xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Critics Consensus

xXx: Return of Xander Cage should satisfy fans of the first two installments, but its preponderance of set pieces can't quite make up for a tired storyline that fails to take the franchise -- or action fans -- anywhere new.



Total Count: 140


Audience Score

User Ratings: 25,171
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Movie Info

The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora's Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments. Packed with the series' signature deadpan wit and bad-ass attitude, "xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE" will raise the bar on extreme action with some of the most mind-blowing stunts to ever be caught on film.


Vin Diesel
as Xander Cage
Tony Jaa
as Talon
Ruby Rose
as Adele
Toni Collette
as Jane Marke
Samuel L. Jackson
as Augustus Gibbons
Al Sapienza
as CIA Director
Rory McCann
as Tennyson Torch
Tony Gonzalez
as Paul Donovan
Nigel Bennett
as M16 Control
Terry Chen
as Chinese Politico
Daniel Kash
as Russian Spymaster
Kris Wu
as Nicks
Nicky Jam
as Lazarus
as Neymar
Charles Carroll
as Friendly Man
Héctor Aníbal
as Swat Captain
Bailey King
as Ainsley's Girls
Helena-Alexis Seymour
as Ainsley's Girl
Pilar Cruz
as Ainsley's Girl
Megan Soo
as Ainsley's Girl
Kristen Kurnik
as Ainsley's Girl
Courtney Friel
as Newscaster
Rochelle Harrison
as Choir Member
Wayne Ambrose
as Choir Member
Everald Bernard
as Choir Member
Douglas Fidel Muir
as Choir Member
Ermine Gittens
as Choir Member
Wayne Macdonald
as Choir Member
Rebecca Leung
as Island Bartender
Ken Tran
as Robber
Taylor Thaddeus
as Club Raver
Nick Grimes
as Bouncer
Kip Brown
as Bouncer
Betty Zhou
as Club Announcer
Julie Abcede
as Catwalk Partiers
Jenny Itwaru
as Catwalk Partiers
Josh Pagcaliwangan
as Catwalk Partiers
Boris Brown
as Catwalk Partiers
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News & Interviews for xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Critic Reviews for xXx: Return of Xander Cage

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (77)

