xXx: State of the Union - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

xXx: State of the Union Reviews

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January 22, 2017
Terrible cheesy but fun if your drunk action packed movie starring ice cube replacing vin diesel. This movie is like fast and furious 2 or Tokyo drift , it's as cheesy but it had better action and those dumb explosions. I like ice cube with his humor and murdering people with humor and he's saving the president from the actor who only plays villains in bad movies except for Spider-Man but that's it. I don't care if this is part of the xxx vin diesel franchise because it feels on its own.
January 21, 2017
I thought that xXx: State of the Union could be a fun movie at times and Ice Cube seemed to be having fun blowing stuff up but overall I think it would've worked better as a stand-alone film particularly because it ditches the enjoyable stunts that Vin Diesel pulled off in the first movie in favour of a climax that prefers to top it all off with CGI and also has a generic assassinate-the-President-of-US plot. While this movie could be a slight guilty pleasure, it also suffers from generic joke dialogue that I think is actually supposed to be funny such as an inevitable joke about the title XXX, something that Rob Cohen thankfully ditched in the first film and how Samuel L. Jackson initially asks Ice Cube's character who said the quote "Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal" with Darius Stone simply saying "Tupac". Uh, ha ha? I still think, as a movie that's basically just black James Bond, that this movie could've been far worse.
January 19, 2017
Even more mindless and stupid than the first one, xXx State of the Union plays like a joke. Unenjoyable and boring.
½ January 13, 2017
it's a good movie, but the vin diesel aka first movie was better. still be would be great if both came out together in the next xxx movie aka the 4th one or if there will be a 5th movie.
January 6, 2017
Its great but not better than first
½ November 12, 2016
A little cheesy, and at the end of the Pimp My Ride Era, it fulfilled the cool cars and weapons quota we looked for in the early 2000's. Ice cube, and the movie would've looked better if a different director had control. Then they mention Xander Cage...
½ November 1, 2016
For some reason, I liked this film more than the first one. Requires less suspension of belief.
½ October 3, 2016
Not as thrilling as the first one but Sunny Mabrey (Charlie) was sexy enough to keep me watching this!!!
½ July 10, 2016
I don't blend.

The xXx unit has lost enough agents and needs a new, special ops agent from Agent Gibbons past. He frees a former soldier, and former army buddy, to take down an international cartel; however, the cartel kidnaps Agent Gibbons. The former colleague will need to strap up the boots with Agent Gibbons' lackey and try to rescue Agent Gibbons and bring down the cartel.

"You can die in here or you can take the fight to them."

Lee Tamahori, director of Die Another Day, Along Came a Spider, Next, The Devil's Double, The Edge, Mullholland Falls, Once were Warriors, and The Patriarch, delivers xXx: State of the Union. The storyline for this picture is dreadful, unimaginative, and painfully pathetic. The action scenes were awkward as was the acting. The cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube, Willem Dafoe, Xzibit, Nona Gaye, Peter Strauss, and Scott Speedman.

"'I don't play with my life. I'd rather play with yours."

I came across this on Netflix and decided to watch it again for the first time in a long time. This was fairly terrible with few redeeming qualities. I'm not sure I would even recommend this to action genre junkies, because even the action is lacking. I recommend skipping this.

"You're going to want to be real delicate here."

Grade: D
½ May 10, 2016
This a far stretch from the first film. It's poorly acted and corny.
May 6, 2016
I don't know why this movie was made, other than to cash in on the success of the previous film. It's not even really that fun to watch.
April 1, 2016
Not the same and I will just think there is only one to the XXX films, its watchable but i'd not think of it as a sequel.
March 23, 2016
I was entertained by the movie. I enjoyed the action. Perhaps taking pain killers was the reason, but I doubt it as the wife seemed to enjoy it too.
January 24, 2016
What is this? This is a slap in the face to the first xXx movie.
½ January 17, 2016
lol he has sex with the car girl at the end
January 16, 2016
Fun to watch regardless of any downsides.
December 19, 2015
Just as good as the original. Though no one can replace vin in these.
½ September 15, 2015
Although xXx was a most unsatisfactory film, my desire to explore everything Ice Cube had done drew me into xXx: State of the Union.

