and since then as with most money making opportunities, the film has been re-released again with extras as a special edition set.

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        04.06.2010 00:18

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        Average film.

        This film is a mindless action flick; this is both a good and bad thing. It's a good thing because you can watch it with very little effort no thinking is required at all. It's a bad thing because you can only watch it once, or until you forget the plot.

        Vin Diesel is good at the action scenes but anything else and his cardboard charisma shines through. This is some times covered up by a descent supporting cast like in "the Fast and the Furious" but such talent is missing here.

        The plot is fair enough but not brilliant, setting it in Russia makes a change from the usual of New York or LA. The music, lighting etc. is all average and neither helps or hampers the film, it merely sets in stone the films mediocrity.

        The film would of done well to better develop the back-story of Vin's character as you feel no real connection with him. You also don't believe any of the relationships in the film, it all seems rather superficial.

        The film is on single disc with special feature including: commentaries, diary, trailer, a music video and 3 featurettes.

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        09.12.2009 17:09
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        Overblown and wild

        note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room

        At the time of its release, xXx was touted as "the new James Bond", a rejuvenating tonic to audiences who have grown tired of the cliches of the spy thriller genre and particularly the Bond films, which have long been predictable and quite trite. xXx is a strange oddity of a film, because while it claims to be something new, aside from the overblown action scenes, it adheres to a plot that is strangely familiar and predictable.

        Once an NSA operative is assassinated, Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) is given the nod to instigate a foreign terrorist cell called Anarchy 99 using a new type of programme: they will find a repeat offender on American soil who only has one more strike until he gets life in prison, and offer him the chance to have all of his previous crimes exonerated if he infilitrates the cell and gets the information they need. He meets Xander Cage, a.k.a. xXx (Vin Diesel) for one such meeting, and reluctantly, Cage agrees. He has to assume a cover with the leader of the group - Yorgi (Marton Csokas), but he risks everything when he meets Yorgi's woman, Yelena (Asia Argento). Everything goes as you'd expect, but there are some fun moments without a doubt.

        Yes, it's loud, yes, it's dumb, but this is an overdose of exaggerated action sequences and frenetic cinematography that entertains accordingly even if it's going to repel a lot of people asa result. It's not classically good in any way, but I didn't hate it thanks to Diesel's tongue in cheek performance and the "so bad it's good" B-movie nature of the plot.

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        20.06.2009 18:55
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        If you like a silly action flick thats modern and mad then this is for you, otherwise it's avoidable

        Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) turns out to be a hell of an action hero in this fast paced turbo-charged thrill-ride. A character he seems not to want to leave as he returns to us on the big screen time and time again as a man drawn to speed and destruction, all he needs is a decent story.

        Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is an underground thrill-seeker, who believed he could escape any clutches from the law, he was wrong. NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) uses Cage to infiltrate a Russian crime ring who may be threatening millions of lives. It's Cage's job as an agent for justice to take down enemies in whatever way he sees fit. This may include super-charged cars and bikes; innovative handguns, entertaining gadgets and a large number of explosions.

        With an explosive intro by the brilliant hard rock group Rammstein performing their ferocious song 'Feuer Frei', you can only hope the rest of the film lives up to it. Definitely the action scenes create the best moments in this film, watching Cage create havoc on a motorbike only to find out it's all a set up is a brilliant if completely unrealistic idea.

        I have to admit there are certainly some dodgy moments in xXx where you have to wonder why a whole scene wasn't just cut from the film. The whole idea that these Russian criminals would be plotting to poison a city of people is laughable, don't expect anything too complex to occur in this movie. It's definitely comparable to those all-out action flicks that were generally awful, with stars such as Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Vin Diesel had his first chance to be the main star in a film of his own; unfortunately he did take the blow up first think later script.

        When we meet Cage, we get to see an awesome stunt involving a Car flying off a bridge into the abyss after Cage has jut jumped out and opened up a parachute. We then see the warehouse where he shows off the stunts he has performed and filmed and recognize many famous faces such as; Eve, Matt Hoffman and Tony Hawk, who apparently just hang around skating and BMXing in this place and enjoy watching ridiculous stunts.

        DVD extras include director commentary, deleted scenes, special featurettes, "Adrenaline" music video, theatrical trailer and web links. The film is only watchable in English with optional subtitles in English or Hindi.

