And this was 15 years ago.
After a long gap between xXx films (let’s not even mention 2005’s “xXx: State of the Union,” which starred Ice Cube as the protagonist), writer Rich Wilkes believed it was time for Xander’s return to the big screen.
For fans of Vin Diesel and the original film, the ridiculous action scenes may generate nothing but pure delight, filling a Vin Diesel-shaped hole in their hearts (mine included).
For those who may not be fond of Diesel or his original performance as Xander Cage, well, this movie isn’t for you. And that’s OK.
Not many people enjoy watching the main character essentially go through a midlife crisis.
The original film saw NSA agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) transform adrenaline junkie Xander Cage into an operative, whose mission was to stop a Russian crime ring from using a devastating weapon, and, in the words of Gibbons in the reboot, “Kick some ass, get the girl and try to look dope while you’re doing it.”
Now, not much has changed — Xander returns to the world of ass-kicking, this time partnered up with the NSA and fellow xXx agents, with the goal of taking, you guessed it, a highly dangerous device from the hands of a terrorist.
There are only three real differences: the location (the Philippines), the cast (which is full of international talent from China, India, Australia, Thailand and more) and the fact that Xander is older. Like noticeably.
If you assume that in the world of the xXx, Xander is the same age as Vin Diesel, it would mean that the hardcore agent is a couple months away from the big 5-0.
So, instead of watching a spry 34-year-old do gnarly tricks on skis, bikes and skateboards, you’re watching a middle-aged man try to recapture his glory by doing the same stunts, which, to some of the film’s skeptics, is honestly kind of sad.
But Xander doesn’t care about what anyone thinks.
Because he lives for this shit.