It’s time to be a patriot.
There are no more patriots. Just rebels & tyrants.
So which are you?
So, Vin Diesel makes a triumphant (?) return to the beloved (?) XXX franchise in a move that is sure to thrill the fans (?). I mean, it’s a big, dumb action movie. But it’s disappointing in the level of fun it’s able to inspire. It’s mostly just tired and lackluster with none of the real spark or passion or awesome set pieces of a really great action movie. People who think the F&F movies are stupid, dull action movies should check this one out to see exactly why the F&F movies are brilliant. Diesel grumbles his way through the film and Samuel L. Jackson appears briefly in a scene that would have been fantastic if the movie had rolled with it, but of course they didn’t. My current crush, Ruby Rose, is on hand as a sniper, introduced in a “hilarious” scene in which she shoots some tourists and leaves them to be eaten by lions. The action is often pretty bad; the first big action scene is dreadful, involving Diesel making his way down a mountain via skateboard, truck, skis . . . I feellike there were at least a couple of other things. There are a handful of good things. Donnie Yen is on hand and he gets one genuinely great action sequence in which he gets to do what Donnie Yen does best, ie. walk into a room and absolutely destroy like twenty dudes in hand to hand combat. Other than that, he’s underused though. Toni Collette is a force of nature as a conniving spymaster. She sinks her teeth into this awful, awful dialogue and is a ton of fun in the part. Best of all is Nina Dobrev, a young actress I wasn’t familiar with, who gets to play the nerdy tech girl on the XXX team; she’s genuinely funny and charming, though it’s particularly painful to watch her sparkling with energy and verve trying to play off the stolid, charismaless Diesel. What’s the opposite of chemistry? But she’s delightful and it’s obvious some of her scenes were pick-ups and insertions, probably intended to give the movie more wit and charm. But don’t see this movie; it’s stupid. You can catch the good bits later. Someone will absolutely certainly curate a “Best of Nina Dobrev in XXX” video on YouTube and let’s be honest, I’ll watch the **** out of it and so should you, but this is a movie made to be skipped. 1 ½ stars.
tl;dr – “action” movie is tired & dull with only a couple of good performances to add some spark; not even cheesy fun, just lackluster clichés; a movie made to be seen in tiny clips on YouTube. 1 ½ stars.