        If you ant an all out action flick and are hopefully not too bothered about an air tight plot then this is definitely one to see. This is certainly a suitable role for Vin Diesel to play and he knows it, it's just unfortunate that such a strange screenplay was used, there's potential for this character in the right script so watch out for Xander Cages' Return. Oh and I can recommend avoiding the first sequel.

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        01.04.2009 16:13
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        Vin Diesel is xXx

        I watched xXx in theatre on my 15th birthday party. The movie posters attracted me a lot. After seeing poster you can easily determine that this movie is very stylish with lots of stunts. xXx was released in year 2002. The director of xXx is Rob Cohen. The movie was written by Rich Wilkes.

        Star Cast:
        Vin Diesel played a role of Xander Cage a.k.a xXx.

        Marton Csokas portrayed Yorgi, a leader of anarchy group.

        The role of Yelena is played by Asia Argento.

        Samuel L. Jackson portrayed Augustus Gibbons.

        Petr Jakl played a role of Yorgi's younger brother Kolya.

        Plot Outline:
        Xander Cage is known for his funky attitude and law-breaking behavior. He steals senator's Corvette and crash. NSA Agent Augusts Gibbons arrests Xander and give him a chance to work for him and serve his country. His mission is to find out Ex-Russian soldier Yorgi, who is leading the group called Anarchy 99 and planning to destruct the world. Xander enters in the world of crime and start helping Yorgi. He falls in love with Yorgi's girlfriend Yelena. Yorgi plans to attack some of major cities by his strong and powerful chemical weapons. I don't want to spoil the ending. so watch it to know the ending of the film.

        My Opinion:
        After watching this movie I was really shocked. The movie is better than I expect. Vin Diesel looks very cool and stylish with lots of attitude. The story is very common. It's just like bond movies. Hero is on secret mission, using various gadgets and performing stunts. But in my opinion this movie is better than bond movies. The movie is full of action and stunts. Stunts are very impressive and it's very difficult to choose which sequence is best. Either its opening scene when Diesel jumps is car from bridge or he rappel down a parasailing line and jumps on submarine. The avalanche scene is also good. The gadgets shown in the movie is just like bond movies. Some of them are multipurpose revolver, Eagle eyes and Bandages.

        The location they use for shooting is Czech Republic. The cinematography and camera work is really very impressive. All the stunts are shown from 3-4 different camera angels. The soundtracks are appropriate and according to the sequences. Direction and star performances are ok. Don't expect that story of movie is good. It's not more than an action movie. If you want real fun and excitement watch "Triple X". For action lovers a must see.

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          26.03.2009 06:34
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          James Bond's short-lived replacement

          A review of just the film, the region 2 DVD was released back in 2003 and is easily found online for less than a fiver.

          In the face of a new and imposing threat to national security, the NSA decides that it needs to review its approach to counter-terrorism. Acknowledging that in this day and age the old ways just don't work anymore, agent Augustus Gibbons decides that the agency needs to find somebody that can work on the same level as the criminals. Enter Xander Cage, a twenty-something action junkie who lives for the next adrenaline-fuelled escapade. Abducted by national agents, Cage finds himself forced to undertake a series of tests before the agency forces him to go undercover and get the low down on a new unit calling itself Anarchy 99. But as Cage soon finds out, this secret agent thing isn't quite as easy in real life as it looks on the PS2....

          By 2003, film executives came to the conclusion that the James Bond concept had all but run out of steam. Die Another Day had received a lukewarm reception one year earlier and whilst the Bond team was faced with the prospect of replacing the aging Pierce Brosnan, the competition identified a gap in the market. Whilst Jason Bourne presented a harder, darker, more exciting kind of secret agent, the franchise wasn't as family-friendly as James Bond and lacked that fun factor that audiences craved. So a new hero was born and Xander Cage came to our screens.

          If James Bond was the poison, xXx was to be the cure. Acknowledging the changing world around us, xXx took the traditional secret agent adventure and turned it on its head, ditching the tuxedo and bowtie for sunglasses and body art. The world's problems were being caused by an upcoming generation of technical experts, exploiting technology like the Internet for their own gains and evading the authorities at every turn. Traditional agents just couldn't cut it anymore (as evidenced by a very early despatch of a Bond-alike at the start of the film) and it all required something rather new. What we got was something fairly different, but nothing like the kind of thing we probably wanted.

          xXx is a curious kind of film that combines a strange mixture of sanitised action alongside occasional overt sexuality and accompanies it with a pounding MTV Generation soundtrack. It's tiring stuff, given only that the writers decided that the apparently limited intellect of the target demographic would never really be able to cope with anything more demanding and subsequently lays out a dumb plot that James Bond's writers would probably never have ever touched.

