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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.8%
Worth A Look: 7.59%
Average: 6.33%
Pretty Bad: 25.32%
Total Crap56.96%

6 reviews, 43 user ratings

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XXX: State of the Union
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"Things Explode: Part 10,000,008"
2 stars

I’ve said it before regarding lots of other action movies, but it’s never been more true than in the case of “xXx: State of the Union" ... I’ve seen Bugs Bunny cartoons that are more firmly rooted in reality than what’s displayed here. Yes, I fully understand the concept of “turn your brain off” popcorn flicks, but the human brain can only suspend disbelief for so long before, like an overstretched rubber band, it snaps in half and gives you a nasty sting for your troubles.

You remember xXx, right? That howlingly moronic action movie from a few years back that planned to out-Bond James Bond and give the younger generation a superspy action hero of their very own? Yeah, that thing. Well here’s the sequel, only the hero from the first one is gone – killed with just one small piece of throwaway dialogue regarding bullets in Bora Bora. It seems that now the triple-X plan has changed: xXx won’t be the all-new and mega-sleeker 007 for a younger generation; it’s now going to be a revolving-door series of sequels in which new heroes pop with every new chapter. The only two constants will be Samuel Jackson with a half-melted face and five or six action sequences so profoundly stupid that they actually scar your brain.

Hero #2 is Mr. Ice Cube, who is a guy I’ve always liked. But despite my good feelings towards the Cube, there’s no getting around the fact that the guy’s as much of a good-guy action hero as Paris Hilton is a demure Mormon virgin. Cube works best as a glowering baddie or a cocksure sidekick. His gruff mumble and pedantic petulance don’t really suit a leading man role.

But that’s what’s so great! Cube is woefully miscast in a movie that’s just packed to the rafters with dumb concepts, insipid plot twists, and negligible acting performances! He’s the least awful thing in a movie full of awfulness. OK, I took notes, so here’s the plot:

Cube is former mega-soldier who’s sprung from a seven-year jail stint so he can replace the recently dead Vin Diesel, discover who killed all of Sam Jackson’s red-shirted technicians, drive a lot of human-sized Matchbox cars, leer at a few stray “booties,” and try to figure out if the character played by Willem Dafoe is evil or not. (Hint: It’s Willem Dafoe!)

Of course there’s a whole truck-load of hastily presented verbal hoo-hah about Evil Regiment this and Military Coup that, but all of this material is just a coat-hanger on which to hang a huge, glowing garment woven of explosions, neon, rockets, cars, glitter, machine guns, explosions, boats, cannons, bling, explosions, and tanks. (You’re welcome.)

I’m no snob when it comes to the mindless action fare. People often sputter directly into my face when I tell them I own Armageddon, Deep Rising, and 1941 on DVD. But those films are a trilogy of documented scientific fact compared to what goes in xXx 2! Why would a group of filmmakers aim to create an action sequence that looks real … if only you could ignore all laws of weight, height, mass, gravity, logic and intellect.

A 30-mile meteor crashing towards Earth, while outlandish, can be sold to a movie-watcher. But what if that meteorite hit the earth and bounced right off with a big juicy BOING? Or let's say the meteorite landed on the one rocket trigger that could save the president from a gang of lunatic zombie communist assassins. "Suspension of disbelief" is fine. "Intentional demolition of all things logical" is not. If you’re going to go to all the trouble of creating a really slick chase scene, why ruin it with a capper that looks like it fell out of Bizarro World? There’s a reason you only put so much whipped cream on top of your ice cream, y’know.

Director Lee Tamahori never knows when enough is enough. If an action scene should end at Point C, there’s Lee, down at Point L, waving maniacally and blowing up a train. I’d be happy to mention a few supporting actors who capably populate the background and bring some color into the affair, but alas, everything in this migraine of a sequel is playing fifth banana to the nearest explosion.

Still, "xXx: State of the Union" is better than the first entry, which is sort of like saying a mallet to the scalp is better than a hammer.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/29/05 17:45:29
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User Comments

8/25/20 morris campbell not bad 3 stars
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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