DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Film Review: xXx 2


"Oh Cube, that's a big one..."


XXX2: The Next Level (12a) or if you live in the US... XXX2 State of the Union
Dir. Lee Tamahori

Reviewed by Matt Adcock


When the world needs saving from megalomaniacs, warmongers or dastardly political enemies, there’s only one super spy who can save the day – unfortunately James Bond isn’t available at the moment… So, here’s an American alternative, special agent XXX, low on sophistication, high on stupidity and packing a serious number of weapons. They say “Stupid is, as stupid does” and this film is a prime example…XXX2 is the chubbier, less likeable and even more retarded follow up to 2002’s all action XXX ‘extreme movie sensation’.

It appears that when bald, bad-ass, Vin Diesel turned up to reprise his role as the ‘anti Bond’, director Lee Tamahori told him to” XXX off” so they could get podgy rapper turned actor Ice Cube in as the new bigger (as in fatter), badder (as in “at acting”) XXX. Quite why anyone thought this would be a good idea is hard to fathom, you might not like Diesel but at least he looked mean and tough enough to be a super agent. Cube looks like a confused and constipated Care Bear with an unconvincing snarl on his chubby chops throughout. I’ve seen my mum look meaner – in fact I think my dear old mum would have been a much better choice to be the new XXX even though she retired a few years ago.

Anyway, big dumb XXX2 is given the job of saving the US President from an internal coup being planned by Willem Dafoe (as Gen. George Octavius Deckert - think Green Goblin without the funky costume). Along the way we get to witness Cube eating a lots of junk food, spouting lots of junk dialogue and blow a lot of stuff up. When the highlight of a film is a tank battle which takes place on board an aircraft carrier you know that any visages of subtlety have long ago been reported AWOL.

Samuel L Jackson is on hand to try and add some much need credibility but even he is forced to give up and look on in bemusement, along with the audience, as the XXX franchise straps on masses of self-destructive material and takes a running jump off the cliff of watchability.
Of course there will be those out there who enjoy XXX2, but then I’m told there are people out there who play banjos, torture animals and marry their sisters – and it’s very possible that these two groups seriously overlap…



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Darkmatt Rating: ö (get's worse the more you think about it)

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