          The film largely comprises three distinct chapters, namely the recruitment, the placement and the development of Xander Cage as an agent and hero. It's humorously done, but not in a tongue-in-cheek way. xXx's script comes straight from the Bad Boys school of writing where (minus the constant use of sexual swear words) our hero has a smart answer to every situation. It doesn't matter how dangerous or deadly the predicament, Xander Cage will have a solution and a smart comment, normally involving ingredients of game play that he learnt from spending hours in front of a Playstation. It's a bizarre kind of message, almost suggesting to the youth of the time that burning their eye sockets out with a constant barrage of shooters and Grand Theft will actually benefit them somewhere in the long run, although a softer critic might argue that it's simply trying to acknowledge that it's not such a harmful pastime after all. It's all the cue for a relentless barrage of snowboarding, parachuting and postulating around Prague as Xander Cage digs himself deeper and deeper into a plot to unleash anarchy on the world.

          Always conscious that this is supposed to be the equal but opposite to James Bond, the writers make every attempt to distinguish Xander Cage from his Fleming-created counterpart. Where Bond might have used guile and seduction to get his way, Cage simply goes in all guns blazing, notably in an early scene in a nightclub where he dobs in an unwelcome police partner simply to court favour with the bad guy. Where Bond has an eye for the ladies, Cage has more of an eye for the gadgets, meaning that xXx is far less likely to attract the criticisms of misogyny and sexism that Roger Moore found himself exposed to twenty years earlier. It makes it more of a film for the boys too, a sort of "If T3 Magazine Made Movies" tribute to film making that never misses an opportunity for a gratuitous shot of a fast car.

          Understandably, many of the Bond-isms are still rife, but altered to an extent for the new generation. Samuel L Jackson's agent Gibbons is a sort of disfigured antidote to M's starchiness, all fast-talking and full of reality checks. Asia Argento is the equivalent of a Bond Girl, except she doesn't look like a supermodel and isn't (quite) so easily swayed by the leading man's charms. There's a twenty-something equivalent to Q, whose verbal capability comes straight from the "totally cool" school of thinking and whose adoration of Cage and gadgets is in stark contrast to Q's stifled disapproval of James Bond. The central plot has the same scope and scale as a Bond movie but, notably, the leading villain Yorgi (an ineffective Marton Csokas) is really in it just for the hell of it, without a single whiff of monetary gain or world domination. The Aston Martin is replaced by a GTO and whereas Bond would shoot to kill, Cage is really only licensed to shoot to tranquilise. Director Rob Cohen had just had a big hit with The Fast and The Furious and employs that same school of film making here. It's continually loud and brash and almost gives you a cheeky wink as it hurtles on to the next ridiculous action sequence.

          All these things make it an enjoyable enough romp, and there's no shortage of stunts to feast your eyes upon. But the negatives come just as thick and fast. Diesel is only sporadically likeable. His physique works well (muscles and tattoos are unquestionably hot) but he hasn't really got any kind of warmth or likeability that engages the audience. He's also bizarrely unsexy, slobbering all over Asia Argento as though he'd rather have a nice cup of tea and he probably wouldn't even be able to spell suave, let alone pretend to be it. The action is often ridiculous, and not in that likeable way that Bond used to get away with it. In xXx we're supposed to believe it all a bit more and when Cage somehow manages to snowboard in front of a million-tonne avalanche and then just walk away, our tolerance is pushed to its limit. The script is infrequently awful, sometimes sounding not unlike it was rejected from the Stormbreaker pitch and has a terribly juvenile feel to it. After all, who uses the words "secret agent" anymore, except for Anthony Horrowitz?

          As such, the finished film is instantly forgettable. It's one of those action films that's just about alright but has nothing to redeem it past the first and final viewing. It was reasonably well received at the time of its release but, curiously, Diesel was keen not to be typecast and bowed out after one movie, resulting in an absolutely dreadful sequel that sealed the franchise's fate once and for all. It's no surprise really, given only that very soon, Xander's 'oh so cool' body art would pass more than a slight resemblance to the logo for Simon Cowell's replacement for Pop Idol.

