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Overall Rating
1.74

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
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"A terrible film ... and I actually LIKED the original!"
2 stars

Samuel L. Jackson declares in "XXX: State of the Union" that "'Triple-X' is the designation we give to special agents with skills in blah blah blah," and he goes on for a minute and I didn't get it all down. But he's lying, though, or it's been a while since he watched the first "XXX." In that movie, XXX was the nickname of Xander Cage, the criminal recruited by the National Security Agency to prevent European anarchists from terrorizing the world. Evidently, he was so good at it that now the NSA has named the position of rogue-military-guy-recruited-to-do-top-secret-things after him, the way universities will name certain professorships after past scholars.

XXX himself, we are told in passing, was killed in Bora Bora. This is movie code for "Vin Diesel wanted to much money for the sequel." So we have Ice Cube instead, playing Darius Stone, a Navy SEAL currently in prison for an incident in Kosovo where he defied the orders of his general, George Deckert (Willem Dafoe), who is now Secretary of Defense. Stone was morally right, of course, and Deckert is a bad guy, of course. You can tell Deckert is a villain as soon as you see him, even before you know what happened in Kosovo, because he is played by Willem Dafoe.

Anyway, at the film's outset, a top-secret NSA facility is taken over by people who apparently are bad guys but who apparently are also in the NSA. They have an endgame in mind that includes (but is not limited to) assassinating the president, and Jackson, reprising his role as NSA chief Augustus Gibbons, knows just the man for the job of stopping them: Stone. It's all hush-hush, so he has to break Stone out of prison, during which approximately 25 guards have an opportunity to shoot Stone yet don't even try. Apparently, if you attempt a break from a maximum-security prison, they will engage you in as many fistfights as is necessary to subdue you, but under no circumstances will they draw their guns and shoot you. (What are the minimum-security prisons like? Are they just allowed to yell at you?)

I freely confess to being a fan of the original "XXX." I liked Vin Diesel's absurdly cocky screen persona, and the film's steady stream of over-the-top action sequences and outrageous stunts amused me to no end. It struck me as a movie that, rather than seeking to explain away its 007-style sexism and physics-defying feats, sought to embrace them instead.

The sequel, rather than being big and dumb, is just dumb. It was written by Simon Kinberg, whose previous credits are as "script doctor" for "Elektra" and "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle." But both of those movies were terrible. What did the "script doctor" do, come in and make the scripts worse?

The dialogue in this film, directed by Lee Tamahori ("Die Another Day") is as generic and faux-cool as the worst Jean-Claude Van Damme straight-to-video action flicks, and its several small action scenes are far from being a constant parade (like its predecessor had), nor are any of them particularly adrenaline-pumping. Even the ridiculously over-blown climax -- involving the President of the United States' bullet train that emerges from under the White House, which I'm guessing you didn't know he had -- is, boiled down to its essential elements, very basic: two guys fighting on a train, and one of them is Willem Dafoe. Where's the thrill in that?

Furthermore, where Xander Cage was an "extreme sports" expert who skied, snowboarded and parachuted, all Darius Stone can do is drive cars really fast. The NSA has recruited a man whose major talent is being a leftover from "The Fast and the Furious."

This is to say nothing of Ice Cube's screen persona, which confuses coolness with dullness. Gibbons said they wanted to find someone "deadlier, more dangerous, (with) more attitude" than the first XXX, but what they found is a surly grimacer with no charisma. Who will be the third XXX? Ice-T? Mr. T? Someone with no T in his name at all? Hopefully we won't have to find out.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11933&reviewer=247
originally posted: 04/29/05 16:29:18
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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
6/22/08 PAUL SHORTT FUNCTIONS LESS AS A FILM THAN AS OVERACTIVE ADRENAL GLAND 1 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 correction.george 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  29-Apr-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 26-Jul-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  28-Apr-2005


Directed by
  Lee Tamahori

Written by
  Simon Kinberg

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



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