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XXX | review | dvd | Lollipop

XXX

(Sony)
by Chad Van Wagner

Ah, the big, dumb action film. A much-maligned genre, and not totally without justification: While the maxim that 90% of everything sucks might be true, action films might be working a little closer to the 97% mark.

The Vin Diesel vehicle XXX ends up in the plus column... barely. While he might come across as somewhat less intellectual than, say, Sylvester Stallone, he does have the charisma necessary to make this flow. The viewer has no problem believing Xander Cage (Diesel) enjoys watching things go boom.

No, the problem lies with director Rob Cohen. Movies like this shouldn't be flabby (and a little over two hours, that's exactly how it feels) Ironically, for the man who directed The Fast and the Furious, pacing is the biggest issue here. Yeah, stuff goes boom, and the women are attractive (none more so than the excruciatingly hot Asia Argento, Dario's daughter). But too often the scenes just kind of sit there, and the dumb factor inherent in this kind of thing starts to show, and not in a good way.

A good rental, but nothing spectacular. There is, however, one scene that stuck with me. Diesel is given a pair of X-Ray binoculars (no, I'm not kidding). He, of course, uses it to spy on the bad guys. The cool factor of this spy gadget is turned into high comedy as you see an extended scene of Vin staring directly at a brick wall about a foot from his face through those things. Cohen should have known to downplay the absurdity of this at least a little bit. Maybe if he gets a better editor for XXX 2 (already in production), this kind of thing won't bog down what really should've been a better ka-boom flick.
(www.sonypictures.com/movies/triplex)
 


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