Audience Reviews for xXx: Return of Xander Cage

  • Sep 24, 2018
    Not that it matters to most of you, but there wasn't a review yesterday as a result of the fact that it was a repeat of a movie I watched not more than two months ago. The review is on Letterboxd and RT so, as a result, I didn't feel like reviewing it again as my thoughts didn't change that much from then until now. Regardless, Vin Diesel is an interesting man to say the least. It should be obvious, to anyone that can see and hear, that the guy isn't the best of actors. Another thing that's interesting is the fact that, while Diesel is a part of the massively successful Fast and Furious franchise, which has got to be a multi-billion dollar property for Universal by now, is he hasn't gone on to enjoy the same box office success outside of the major franchises that he is a part of like The Rock who is, also, a part of the Fast and Furious universe. When put side by side, realistically speaking, the Rock is considerably far more charismatic and is the better actor of the two. That's not to say that Vin doesn't have his charms or anything of the sort, it's just that The Rock has more of it. So that's interesting. Having said that, there's something about Diesel that feels inextricably attached to the franchises that he is a part of. I don't wanna say that he controls every aspect of what goes into a xXx, Fast and Furious or Riddick movie, but I'm certain that he has SOME sort of control over these franchises and where they should go. He seems like a guy who's far more hands-on than most actors of his ilk when it comes to the properties he is attached to. Maybe that's how I perceive it, but I've always felt that Vin Diesel is incredibly passionate about all the franchises that he's helped make famous. But, for the interest of fairness, I feel like I should mention that I wasn't exactly the biggest fan of the original xXx. I remember saying in my (very brief) review for that movie (on RottenTomatoes) that it made me look forward to this movie. But, as a whole, I didn't feel that the movie was very consistent and, according to my review, it fell apart in the last 30 minutes. Honestly, I do not remember how it fell apart because I watched that movie quite a few years ago. Then again, to be fair, I really remember a lot of movies unless they're terrible or fantastic. So the original movie can't have been that bad. And I didn't see the second movie with Ice Cube, so there's that. With that out of the way, in my opinion, I found this to be a better movie than the original. I'd even say that, as a whole, I actually came to enjoy this movie. I say as a whole because, for about two-thirds of the movie, everything leading up to the eventual betrayal of both of the xXx crews by the NSA, was fairly standard. Xander Cage is brought back for one last mission after the death of Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson's character). Basically, he's been contracted to take down this group of individuals that possesses this so-called Pandora's Box. This Pandora's Box is a device that allows those in possession of it to crash satellites (as warheads) in specific locations all around the world. Xander teams up with how own team of adrenaline junkies (also xXx agents...or whatever) after he rejects the NSA's soldiers. Xander's team then goes after the 'villains' of the movie, who possess Pandora's Box. Turns out that the 'villains' of the movie are also xXx agents recruited by Gibbons. It's all fairly generic and standard. It's not good, but it's not bad, right? Everything leading up to Xander and his team killing the person responsible for crashing the satellites is where the movie is at is weakest. Because, to me, the movie spends more time having the two sets of xXx agents feuding against each other and not, actually, attempting to find the person who is responsible. That's why, to me, the whole thing with crashing satellites feels ancillary. And it's not that I have a problem with that, in a way, because Donnie Yen (who leads the other xXx team) is in this movie and the more Donnie Yen I get, the happier I am. But the fact of the matter is that, right from the very beginning, it's gonna end up with Xander and his team working together with Xiang (Yen's character) and his team due to some sort of betrayal. And the fact that the movie took so long to get to that point was a little unsatisfying. It might have been a little more satisfying if the whole 'crashing satellites' thing was a little more relevant in the long run but, really, it serves as a backdrop to Marke (who brings Xander back into the fold, officially) and the NSA betraying Xander after his team gets the job done. The way I would have done it is, almost immediately, I would have gotten rid of the guy who was dropping the satellites. Like, say, within 45 minutes or so. There's still an hour or so left in the movie at this point. This is when I'd have the betrayal happen and then Xander and Xiang's teams could work together to fight back against the NSA. By the time you do get to the betrayal, you only have less than 30 minutes for the teams to work together and fight back and, honestly, with how fun the last 30 minutes were, I find that to be a little disappointing. I do think that this is when the action really shines. It's not like it's gonna blow anyone's minds or anything even remotely close to that, but it is fun. And the movie has built up enough of its characters by this point for you to have grown to like them. This is something that's present in Fast and Furious as well, but the casting is certainly not cookie cutter. There's a lot of variety in the casting here and I've got to applaud that, but it also makes sense within the context of the movie. However, with that said, there are some fairly retrograde moments very early on in the movie. Like how almost every woman that Xander comes across is immediately sexually attracted to him. There's this one scene where he's trying to gain the hacking services of this young lady. She leads him on to believe that there could be something there, but she rejects him. She then has him have sex with ten other women (who presumably work for