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Overall Rating
2.27

Awesome: 14.02%
Worth A Look: 13.41%
Average: 7.32%
Pretty Bad: 15.85%
Total Crap49.39%

5 reviews, 134 user ratings


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XXX
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by Scott Weinberg

"X-cessively, X-tremely...Shit, it's just plain BAD."
1 stars

The producers of the new spy turkey XXX purportedly see the project as a "James Bond for the next generation". Sure, I could see that; if our 'next generation' is comprised solely of blithering idiots, that is.

What a ridiculous and poorly made train-wreck of a film this is. Those who've seen at least three spy flicks can predict literally every single twist and turn, and those with a healthy respect for the way physics works will giggle uncontrollably for about 100 minutes. Several action flicks will ask viewers to sit back and "turn their brain off" while the movie unspools; XXX asks you to turn your brain off, kick it across the movie theater like a soccer ball and then urinate all over it. XXX doesn't circumvent intelligence; it despises it.

With a plot culled from movies as similar as La Femme Nikita, Point of No Return, Bad Company and just about any other film featuring more than three helicopters, XXX is three or four loud and inane action sequences mired amidst a movie so low-rent and shoddy that you'd expect it to be found on Cinemax at 4:00 AM. And even then you wouldn't watch it.

Allegedly the newly-crowned 'King of the Action Flicks' Vin Diesel plays Xander Cage, who is a sort of daredevil/felon/social activist as the movie opens. After a moronic opening in which Big X steals a senator's car and drives it off a bridge before escaping via parachute, the mono-syllabic wanker is chosen to be a covert American operative. Our 'hero' is tested in a few painfully contrived scenarios, before he's given his first assignment: go to Prague and infiltrate an underground Russian terrorist group.

Yawn.

Plot means nothing in this movie, regardless of how good or bad it may be. (And believe me, it's bad.) What matters is the reportedly "wall-to-wall" action that director Rob Cohen (filmmaker behind the equally stupid Fast and the Furious) tries to shoehorn in at every conceivable dry spell. Unfortunately, this movie's dry spells outnumber the action scenes by a healthy 5:1 ratio.

And what about these 'oh-so-extreme' action scenes? I dunno. Seems to me like the unwieldly combination of "extreme sports" and "spy movie action" would be a ridiculous marriage at best, yet that doesn't stop the filmmakers from delivering scene after scene that exasperate and annoy more than they do excite and titillate. (The last time I saw such a pitiful attempt at "action combined with..." something, I was watching a movie called Gymkata.) I mean, what's the point of offering an action sequence that NOT ONLY defies every law of physics known to man...but then to deliver the scene in a gaudy slo-mo style?? Talk about sticking your flaws under a magnifying glass! XXX contains visual moments so astronomically ridiculous that you wouldn't buy them as part of a Looney Tunes cartoon, let alone in a film that claims to take place on Earth.

A movie can be stupid and still succeed; to revel in such stupidity and repeatedly call attention to the permeating lack of sense is simply bad filmmaking. Since the screenplay seems like something written over the course of one cable TV-filled weekend, it's only logical to expect that the action scenes should be an improvement over the "plot stuff". I counted five action scenes, none of which were more entertaining than hearing a villain scream through his walkie-talkie "Catch him fast! Kill him slow!" (OK, that line is actually delivered via subtitles, but reading it makes it all the more ridiculous!)

Vin Diesel (who I truly admired back when he was a struggling actor and therefore had to actually "act" for a living) mumbles through the lead role as if he hates the universe. If this is the guy we're supposed to get behind, perhaps the inevitable sequel will take some pains to create an actual character instead of this vapid cipher with dark shades, an eternal glower, and one truly ugly fur coat. The rest of the cast is as generic as the film's title (more on that in a bit), with Samuel L. Jackson adding yet another "sleepwalk" performance to his overloaded filmography and Asia Argento (in full-on Helena Bonham Carter-wannabe mode) sneering and glowering at every turn.

