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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.86%
Worth A Look: 13.25%
Average: 7.23%
Pretty Bad: 15.66%
Total Crap50%

5 reviews, 136 user ratings

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by Erik Childress

"Not Suitable For Anyone"
1 stars

There’s something both reassuring and dangerous when a film like XXX is released. It’s a follow-up for a potential breakout moviestar who just had his first real success in a leading role. That film was The Fast and the Furious and the name was Vin Diesel. There was no love lost between myself and that cinematic pot o’luck which contained a great car chase and a great car race and absolutely nothing surrounding them to justify its box office acclaim. Diesel immediately reunited with director Rob Cohen for this franchise hopeful and its either going to cement the Vin as a major draw or awaken audiences to the vapid one-note presence of yet another forgettable action star. Here’s hoping for the latter because like the film rating that the title recalls, children AND adults should not be allowed admission.

It’s obvious from the trailers that XXX is going to be nothing but a big dumb action vehicle for Diesel. Fine, I’m all for big dumb action flicks. They don’t have to be original. They don’t have to offer some new insight into the human condition. They just have to bring the action. XXX’s angle is the world of extreme sports, a debatable form of entertainment that uses the term of “sport” pretty loosely. Snowboarding, surfing, (motor)cycling and other dangerous activities once known as hobbies now get the full treatment on ESPN and have even made their way to IMAX locations across the country. The filmmakers have obviously forgotten that James Bond has been pulling these kinds of stunts for over 40 years and by trying to capitalize on a new-age secret agent for the next generation, self-parody has escaped their attention and I was reminded more of the Richard Grieco satire If Looks Could Kill than 007.

In your best trailer announcer voice say it with me: Vin Diesel IS XXX!!! His actual name is Xander Cage. The nickname is only explained by the tattoo on the back of his neck, one that’s constantly risked on his internet chaos show, The Xander Zone, where Cage and his space monkeys seemingly terrorize rich white jackasses whom they disagree with. Why its so hard for this group to get caught is anybody’s guess, but this kind of ham-handed setup is indicitive of the action genre where character establishment derives from setting up the hero’s skills rather than his personality. In their defense, their hero has no personality, so you work with what ya got.

With all their best agents getting killed, one of those standard issued elite chapters of the CIA recruits various scumbags to do their dirty work for them. XXX isn’t put through any formal training, just a series of tests that are always accompanied by the final line – “Congratulations, you passed the test,” – delivered by one Samuel L. Jackson as NSA agent Gibbons, proving once again that a great actor is never above a steady paycheck.

Once XXX proves himself worthy of handling diner robberies and Colombian drug cartels, his true mission is revealed to infiltrate the European Anarchy 99 group intent on singing Silent Night to the world with a new poison. In classy fashion, he gets in good with Eurotrash of the Week Villain, Yorgi (Marton Csokas) by selling out his Russian contact over and over and tries to get in elsewhere with Yorgi’s main squeeze, Yelena (Asia Argento). Blah. Blah. Blah. Bring the action.

The trailer seemed to have more action in it, primarily because in quick bursts there was still hope that Cohen was going to match or top the grappling hook truck chase in Fast & Furious. Doesn’t happen, folks. Instead we get a series of underwhelming, yet still ridiculous action sequences peppered by the smugness of our hero that he’s doing something we’ve never seen before. Take his escape from the drug camp when he goes all Steve McQueen on us, hopping on a motorcycle and dodging bullets and explosions. Now we see him make multiple jumps with his wheels, but how is he doing it? Will of mind? We never see a ramp, a hill or suspension wires and some of his maneuvers would be impossible if E.T. was sitting on his handlebars. Even the film’s one eye-opening sequence when XXX is snowboarding ahead of an avalanche that he ignited is, you can practically see the FX technicians doing their best to keep the snow from catching up while ignoring the laws of logic and gravity.

Vin Diesel has been fine in the past in smaller supporting roles such as the doomed Caparzo in Saving Private Ryan and the protective stockbroker in Boiler Room. As a leading man, Diesel was more convincing as the brooding prisoner in Pitch Black then the brooding Bodhi-wannabe in The Fast and the Furious. The point is Diesel can be a likable screen presence and while a name above-the-title comes with all kinds of perks, he may want to think back a moment before reducing himself to just another muscle. Action stars are a dime-a-dozen and usually aren’t worth even that much. For every charming Schwarzenegger, you get a Van Damme, a Seagal, a Lundgren and a Jeff Speakman (remember him?) If Diesel is to become the new Arnold, can you imagine the quarter-note tough guys crawling out of the YMCA to get a piece of the action? God help us all.

How anyone believes a franchise is being born here is beyond me? It’s easy for a series to be birthed from an extravagant dollar total but sequels and trilogies thrive on charismatic heroes, great villains, fun storylines and applause-worthy action. XXX has none of that. The hero is a moron, the villain isn’t scary, the dialogue isn’t funny or clever (the unwitty banter between Diesel and Argento during one scene is all the more painful because one can bet that it was improvised.)

With a title as generic as XXX, how will the marketing geniuses cache their sequels into a subtitled numbers game? XXX-2? XXX-Squared? XXX: XXXer? Why not get creative and just go down the alphabet? They’ve already got 3 letters and they likely want a trilogy – also three! So, if XXX becomes a hit, here are some ideas for the follow-ups:

AAA – Diesel infiltrates an autobody intent on making the plot of Maximum Overdrive a reality.
DDD – The Vin falls in love with an Amazonian princess whose plan is to keep movie audiences full of horny men awake using the power of her evil breasts made from mutant cantaloupes.
HHH – Our hero becomes a professional wrestler in hopes to put an end to a famous character who uses Monday Night Raw and Pay-Per-View events to cause bugs and snakes to protrude from the craniums of all the TV viewers.
III – He discovers the plot to steal nuclear weapons by the head of the Tootsie Pop Corporation who’s missing two fingers on his right hand.
KKK – Never mind.
MMM – Xander dons a wig and takes over for the lead singer of the Crash Test Dummies in an effort to bring them back to the top of the charts.
OOO – An evil genius tries to suck the adrenaline out of extreme sports by stealing the orgasms from its competitors.
SSS – Vin Diesel vs. A Giant Snake. ‘Nuff said.
ZZZ – Wait, they already made this movie, only they called it “XXX”

Hopefully Vin’s number and all his letters as an action star are up.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 08/09/02 11:47:22
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

9/16/17 morris campbell hte vin diesel 1 stars
3/13/17 morris campbell lame action movie vin diesel sux he's ugly 2 1 stars
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
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
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 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
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  09-Aug-2002 (PG-13)
  DVD: 19-Apr-2005



Directed by
  Rob Cohen

Written by
  Rich Wilkes

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

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