her) in order to pay for her services. Yes, really. James Bond ain't got nothing on this fucking guy, Xander sleeps with TEN women at once. On top of sleeping with another woman PRIOR to this scene and getting with Serena at the end. Xander Cage gets more ass than a toilet seat So, again, that was a little strange and somewhat at odds with the rest of the movie. The movie does tone it down a bit after he meets Becky for the first time, but it was still odd seeing that. Like I mentioned, the casting is more than solid all-around. And Vin Diesel, despite his limitations as an actor, does a good job as this character. I would definitely not mind seeing this same cast and crew come together for a fourth film, which seems to be the plan as of right now. I mean, now they're probably gonna be on the run from the NSA and, I'm certain, many other worldwide government agencies, so it'll be interesting to see. So yes, while this movie is gonna get three stars (probably against my better judgment), I feel like I legitimately came to enjoy this movie. That's not to say that it isn't without its many scripting flaws and strange pacing, but I feel it all comes together to a reasonably over-the-top and satisfying popcorn movie. It's not gonna change the world, in the slightest, but I enjoyed myself with this movie. I can't exactly give it a glowing recommendation, but if you loved the first two movies, then you should probably love this one as well. If you hated the previous two movies then you might want to stay away.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2018
    XXX: The Return of Xander Cage is an explosive, high-adrenaline action film. When a deadly satellite weapon is stolen from the NSA they recruit rogue Triple X agent Xander Cage to recover it, and to do so he puts together a team with unique skills. Starring Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, Ruby Rose, and Nina Dobrev, the film has a pretty impressive cast. The script however, is garbage. The plot is formulaic, the characters are one-dimensional stereotypes, and the dialog is awful. But the actions scenes are fun and exciting. And the director does a good job at shooting the fights and chases, keeping them fast-paced and full of energy. It's generic and dumb, but nevertheless XXX: The Return of Xander Cage is entertaining and delivers a lot of thrills.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • May 30, 2018
    A threequel arriving 15 years late to the party, the sometimes diverting xXx: The Return of Xander Cage capitalizes on the career resurgence of Vin Diesel, making good on its title but not much else. In this PG-13-rated spy actioner, Xander Cage (Diesel) gets left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson). After some promising turns in weightier fare (Saving Private Ryan, Boiler Room) Vin Diesel became a star and then rejuvenated his stardom by sticking to what he knows best, namely the Riddick trilogy and The Fast & the Furious it makes perfect sense that he would mine some other dated properties that likewise didn't tank. xXx wasn't great in 2002 and it certainly isn't great now. In fact, Diesel even gave up on this series once himself by sitting out Part Two (Ice Cube stepped up in his stead). Part Three exists simply because it's a good fit for its charismatic star, who is still cresting in the white-hot wake of Fate of the Furious and all that preceded it. Hell, if Babylon AD hadn't babbled off at the box office, we might very well be sitting through Babylon HD instead. But here we are, revisiting an extreme sports action-soaked two-fer that should've been a one-fer. Indeed, the first xXx is a rote rock 'em sock 'em love child that resulted from merging three not-entirely-strange bedfellows: action star Diesel, spy flicks, and the X-Games. Featuring a key moment in which Xander Cage snowboards out of a helicopter, it is overblown and brash but certainly fits the bill for moviegoers who would get behind a separate 007 series starring just James Bond's stunt double. One scene toward the end of the flick perfectly sums up the xXx experience: Diesel, racing a tricked-up Pontiac GTO along a river that's host to a fast-moving submarine armed with a biochemical agent, remarks to the impossibly beautiful Asia Argento, "I have to get on that submarine." The audience can only reply, "Of course you do, Vin." With director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) taking over for Rob Cohen (Stealth), The Return of Xander Cage manages to give audiences a reheated and similar tasting second helping of these same preposterous antics. He has a new love interest (Deepika Padukone), but romance has never been Diesel's strong suit. Flexing and blowing stuff up while riding a dirt bike are more in his wheelhouse and there's plenty of that. The best moment arrives when Cage (and Diesel by proxy) give an appropriate nod to the past, namely 2005's State of the Union. Hey, the movie knows exactly what it is. If only it knew when to quit. To Sum It Up: Sporting Not-So-Goods
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 26, 2017
    Vin Diesel has always used XXX as his passion project. The first was fun and new to the eye of the beholder while the second saw him step away (much like he did with 2 Fast 2 Furious) when things might have looked bleak. So he returns 10 years later with Return of Xander Cage, which is neither fun nor exciting. It's almost pathetic. When the character was first introduced, Cage was fool-hearty, suave, and adventurous. 10 years later, everything feels forced and fake. There's a XXX program created by Samuel L Jackson's character, but the problem is now we have about four too many characters to introduce and keep up with over the course of the film. Toni Collette's character was more laughable than fearsome even when you put it next to Marton Csoska's Yorgi from the first. Nina Dobrev's Becky was over-the-top. Even though this story lacked any kind of structure, it was still semi fun to be part of the XXX franchise again. It just wasn't worth watching in total.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer

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