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            11.01.2009 14:00
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            By this for any Vin Deisel fan

            xXx is a whole new generation spy action film. Think Vin Deisel meets James Bond. It tells the story of hardcore adrenaline junkie and extreme sports enthusiast Xander Cage as he is forced to enter a terrorist group called Anarchy 99 by the US Government. Xander got the name "xXx" from the three X's tattooed on to the back of his neck.

            The film starts off with a secret agent escaping from a group of thugs who are trying to kill him and retreive some vital information he has. He manages to relay this information to the CIA before he is killed. Augustus Gibbons (Samual L Jackson) decides they should "throw their own snake in to the snake pit". Xander Cage is first seen taking a Corvette from a Senator. He then does a crazy bridge stunt where he drives it off a bridge and parachutes to safety. Gibbons finds Cage and challenges him with a series of tests. Cage is then told to go and find a top secret weapon after infiltrating a terrorist group, Anarchy 99. He meets Yolana (Asia Argento) who leter on discovers he is an agent and she is so. The plot eventually thickens and all ends with a trully explosive yet happy ending as the less than unlikely hero saves the day.

            An action packed, adrenaline filled film with high octane stunts and the nack for alot of partying.

            This film could use more stunts in it and definetely more scenes. Overall a good film.

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              23.09.2008 16:17
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              If you're a fan of Vin or Asia, then watch this

              Young and easily impressionble kid that I was, I easily got into liking 'Triple X'. What's cooler than a muscly tattooed guy, with no care for rules but his own, exciting stunts, I-don't-give-a-shit-attitude and a cool voice? Vin Diesel soon became one of my favourite actors.

              The ideas employed were fresh and new; the new secret agent is a ruthless, backyard, stunt-centred thug, was unique. Asia Argento player her part well - apart from being gorgeous that is.

              But I felt something was out of place; perhaps it was the complete believability of the plot, or slightly too thug like characteristics of Vin Diesel, or perhaps over excentuated stunts and skills.

              Samuel Jackson is the legend of course, it seemed at the time, that he was in every action film. He was the crooked eyed boss who recruited Xanger Cage (Vin Diesel). His acting is flawless, playing the hardcore general in giving orders, scheming and ultimately saving the day.

              The overall plot is alittle far-fetched and ridiculous, but somehow I enjoyed watching this film. I couldn't wait for the 2nd series to be out, but then I discovered that vin diesel was no longer in it, and was disappointed. The new xXx was Ice Cube. We'll see how he manages to be more notorious than Xander Cage.

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                08.09.2008 19:40
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                Good action film

                XXX' or 'Triple x' is the 2002 action film directed by Rob Cohen

                Synopsis

                Xander Cage is an extreme sports fanatics. He is into everything from ski diving to snowboarding. For his latest stunt, he decides to steal a senator's sports car, drive it off a bridge and then parachute to safety, whilst the car burns below. The stunt is successful, until later that night at a party Xander is apprehended by a SWAT team. He wakes up in a diner, and quickly realises that it is a set up. He foils a hoax robbery, only to find that it is a test by a government agent called Gibbons. After passing a few tests, Xander is chosen to take part in a secret mission, in return for his record being wiped clean. He infiltrates a Russian terrorist faction. He finds that they are building a biological weapon and are planning to use it. It is up to Xander to stop them

                Cast
                Vin Diesel as Xander Cage
                Asia Argento as Yelena
                Marton Csokas as Yorgi
                Samuel L. Jackson as Augustus Gibbons
                Michael Roof as Agent lee shavers

                A really good action film. The storyline is quite imaginative, following a good contrast as a 'baddie' (Xander) who infiltrates a group and turns into a 'goodie'. Except for Diesel and Jackson, the actors are relatively unknown, but this does not affect the film at all. As usual, Jackson is great, and so is diesel. The other actors also act well in this film. The soundtrack is extremely good. It was released by universal pictures, and contains two discs. It contains tracks from artists such as Nelly, N*E*R*D and even the Queens of the stone age.
                Dvd price: 14.99 on play.com
                Dvd Features: 9 deleted scenes, music video, featurettes and many more.

                A really good action film.

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                  22.03.2008 16:53
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                  XXX (2002) - decent enough action film

                  In 2002, we experienced a spy film with a difference - the use of an extreme sports enthusisast to do the government's work. Hardman actor Vion Diesel had the title role of XXX.

