Monday, June 18, 2012

xXx: State of the Union (2005)

Seen: On our big screen/projector set-up, streamed from my boyfriend's computer.

Well you knew it had to happen sooner or later. After the surprising goodness of xXx it was no challenge to get us to check out its sequel, xXx: State of the Union, starring Ice Cube because Vin Diesel didn't want to be in it or whatever! And this time it's all about America! None of that ambiguous Eastern European stuff. Ice Cube is Darius Stone, a badass former Navy SEAL who's been incarcerated for disobeying orders. Secret government agent dude Augustus Gibbons (Samuel Jackson) helps him bust out so he can become the new XXX agent. There's a plot afoot within the president's cabinet, and no one can be trusted so Darius is mostly on his own, enlisting the aid of gearhead buddies Zeke (Xzibit) and Lola (Nona Gaye) to save the day. Willem Dafoe is there. He's the bad guy. Ok. You're welcome for that shitty, inscrutable plot summary.

With a dumb, ridiculously convoluted plot, outdated special effects, a blaring, uneven soundtrack, and no Vin Diesel, State of the Union was set to fail but manages to overcome the odds and pump out a decent, if flawed, action flick. Ice Cube is pretty badass as Darius Stone, even if the undercover spy stuff doesn't really suit him. He's at his best when he's just running around with big cars and bigger guns, surrounded by a convenient group of fighters who can hotwire anything. There are a few fun action sequences as well as some that are marred by poorly rendered CGI (most notably the high-speed train in the climax) and lackluster camera work. There are way too many characters, way too many plotlines, and way too little Sam Jackson. But hey, it's a fun enough action movie with several prominent black characters, so that's positive. And it's anti-military douchebags. And Xzibit is there! And he's ADORABLE. He doesn't put any stuff in any other stuff, but he does hang around cars and he does lead a crazy tank attack, so we're doing alright.

The most important thing about this movie is that it gets us thinking about the upcoming third installment, which is (hopefully) happening. In the second film the writers stupidly said Xandar Cage was killed in Bora Bora. BUT OH SHIT is he actually alive?!?!?! Only xXx: The Return of Xander Cage will tell. Who's excited? I'm excited.

3/5

Pair This Movie With: Um the first xXx makes the most sense, I guess.

3 comments:

  1. So I guess it's written as 'xXx' instead of XXX or xxx because it's cooler, right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. WELCOME TO THE DARIUS ZONE never had the same ring to it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rich: Yup!

    Paul: Haha it's true.

    ReplyDelete