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“xXx: Return of Xander Cage” is the second Vin Diesel three-quel I have seen since “Riddick” from 2013. Both these movies have been made despite “The Chronicle of Riddick” and “xXx: State of the Union” flopping. I guess cult following is how it works sometimes. The verdict: “Riddick” was good, but “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” is insipid.

First thing: Samuel L. Jackson’s character Gibbins gets bombed in the opening shot, and is presumed dead (Spoiler Alert: he’s alive. How? I don’t know). Now we have Toni Collette as the hero Xander Cage’s (Diesel) new boss.

Second: the story is all over the place. It involves a group of terrorists (led by Donnie Yen), stealing a weapon, which controls satellites, and causes some to fall down to Earth. That’s how Gibbons “died.”
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And third: Xander’s “Good, Bad, Extreme, and Completely Insane” team (Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, and Rory McCann) is boring, and Nina Debrov as Gibbons’ former assistant is annoying.

There are some scenes that worked for me. One is when Xander skateboards down hills in order to give a local village their TV connections. Another is when he rides a motorcycle jet ski to chase a bad guy. And Ice Cube (reprising his “State of the Union” role) pops in at the end. These scenes look cool, but you call this a Vin Diesel movie? I call it a generic action movie with to many weapons, fights, and gunmen with bad dialogue. It may be Revolution Studio’s first entry in a decade since their closure in 2007, but I think they may have another flop to deal with.

πŸ™‚1/2

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