                  The Plot

                  Following the loss of an agent, and in his desire to infiltrate a Russian crime circle, NSA Agent Gibbons convinces underground sports enthusiast Xander Cage (XXX) to do the dirty work in return for being left alone by the government. Cage accepts, and needs to use all his extreme experience to survive, let alone do the job he's enlisted for.

                  The Cast and Performances

                  Vin Diesel is Cage, the agent known as XXX. His acting is kind of monotone, and the action scenes are where he excels. Each time his acting needs some emotional input, it is lacking. Samuel L Jackson is convincing as Agent Gibbons, but even he is below par in comparison to his usual high standards. Asia Argento is sexy as Yelena, and they are all supported by a decent cast.

                  My Opinion

                  This is harmless action. There is no particular great acting on show, and the plot does not tackle the mind, but it is fun, and enetertaining, and the scenes are beautiful. The direction from Rob Cohen ensures a certain flow to the film, which I am thankful for. If there had been a change in the mood or pace of the film, I think I would probably be rating this a lot lower.

                  Conclusion

                  Fun action romp.

                  I rate this film as 3 stars out of 5.

                  The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.97

                  This review may be posted on ciao.co.uk

                  Thanks for reading.

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                    22.08.2007 14:49
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                    An extreme sports enthusiast is enlisted by the NSA to become a secret agent.

                    >>>> Synopsis

                    Having lost a special agent whilst trying to infiltrate an underground terrorist group called ‘Anarchy 99’, NSA spymaster Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) decides that a different approach is in order. Requiring someone who is more expendable he approaches Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), an extreme sports junkie and minor cult celebrity with a criminal record as long as his arm, forcing him to go under cover for them or face a lengthy time in prison. After a ruthless crash course in being a spy Xander is packed off to the Czech Republic to hopefully infiltrate the underground terrorist group and put pay to their evil plans.


                    >>>> Opinion

                    Never have I watched a film which has had so much praise, but left me feeling so absolutely cheated and completely disappointed. The film in question is the diatribe called “XXX” a film which on its cinematic release received praise as a Bond style action thriller for a new generation, a generation of extreme support loving, adrenalin junkies. Whilst it is definitely comparable to a Bond style movie, and indeed has a few very well choreographed action sequences, it offers nothing in the lines of a decent plot, script or characters which you can emphasise with, and to be completely honest it lacks anything which makes you want to watch it more than once, let alone a sequel.

                    It is a shame as the film actually starts of quite positively with a scene, although quite implausible, which basically seals the death of our typical tuxedo wearing, Bond style agent paving way for a new bread of spy. This prologue leads nicely into the introduction to the films supposed hero, Xander Cage, and in a very well choreographed, adrenalin pumping action sequence we learn that he is not only an extreme sports adrenalin junkie and a minor cult celebrity, but he is also anti-establishment, always on the look out for number one. Whilst I have to admit that this intro actually had me hooked, it didn’t take long for the film to lose my attention through a completely implausible plot and more importantly, I didn’t know who I detested more, the terrorists, Gibbons the spymaster or in fact the films supposed hero Xander Cage. Whilst the plot definitely felt like it had been ripped out of a Bond movie, with the typical terrorist organization and the undercover agent who has to save the day, it lacked any real development. Making it not only coming across as implausible, due to the numerous holes, but also that it was only there as a vehicle for the numerous action sequences. Although I was not expecting to be dazzled with a story which would involve me to flex my brain muscles too much, likewise I was not expecting to watch a film where I didn’t need to use my brain at all. It also does not help matters when 90% of the dialogue is not only full of cheesy lines, but also delivered in an over the top manner that makes you laugh as well as cringe.

                    Although the distinct lack of any engaging plot or resemblance of decent dialogue is a definite negative, the film does attempt to make some amends by having a few decent action sequences. The opening car chase, which results in a breath taking escape, really sets the tone for what to expect from the rest of the movies action sequences and unlike some movies which play all their cards too soon, the action sequences in “XXX” are all of a very high standard climaxing with an action sequence which is as powerful as the intro. With a definite slant towards the extreme sports culture, these action sequences, although at times are as implausible as the plot, at least add a bit of meat to the bones of a pretty poor film.