The villains are painfully one-note and uninteresting, an edict one can only assume came attached to the one that read "No character can be more interesting than the painfully one-note hero." In at least that one respect, it seems the filmmakers accomplished what they set out to do. This is Diesel's show all the way, and although the poor schlub is consistently damned by XXX's interminably bad screenplay, the actor simply doesn't have the chops to elevate the role into something worth watching.

The film has an insultingly pandering attitude towards women, features some of the most howlingly awful dialogue since last February's Rollerball fiasco, moves at a (dead) snail's pace in between the explosions and motorcycle flips, and consistently insults its own audience when the unrealistic and poorly photographed action bits manage to lurch onscreen. The big avalanche sequence you've seen in all the commercials seems created solely to construct the world's loudest scene without bothering to make it visually cohesive or even exciting!

But am I maybe being a bit too hard an a stupid action movie that clearly knows that it's a stupid action movie? Nah. Seemingly geared directly (and solely) for 14-year-old boys with more taste for kinetic action than an interest in common sense, XXX still fails in the most basic of action movie requirements: it's not exciting, and it's not any real fun. When the strongest reaction you get from every action scene is "Oh come ON!" followed by about 11 involuntary 'eye-rolls' directed at any audience member who may be looking your way, you're dealing with a movie that swings right past "ridiculous but fun" and right into "Plain. Old. Stupid."

It's odd that MGM studios would take exception with New Line's "Goldmember" character, when this XXX travesty all but blatantly plagiarizes the James Bond character as a whole. (No kidding, it's all here: the babes, the gadgets, the trademark theme music, etc.) Hey, here's a note to whichever filmmaker aims to create the "next James Bond": try not to rip off the series you're trying to surpass with the subtlety of a loud screaming fart and then claim to have "created the next James Bond"! You guys haven't created anything; you stole from the Bond series mercilessly, and then amplified the stupidity by about 200 degrees. That's not the "next" anything; that's just a bunch of lazy filmmakers cashing an easy paycheck.

Oh yeah, the title. Our sweaty hero likes to be called "Triple X". He thinks it sounds neat. In my mind, "XC" would make more sense, in that his name is Xander Cage. (Maybe his name should have been "Xander Xavier Xylophone"?) But again, I'm looking for logic in a film that absolutely revels in its own stupidity like a pig rolls about in his own...swill. Call me a cold-hearted curmudgeon for not being able to enjoy a 'mindless action movie', but I'm of the opinion that a movie can be mindless without being the peak of all things insipid.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6056&reviewer=128
originally posted: 08/09/02 12:54:49
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User Comments