xXx: State of the Union serves as the sequel to xXx (2002), an overblown film which failed to do any justice for me as a viewer. xXx's main fault was the fact that it did not deliver on the generic contract it made to the MTV crowd. It had plenty of Vin Diesel, but little in terms of X-Games sports or high profile action. xXx: State of the Union takes a different approach since it forsakes extreme sports and heavy metal music in favour of military warfare and rap music. The contrast between the nature of class in these elements is intended to be a source of comic value for the film, but the potential for any smart satirical edge is burdened by overbearing direction and an excessive reliance on the novelty of the main actor.
xXx: State of the Union boasts Lee Tamahori as director, and though he was once the great New Zealand filmmaker who created the masterpiece Once Were Warriors, he is now a recognizable sellout of massively overblown proportions. With xXx: State of the Union, Lee Tamahori repeats the feat he "accomplished" on Die Another Day (2002) of crafting a film loaded with gadgets and over the top action without much in the way of practicality, favouring visual effects significantly more. Die Another Day was the film which made audiences confront the fact that director Lee Tamahori specialized in putting way too much CGI into a single film, while prior to that he made it clear on Along Came a Spider (2001) that he did not have an eye for convincing visual effects. If you can recall that intro scene from the latter where the poorly rendered CGI car crash happens, imagine that going on for ten times as long and you have xXx: State of the Union. The major scenes in the film to use CGI cross between two central flaws: being so overblown that the featre looks animated at one moment, then cutting to actors clearly placed in front of a green screen at the next. I'll admit that there certainly wasn't as much CGI overkill as I was expecting in the film, but the action had other faults to it too. Whenever the film makes use of practical stunts or close combat fight scenes instead of visual effects, excessively choppy editing is the central thing plaguing the film. In a reflection of the ridiculously fast pace of the film, the editing in xXx: State of the Union attempts to keep things feeling quick through choppy editing techniques. By that regard, much of the action in xXx: State of the Union features the two faults destroying the industry of action cinema today. There are some sporadic moments of intense fun within the high quantity of it all and the over the top nature of some of the stunts is surely funny on some level, but it is hardly enough to constitute a film that is any kind of legitimate. Still, the fact that xXx: State of the Union maintains a faster pace and significantly larger quantity of action than its predecessor means it is automatically superior in my opinion.
xXx was a film which took its story too seriously, but xXx: State of the Union doesn't even pretend to care about having one. This proves to benefit and detract from the film because it paves the way for the film to focus significantly more on action, but at the same time it rushes through things at such a ridiculous pace that the manic energy can prove overwhelming. But even with such a rapid pace, xXx: State of the Union cannot run fast enough to escape the fact that its story is ludicrously senseless. The plot in xXx: State of the Union is incompetent, desperately attempting to string together a collection of spy movie conventions and ridiculously convoluted plot twists with a series of over the top wall-to-wall action scenes without even much of an attempt to pretend there is anything strong enough to tie it all together.
One notable difference between the two xXx films is that the cast seem more relevant this time around.
Ice Cube's performance is a little much. The man has a heavy persona, but he lacks the muscular physique provided by Vin Diesel which makes him less convincing during action scenes. It makes him difficult to believe as Navy Seal Darius Stone, and as it is there are some moments where the use of stunt doubles is clear. The attempts to disguise this beneath the editing are not always convincing, and yet Lee Tamahori brushes over all this to pretend that it can be taken seriously. By contrast, the character cannot. xXx: State of the Union relies so heavily on the stereotypical nature of Ice Cube's street persona that it throws them in the viewer's face repeatedly without the use of subtlety, and as a result his jokes are milked bone dry. The most critical of viewers who are not already large fans of Ice Cube are bound to find frustration in this, and even for his fans it can prove a little much. Still, with everything around him being so ridiculous, he proves to be the better kind and brings audiences the gift of laughter. Giving the former rapper a leading role in a $110 million action film is a ridiculous enough concept as it is, and yet despite being ridden with a ludicrous nature on the surface and in deep, Ice Cube's performance remains the greatest thing about xXx: State of the Union. The man is a novelty in the film, and despite heavy repetition his persona is hilarious to me as a fan of his. He is clearly there to play a stereotypical character and appeal to an esoteric market, but since I happen to fall into that I was able to happily embrace everything senseless about his effort by favouring his instinctive comedic charisma as being sufficient. Ice Cube has more comedic edge than Vin Diesel did, and so I feel that there is more to the character this time.
And Samuel L. Jackson gets slightly more screen time in xXx: State of the Union than he did in the preceding film, and considering that his sophisticated African-American stereotype contrasts with Ice Cube's "gangsta" edge there is a slight sense of comedy that comes from their interactions. He is condemned to appearing sporadically and delivering heavily generic language, but his consistent confidence always keeps him maintaining a sense of confident understanding over what he's doing. Samuel L. Jackson steps it up for his appearance in xXx: State of the Union and so he too is an improvement over the preceding film.
The presence of Xzibit is also a nice touch. But I will say that I found frustration with the role played by Scott Speedman. Scott Speedman is little more than an annoying detraction from Ice Cube in xXx: State of the Union. In an intent to create comedic contrast for Ice Cube's "gangsta" archetype, Scott Speedman plays the fish out of water stereotype as the honky among gangstas. Though he is naturally lifeless, the contrast to the more appealing stereotypes around him makes his effort seem even less appealing as a result. Scott Speedman fails to stir up any laughter and merely becomes a blank face and lifeless face in a film which moves much faster than he can keep up with.

So xXx: State of the Union benefits from the over the top nature of Ice Cube's stereotypical persona and an increase in action since the preceding film, but the overtly repetitive nature of the script, convoluted narrative (or lack thereof) and action that oscillates between CGI overkill and choppy editing ultimately ensures that it too is nothing to boast about.
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