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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.85%
Worth A Look: 7.69%
Average: 5.13%
Pretty Bad: 25.64%
Total Crap57.69%

6 reviews, 42 user ratings

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XXX: State of the Union
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by Erik Childress

"Nothing that Hall Needham Couldn’t Have Fixed"
1 stars

XXX is one film franchise that should have been killed off before it even had a chance to matriculate. The arrival of State of the Union confirms it as a virus threatening enough to spread further with vacant heroes and directors who should vacate themselves from the action genre altogether. From Vin Diesel to Ice Cube and Rob Cohen to Lee Tamahori, the odds of a sequel to one of the very worst big-budget products of late pulling up even lamer were about the same as me winning the Kentucky Derby. As the one being whipped. I’m now considering placing a call to Earlie Fires. And that’s still less ridiculous and more entertaining than XXX squared.

The division which thought it would be a good idea to hire an extreme sports nut to do its dirty work is all but wiped out in the opening scene, which in its PG-13 simplicity had me thinking “simulation” rather than massacre. All these dudes did die though, leaving Samuel L. Jackson’s Agent Gibbons and his annoying know-it-all techno geek (a staggeringly annoying Michael Roof) to seek out a new XXX. Apparently they think so much of Xander Cage’s work the first go round that they’ve named this special tactics position after him. (Remember he had a tattoo on the back of his neck?) Then again, the filmmakers thought so little of Diesel ditching the series that they kill off his character as a “special feature” on the new DVD (played by another actor, no less) and give him a one-line sendoff here.

Ice Cube’s Darius Stone doesn’t snowboard or wear man furs. He was a member of the Gibbons team unfairly imprisoned for the operation which left those nasty scars on his face. Now their commanding officer, George Deckert (Willem Dafoe), has become Secretary of Defense and is planning on taking out President Peter Strauss because he’s not happy with him using his legacy to shut down military bases or something. Deckert’s plan? To fake the deaths of Gibbons’ team and then use them in an assault on the Capital building. Why fake their deaths and imprison them, though? Beats the hell out of me. Stone’s plan? To use his neighborhood homies, including Xzibit and his Pimp My Ride chop shop/strip club to hijack a cheese truck full of guns (with the blocks of cheese displayed in the back like a bakery) and bust through the streets of Washington on a late Tuesday in January when all of our favorite network shows are preempted.

My mouth was so agape watching this film, I could have been mistaken for a Madame Tussaud rendering of Paris Hilton. Forgiveness can always be justified when a film announces its intentions from scene one to being nothing but a mindless extravaganza of vehicles and explosions. Other than the gearheads shooting their loads over each successive car that gets unveiled with more detailed dimensions than any of the characters, action fans will be forced to get their adrenaline rush from someplace else.

The initial ambush and prison escape aren’t bad, but the theft of a tank aboard a carrier succumbs to a depth of directorial incompetence not seen since the likes of Megaforce. How many sideways shots can we see of Ice Cube, then the villain, a-one, a-two, a-THREE, left, right and back again. The climax is so riddled with sixth-grade special effects that it crosses the flow chart into mediocre anime and is so intent in throwing in everything but the creator of the kitchen sink, it looks as if the great plan to rescue the President involves banging Ben from Felicity into the window of a train. Seriously, Sin City doesn’t have as much blue screen as the last twenty minutes and the only thing defying gravity is Sunny Mabrey’s breasts, which follow her everywhere as she plays some Senator’s daughter turned counter-revolutionary. Or maybe she wasn’t the Senator’s daughter and just had keys to his mansion while nobody was home. Or who the hell knows? Like I said nobody was awake at the wheel when writing this thing.

It was just a matter of time before Cube blacked it up for audiences disappointed in Diesel’s lightness. The ubitquious “cap” to be busted off may stand for Catapult Accumulator Pressure, but he can’t resist the racial humor involving guns, the KKK and fried cookouts. Cube evens busts off a few rhymes for the rap crowd (suited and booted, hack-a-jack, assholes and elbows, blood and mud – twice). Black women may be relieved that the Cubester rejects the luscious scoop of vanilla goodness but get confused why the sista (Nona Gaye) looks more like a transvestite and I’m not quite sure Spike Lee would approve of his Do the Right Thing anthem, “Fight the Power” being remixed to fit an attack on Washington. “Brother, I was born lookin’ guilty,” says the Cube. As charged, brotha.