10/07/13 David Rent "Pitch Black" or "Boiler Room". 1 stars
8/26/13 DB such an awful movie! way over the top! james bond movies are better 1 stars
7/10/10 PAUL SHORTT SILLY, OVER-THE-TOP ACTION THRILLER 2 stars
2/24/10 dinesh plz see me film 4 stars
12/19/09 Jeff Wilder Lots of fury but no sound. 2 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Very Boring! 1 stars
8/13/08 Brenda For a spy movie, it takes it self too seriously. It needed a dose of humor. 2 stars
7/30/08 chris f complete and utter garbage 1 stars
3/29/08 saleem that, good xxx films 5 stars
5/10/07 Mandee good movie 4 stars
4/12/07 R Outt were do they get off making rubbish like this? a truely snooze-inducing flick. 1 stars
3/21/07 man lame 1 stars
2/08/07 Matt Comparing this dud to Bond is like having sex with a blow-up doll instead of a beauty queen 1 stars
9/23/06 deepanshu so sexy 3 stars
9/04/06 Jarkko Perälä Should have been named "James Bond Xtreme" 1 stars
6/25/06 Greg Pile of diarrhea 1 stars
2/06/06 Anthony Feor Action packed and amazing, well done 4 stars
12/08/05 JM Synth Not even a genuine actionfilm, a jerkoff fest for xtreme sports fanatics. Crappy Soundtrack 2 stars
11/05/05 cooler FUCK YOU VIN DIESEL.WORST ACTION MOVIE EVER 1 stars
10/03/05 Tim the Enchanter I laughed through this movie, it should have been billed as a comedy 2 stars
8/29/05 ES Vin assumes his rightful place beside Seagal and Van Damme 1 stars
8/26/05 Eden Painful to watch 1 stars
8/21/05 tony a keeper! This was filled with action and attitude! 4 stars
7/30/05 R.W. Welch Mostly shlock; a couple good action bits. 2 stars
7/04/05 ALDO stupid...but alright action 3 stars
6/14/05 Anthony G shit? 1 stars
6/07/05 JD The stunts were ridiculous and the acting terrible, should be renamed 00zero. 1 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW Extra score for the heavy-metal soundtrack... Overall, crappy film!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
5/27/05 tony Deisel tries to hard to be macho man. But sometimes it works. I thought it was very good. 4 stars
12/11/04 Jennifer You guys are just jelous because he's so hot.. and all the ladies want him!! 5 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams Vin is a stupid, stupid sumbitch, but the FX were sweet 4 stars
10/14/04 lewis suxxxed 1 stars
8/31/04 hermansyah very nice 4 stars
8/14/04 Brittney Leeb I dun care wut NE of these ppl say xXx was the best movie and i'd watch it 100 times if i.. 5 stars
6/21/04 Stab Wounds Vin Diesel sucks very, very bad 1 stars
5/24/04 Butterbean It's not that bad. I'm ready for the sequel. 4 stars
5/16/04 KRG1 Wow, I didn't know films could be this bad...Diesel has zero acting talent...Horrible 1 stars
5/14/04 Agent Sands Not quite THE most riveting movie, but it's pretty fresh 4 a Hollywood actioner! 4 stars
12/15/03 michaelb14 Sucks Ass beyond all belief 1 stars
11/12/03 Twenty-Two YUMMMM....... Vin Diesel!! 5 stars
8/22/03 Gray didn't like it to much 2 stars
8/11/03 Amy If you liked Fast and the Furious, you'll like this stunner. 1 stars
7/28/03 Ghetto Smurf Explosions and stunts are pretty coo, but everything esle sucks 1 stars
7/23/03 Double G I thought this was porno 1 stars
7/21/03 Igor Vin Diesel forgot how to act. Looks like hes reading cue cards for the whole movie 1 stars
5/23/03 Chiend XXX? Should have been called, ZZZ... 1 stars
5/07/03 leroyjones come on Samuel...u kno better 2 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink Stupid in a 20 % good and 80% bad way. Vin Diesel still has a LOT to prove. 2 stars
4/25/03 Mikee Good for the recycle bin 1 stars
4/24/03 GWB XXX is AAA 5 stars
4/15/03 Jack Bourbon Note to self: Become international illegal-weapons dealer. SUCKS! 1 stars
4/09/03 Taylor Fladgate Once again, my friends, a good Friday night rental 3 stars