                    Whilst the lack of plot is in a way balanced out by having some impressive action sequences, the film really fails to deliver when it comes to the characters and to some extent the acting. My biggest problem comes with the so called hero, Xander Cage, as whilst he fits the bill of being the man of the hour, who saves the day and in typical fashion gets the girl, I had no empathy towards him. Whilst Bond was a hero, who most men wanted to be, I could not find a trace of Cage which really appealed to me and I definitely did not want to be him, even if he did get the girl. Part of my problems comes from the casting of Vin Diesel, who at one time showed great promise of being a decent actor but sadly has fallen into the trap of playing stereotypical, pumped up action heroes. Whilst Diesel may look the part, with his tattoos and beefed up muscles, his delivery of lines was at times cheesier than the lines he was actually delivering and in general his character came over as a self-centred slime ball rather than a real hero. If one bad character was not enough the character of the NSA spymaster Augustus Gibbons, which is quite obviously meant to be the equivalent of James Bond’s ‘M’, was again a huge disappointment. The problems come from a poorly written character and surprisingly the casting of Samuel L. Jackson, as the character comes across as being confused as to whether he is a tough, time warn cookie or a very cool cat. It also does not help that the dialogue that Jackson is given to deliver is on a par with the cheesy lines that Diesel has. To top it off, the characterisation of the terrorists is absolutely dreadful, as there is no real sense of evil about them. It is sadly a culmination of these poorly written characters and some less than average performances which really lets this film down.

                    Whilst the screen writers have obviously attempted to create a Bond style movie for a younger, hipper generation, I feel that director Rob Cohen is partly to blame for not making this come to fruition. Whilst he has put in plenty of quality action sequences which will definitely appeal to a younger audience, the failure to pull greater performances from the films stars, which would have had the knock on effect of making the dialogue seem less cheesy, is a huge disappointment. At times it feels like he gave up on the script and just tried to deliver enough action sequences in a hope that it would wow the audiences.


                    >>>> Summary

                    Whilst the film definitely attracted a reasonable fan base, it definitely did not attract me. With its terribly thin plot, cheesy dialogue, poor characters and even poorer performances I really failed to see why this film became a success let alone spawn a sequel, but then maybe I was not in the target audience. In my opinion, this films only saving grace comes from some brilliantly choreographed action sequences which manage to stop this film from being totally unmemorable. I would imagine that whilst “XXX” did not appeal to me, it would definitely appeal to anyone who just desires a bit of action packed escapism which requires very little concentration as well as those who get pleasure from ogling the pumped up Vin Diesel.


                    >>>> Price & Availability

                    Amazon.co.uk: £8.99
                    But I would recommend searching around as quite often it can be found paired up with other films at a very similar price.


                    >>>> Technical Details

                    Certificate: 12 (Director’s cut appears as a 15)
                    Duration: 124 mins
                    Year of Release: 2002
                    Genre: Action, Thriller

                    Director(s): Rob Cohen
                    Writer(s): Rich Wilkes

                    Cast: Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson, Asia Argento, Marton Csokas, Michael Roof, Richy Muller, Werner Daehn, Tom Everett


                    © Christianfilm August 2007

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                      27.07.2005 23:38
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                      James Bond. In a rock video. With a rocked up his scrotum. Empty but explosive.

                      Want to know what to expect from “xXx”? Then please excuse me while I get horribly postmodern for a moment: imagine Q has stepped out of the Bon franchise, perused the whole series, shaken his head and decided it’s time for an update. “Follow me 007, let’s get you kitted out. Muscles, tattoos, attitude? Here you go. Bigger, better, badder weapons? I have them right here. And how about some dodgy German death metal to bolster the soundtrack? Now do be careful, Bond…”

                      So who is this debutant 007? The name’s Diesel, Vin Diesel, and anyone who’s seen this avalanche-voiced mountain of a man in “Pitch Black” or “The Fast And The Furious” will know what he’s made of. Sizing up to Her Majesty’s finest isn’t a problem…

                      Anyway, here’s the deal: we now live in a criminal (under)world where suave, tuxedo-clad spies can’t pass for anything but suave, tuxedo-clad spies. Sending them undercover is like chucking a bleeding baby into a shark tank. A new breed of secret agent is required. Agents like Xander Cage, AKA xXx, an ink-covered, extreme sports, adrenaline-junkie felon. Cool.

                      Not that he wants to work for Uncle Sam, you understand. It’s just that he’s got sod all for choice, for NSA bigbod Samuel L. Jackson (slick as ever) promises a quiet little life behind bars if he refuses. His mission – and he has no choice but to accept it – is to infiltrate a Prague-based gaggle of Eurotrash anarchists. They’re about to destroy the world, you know.