State of the Union is too ridiculously self-aware to bask in the arrogance of the original which felt it was offering up something fresh to the action hero regime. That still can’t excuse itself from being an even more shoddily packaged excursion unless you believe seeing Ice Cube in a wet suit positions him as a front runner for the new James Bond. I’m sure this film will add to Sam Jackson’s box office total and his argument for being the top box office star in the world, but just because you hook yourself up with a winning franchise that doesn’t make you Phil Jackson. All things being equal, I would probably watch this one again before I did the first. But that’s like saying I’d rather have a great stress-relieving bowel movement than passing a kidney stone made of glass.

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originally posted: 04/29/05 14:05:39
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User Comments

9/04/15 David Hollingsworth A horrible sequel to a movie no one really wanted in the first place. 1 stars
2/16/11 max lords the black woman was not a man, the movie wasn't half bad. 4 stars
12/19/09 Jeff Wilder Ice Cube can act better than Vin Diesel. But the movie is still no improvement. 2 stars
5/25/07 Nadeem Malik Yuck 4 stars
2/24/07 D Completely redefines the genre, like Die Hard before it 5 stars
12/15/06 BrianDePalma Watching such atrocity is self-torture 1 stars
10/16/06 Charles Tatum It makes "Torque" look like "The Guns of Navarone" 1 stars
8/17/06 Amal Silly, overdone, poor humor and no decent thread 1 stars
6/17/06 Zed Cinematic equivalent of deadly toxic waste 1 stars
5/14/06 Jason Garbage product from Hollywood 1 stars
4/25/06 Alex Kalk I liked the movie but it would have been better with vin diseasal 4 stars
4/10/06 Anthony Feor The absence of Diesel makes this movie lose stars, but it is in fact not that bad 3 stars
2/06/06 Craig The WORST sequel i've ever seen. Yes the Worst 1 stars
12/08/05 JM Synth Unlike the first, you could at least honestly call this an action flick 3 stars
10/18/05 malcolm nona gaye's cleavage was the best part 2 stars
9/15/05 Tom Burns Action packed. 4 stars
9/02/05 tony PHONEY! this movie could have been better. it is too overrated for me. Wheres Vin Deisel? 2 stars
8/26/05 BIG-TE This movie sucks balls!!! 1 stars
8/06/05 LA Boy One of the worst movie ever. Ice cude doesn't fit to this movie 1 stars
8/04/05 Brittany AWESOME! 5 stars
8/03/05 Highlyed This was pretty bad and don't blame cube Denzel could have been in this and it woul dhave 2 stars
8/02/05 Bad Critic Not nearly as beliveable or intelligent as the first one, but had some cool action scenes. 4 stars
7/29/05 Doodah Bobo Good action could've made this a satisfying film without the racial stereotypes. 3 stars
7/27/05 Ice-T Only thing entertaining about seein this was my gf blowin me off 1 stars
7/25/05 Suke This would have been good if it took place in Compton with a giant Anaconda drinking 40s. 1 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins XXX is actually Ice Cube's waist size 1 stars
6/08/05 Anthony G God damn this movie sucked DICK,piece of shit plot and cast, ditch this bullshit 1 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW The only saving grace to this flaming peice of DOGSHIT, was Willem Dafoe & Sam L. Jackson! 2 stars
5/26/05 tony lazenby sucked!!! thats y he was fired. This movie was a bad sequel. 2 stars
5/20/05 varyouga The acting and plot were complete dogshit but it did have some very creative scenes. 4 stars
5/16/05 Steve Newman this is complete bollox - my 12 yr old and his mate loved it (its still bollox) 1 stars
5/16/05 gay it sucks 4 life 1 stars
5/09/05 croweater888 George Lazenby quit before the films release, he wast fired.This film really sucked people! 1 stars
5/05/05 Kristi i believe that Vin Diesel was 100 times better than ice cube as xxx. 3 stars
5/05/05 Christy Schultz Yuck...miss the first one 1 stars
5/03/05 M Vin was smart to say NO! Ice Cube is poorly cast! 1 stars
5/03/05 Josh How sad that blacks people and teenagers apparently will pay to see anything 1 stars
5/03/05 Kristina Williams No Vin? No Asia Argento? No see. 1 stars
5/02/05 KingNeutron Direction was pretty awful, but it *did* have some truly funny moments. 2 stars
5/01/05 herrinfamily yuck 2 stars
5/01/05 Hannah The black woman is a transvestite but the white woman is "lucious"? Whatever. 5 stars
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  29-Apr-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 26-Jul-2005



Directed by
  Lee Tamahori

Written by
  Simon Kinberg

  Ice Cube
  Samuel L. Jackson
  Willem Dafoe
  Scott Speedman
  Nona Gaye
  Peter Strauss

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