4/05/03 Sally Chavez Waaay too long and so bad. Vin's the worst actor in history & v. butt. Asia is cute tho. 1 stars
3/24/03 Sugarfoot An embarrisment 1 stars
3/17/03 Paul Coleman The 'hero' looks like a scumbag C. Bronson would shoot in a DEATH WISH movie. Very Silly. 2 stars
2/24/03 captain poopy WOW. total shit. not even a climactic fight at the end - Bond, rest easy - no threat here. 1 stars
2/17/03 Pat I now associate Vin Diesel with CRAP! 1 stars
2/06/03 123 What's all the big fuss ? Forgettable character, stupid plot, overacted actions 2 stars
1/07/03 PALGary wittiest action flik since Man With The Golden Gun - Blows away any Bond from last 25 years 5 stars
1/06/03 Allen Vin is awful and butt-ugly! Why is he a movie star? 1 stars
12/21/02 Johnny Vin should have canned this after reading the dumb script. 1 stars
11/23/02 freak fucking good 5 stars
11/23/02 Massacree When you think of it as a James Bond copy,this movie is great,but JAMES BOND MOVIES SUCK ! 3 stars
11/20/02 Mike Worst movie ever. 1 stars
11/13/02 Film Dude I should have been paid to see this. 1 stars
11/12/02 AgentDS Most painful movie-going experience since Glitter 1 stars
11/05/02 Fonq35 This sucks the sweat from a deadman's balls 1 stars
11/05/02 Michael Buehler The pre-pubescent action films market apparently requires no plot to be satisfied. 2 stars
11/03/02 phil good action sequenced - but come on Die Another Day is just gunna kick xXx's as 2 stars
11/02/02 matthew best spy movie ever 5 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 Vin Diesel may be over-rated, but the movie wasn't too bad. It's worth seeing. 3 stars
10/25/02 Mr. Hat Vin Diesel an Rob Cohen are reinventing action just as Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo did! 4 stars
10/15/02 Brian Pure 100% garbage. Wouldn't show it to a bum off the street. 1 stars
10/15/02 Joana Hey, it's an awful movie, but did you really expected it to be good with a name like that? 2 stars
10/11/02 y0rt I saw MIIB 1 hour before this, and this is infintismly better. 5 stars
10/09/02 Steph NO one will EVER be better than 007. Superficial teens with no standards will like it. 1 stars
10/04/02 Alex Flynn I think Vin Diesel is mildly retarded. 1 stars
9/24/02 Kris Kincade I loved it for the piece of silly fluff that it was!! 5 stars
9/21/02 amateurs it's only an action movie! should make for easy dubbing ;) 4 stars
9/19/02 Uncle Salty If this movie went to school, it would ride the short bus. 1 stars
9/19/02 brentley James Bond, you might as well give it up. 4 stars
9/12/02 laron chapman you cant believe the action in this movie, its awsome 5 stars
9/10/02 Chancey Thunderpants this son-of-a-bitch movie is trash at its worst. Garbage not fit for anyone w/an iq over 10 1 stars
9/08/02 bob "that's why we're going to knock out the communication tower" 1 stars
9/08/02 Cliché Master Well Space Monkeys, let's hope it doesn't get any worse than this! 1 stars
9/07/02 JesseL Vin kicks butt in a decent action flick. Not for the testosterone-challenged. 4 stars
9/06/02 BrodieMan I see Oz is pimping his opinion again....... 4 stars
9/01/02 Cannibus (Jesus fucking Christ, it blew!) Excruciating to the very end: understatement. Worthless at best. 1 stars
8/27/02 Christopher High unintentional comedy. Everything else terrible 2 stars
8/25/02 Turkish fuckin worst script i have everseen in a movie and ryan leggett is justa little pussy 1 stars
8/25/02 The Chronic Mastubator Awful film, unfortunately it will rake in the money from idiotic 14 yr old boys. 1 stars
8/25/02 Crunchyfrog Enough with the Korn Bizkit soundtracks please, Hollywood 3 stars
8/24/02 ^ZuLu^ absolutely predictable - but worst of all i got bored by all the action! 2 stars
8/23/02 Headshot "Don´t think movie. Think Playstation!" - It´s a PG 13 action movie so it can´t be better.. 3 stars
