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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
[] Buy posters from this movie
by U.J. Lessing

"Ice Cube is the next Joe Don Baker!"
1 stars

As a standalone film, xXx: State of the Union is a mediocre action film best suited to gather dust beside old Lorenzo Lamas flicks at Blockbuster. Because it’s a sequel to a highly promising franchise starter, the film is just disheartening.

The original xXx was an energetic and exotic movie for those who thought James Bond deserved to be placed in a retirement facility. xXx introduced us to Xander Cage, a character that was part Mickey Rourke and part Tony Hawke, and critics and fans alike anticipated a sequel that would continue to follow the exploits of this vigorous character.

No such luck: Xander is dead folks.

In xXx: State of the Union, An unidentified military splinter group led by a disgruntled soldier (Willem Defoe, who clearly has not learned a damn thing about sequels without stars from Speed 2: Cruise Control) is conspiring to overthrow the government. They have killed Xander Cage and attacked the National Security Agency. Agent Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) must recruit a new renegade warrior, so he springs ex-navy seal, Darius Stone (Ice Cube), from prison to fight the baddies and keep our nation safe.

My guess is that Vin Diesel’s departure from the franchise was his own choice and could not be helped, but casting Ice Cube as a replacement? Come on! Diesel is a dynamic action hero. Ice Cube is a bland, lifeless actor.

For the majority of the movie, Ice Cube wears the same dour expression pasted to his face. He just looks uncomfortable and a little lost. Also, Ice Cube isn’t exactly in peak physical shape, and spotting his stunt doubles is really easy. The only similarity that Cube and Diesel share is that they both appear to have ditched their birth name and pulled their new ones out of a hat.

While the first film took our hero to mysterious foreign locations, xXx: State of the Union sticks firmly to clichéd locals in the United States. There’s the secret underground base covered from floor to ceiling with computer screens. There’s the chop shop in the inner city complete with booming bass and scantily dressed silicon girls sitting on every horizontal surface. There’s the capitol building, a locale with apparently no security system in place whatsoever. (A few metal detectors would have been enough to derail the villains’ plans)

The only action sequence that offers a glimpse of creativity is a tank battle on an aircraft carrier. Granted, a tank battle inside a ship isn’t exactly the smartest thing our hero could provoke, but it’s still a fun (and too brief) moment.

xXx: State of the Union ends with NSA people discussing who the new “xXx” is going to be. Clearly Sony Pictures plans on keeping this franchise alive, while jettisoning Ice Cube, and this is just plain rude. Even George Lazenby wasn’t fired from the role of James Bond until after his film tanked.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/29/05 13:57:02
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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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