                      “xXx” isn’t a movie that’s concerned with originality. Bond nods aside – and they’re plentiful – it also plays like an ‘80s-style action pic, replete with overblown stunts (all of ‘em), magic bullets (look, they can miss Vin by an inch – every time!) and some truly dire pay-off lines (“I told you smoking would kill you”). It also sees director Rob “The Fast And The Furious” Cohen again work from a script that overwrites “Point Break”: the tight gang of crims, the infiltrator, the wavering sense of duty (“These guys aren’t as bad as you think”) and the burgeoning love between undercover agent and gang leader’s missus (Asia Argento, great value as a junkpunk vamp).

                      So how does it get away with it? Because the filmmakers have their tongue lolling happily in their cheeks. This is a movie that’s not only ludicrous but KNOWS that it’s ludicrous – and IT knows that WE know it’s ludicrous, too. Motorbikes leap 30 feet in the air, customised binoculars see through brick walls (and, of course, women’s clothing), a Pontiac GTO is rammed with enough firepower to overthrough Mugabe and a gigantic avalanche is no match for Vin on a snowboard.

                      Okay, so it’s not as cool as it wants to be and it’s not nearly as funny as it should be. But it is brash, ballsy and bursting with big, blaring bangs. And that’ll do for a Friday night.

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                        30.11.2004 18:42

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                        I thought I would add my comments to that of the other reviews because I feel that they do not quite grasp just how great this film is....reason being.... both guys and girls can watch it. Now boys if you to watch an action flick where your girlfriend will sit there and not talk or fall asleep then this is it. It's just gret, the storyline as already described revolves around Xander Cage (Diesil) who basically gets forced into being a secret agent, he has to investigate a russian crime ring and in the process falls for what he thinks is one of it's members. Now I wont ruin it to much for those of you who haven't seen it, but I genuinely did not see that twist coming (maybe because i was gawping so much at those muscles)!!! The acting I thought was quite good to, although i do look at Vin through rose tinted glasses i will say that this isn't his best performance and probably not as good as Man Apart. However, well worth a watch and as its been out a while is not a bad price in most shops either

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                        08.09.2004 19:20

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                        • NONE

                        THE BEST SUPERBIT YET - Advantages: 10/10 FOR SOUND ON dts, 10/10 FOR PICTURE, IF YOUR AFTER SMART PICTURE AND KICKASS SOUND XXX IS THE PERFECT TITLE TO START OR ADD TO ANY DVD COLLECTION - Disadvantages: NONE, NONE, NONE

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                    • Product Details

                      For a movie that would like to think of itself as the future of the action / espionage picture, xXx uses a surprising number of jokes and stunts lifted directly from the Roger Moore Bond era while the actual premise resembles a sex-change for Nikita. Vin Diesel's Xander Cage--an extreme sports daredevil recruited by spymaster Samuel L Jackson for a covert mission in Prague--may be Blofeld-bald, pumped-up with testosterone, tattooed like a graffiti-covered wall and given to driving sports cars off bridges for fun, but he turns out to be a disappointingly square goodie-goodie when the quips and bullets are flying. Even the slinky heroine (Asia Argento), a double agent within a mad ex-Soviet gang called Anarchy 99, laughs at the idea that a walking cue ball with three Xs tattooed on his neck could ever be a secret agent. There's one stunt scene that will be remembered as a classic, as xXx triggers an avalanche and snowboards ahead of the fall. But there's too much of the falling-out-of-planes, straddling-and-defusing-jet-propelled-germ-bombs, blasting-every-baddie-in-the-place business that makes it too familiar. Enough material for several great trailers, but next time they'll need a script. --Kim Newman On the DVD: xXx comes loud and proud to DVD, with Dolby 5.1 sound and the kind of sharp screen transfer you'd expect for a movie of this magnitude. From beautiful scrolling menus based on the tattoo artwork to the brash music, this disc epitomises everything an extreme sports release should be: special features are offered in the "Zander Zone" and include a whole host of behind-the-scenes action and commentaries, made all the more interesting by Rob Cohen's reluctance to use CGI and Vin Diesel's willingness to be thrown in at the deep end. If there's one thing you should avoid, though, it's the Gavin Rossdale music video--unless of course you want to see a grown man's vanity on screen. --Nikki Disney