8/22/02 Dark Barøn Teenager Bond. And Roger Ebert loved it. I lost respect for him. 1 stars
8/22/02 Phoenix Vin Diesel is the best action hero in movies today. 5 stars
8/22/02 Don McDougald Wow....I wish there was a "0 Star" option...this was worse than crap...it was embarassing 1 stars
8/21/02 BrodieMan Not great, not bad. 3 stars
8/19/02 kooler Great dialogue! "These guys attack those guys, those guys attack these guys. . ." 2 stars
8/19/02 Film Guy This is one of the most ridiculous movies ive ever seen, By far one of the years worst 1 stars
8/18/02 Craig Only the Barney generation could fall in love with this bald, irritating monster! 1 stars
8/18/02 Benjamin Leatherman Best video game I ever saw. 3 stars
8/18/02 Naw Hells No This movie sucks but its Vin Diesel so its good.(People are Stupid people) 1 stars
8/18/02 Kyle There's probably a porn movie with the same name, better acting, and a fucking plot. 1 stars
8/18/02 slipperyK Give me Bond anyday...don't want to see it, the trailer made me puke 1 stars
8/18/02 The Truth Much better than the last two James Bond stinkers 4 stars
8/17/02 Anarchy Azmi best movie ever?...somebody please kill hawkboy....bloody gay movie 1 stars
8/17/02 Chelsea No further comments necessary 1 stars
8/16/02 Chris This movie would have kicked ass... if XXX would have died at the end. 1 stars
8/16/02 Jesus I damn Van Diesel and Hawkboy to HELL!!!! 1 stars
8/16/02 Melis Note to Vin: In XXX 2, take more clothing off. Give us something. Seriously. 1 stars
8/16/02 Goldhammer Bond + Dirty Dozen + Lost Boys + Crow = 100% Gay 1 stars
8/16/02 The Chronic Mastubator This movie will be eaten up by juveniles to come on themselves at the shitty action scenes. 1 stars
8/15/02 Double-M Cheey, no question, but incredibly entertaining 5 stars
8/15/02 MrMagic truth in advertising, hilarious dialogue, you gotta love it 5 stars
8/15/02 Schro Man... when we got out of the theater... all we could say was damn. 5 stars
8/14/02 GOOD sucks all ass 1 stars
8/14/02 wintermute Much better than I thought it would be. I would rather watch VIn than Paul Walker anyday. 5 stars
8/14/02 Dave the Knave An outstanding collection of stunts, explosions and babes, all tied up with a horrific plot 2 stars
8/14/02 Interrog8 Entertaining, but dumb action is still dumb. Want talented Vin Diesel, see Boiler Room. 3 stars
8/14/02 Jeff Kovalski Vin Diesal is an unevolved, pathetic excuse for talent of any kind. 1 stars
8/14/02 Ramblin' Wreck jesus............this crap is what passes for Bond nowadays??? wait till Dec.... 1 stars
8/14/02 ajay mildy amusing, but ultra-cheesy 2 stars
8/13/02 Benjo Supid, stupid, stupid!!! 1 stars
8/12/02 Caiphn This wasn't even entertaining. 2 stars
8/12/02 David A. It's a pathetic, sickening, snotty, phony PIECE! Vin Diesel is a bratty little poser! 1 stars
8/12/02 Mike Exciting flick 5 stars
8/11/02 malcolm good for what it was -- mindless action fun 3 stars
8/11/02 KCK This movie was a bore... the trailers were dumb but exciting but nothing happened in this 1 stars
8/10/02 Ed Roy Scott Weinberg is EXACTLY right. 1 stars
8/10/02 J.D. Semlow XXX has a lot of great action, but is too long and gets too ridiculous. 3 stars
8/10/02 Kooze Hell in a handbasket. I once though Diesel was good. He proves here he's awful. 1 stars
8/10/02 Anarchy Azmi first time i felt asleep during movies 1 stars
8/09/02 TheTalkingElbow VIN... GO BACK TO REAL ACTING BEFORE YOUR CAREER DIES FROM THIS GARBAGE 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Aug-2002 (PG-13)
  DVD: 19-Apr-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Sep-2002


Directed by
  Rob Cohen

Written by
  Rich Wilkes

Cast
  Vin Diesel
  Asia Argento
  Samuel L. Jackson
  Marton Csokas
  Joe Bucaro III
  TeeJay Boyce



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