xXx Review

I’m quite possibly opening a can or worms with this review. Before Christmas I started receiving hundreds of referrals from a fetish website after I posted my review of Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker, which happened to have an unfortunate thumbnail of a half man half doll type creature thrusting a women with his penisless, flesh-coloured crotch. Admittedly, it did kind of look like porn — albeit weird, doll-themed porn — but the video itself was fairly innocent.

Earlier today I made the mistake of typing “xxx film” into google images and I was instantly confronted with a page full of angry-looking erections surrounding one lone image of Vin Diesel’s face, and it made me question for a moment whether or not I wanted to review this film. But what the hell. Perhaps I should just embrace the fact that the majority of my readers are perverts. Who knows what kind of sick stuff that you, reader of this sentence, could be getting up to right now, you freak.

In any case, as I sat there, all those penises staring back at me, hardcore pornography suddenly didn’t seem quite as shocking as it used to. In fact, after watching a xXx, nothing offends me anymore. All I want to do is watch things blow up and listen to crap music. I actually feel slightly stupider for having watched it, but at the same time, I’m not too bothered. I can’t believe I wasted so many years watching films with, you know, actual plots and characters with names that don’t sound like insurance companies. And in an odd way, I feel as if xXx has opened my mind up to a new, easier way of not thinking. Or, yeah, whatever.

Nipple Tattoo...Classy.

Now, if I were to remove all the gratuitous shots of things blowing up and ridiculous scenes of Vin Diesel driving things very fast, you’re essentially left with Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Augustus Gibbons, initiating a project to find somebody to infiltrate a rebellious Eastern European underground group known as Anarchy 99.

Gibbons, for whatever reason, decides to pick the least inconspicuous person he can find: Xander Cage (Viesel), an over-grown frat boy who enjoys loud noises, showing off and walking around in a ridiculous fur coat like he’s some sort of swollen pimp.

Augustus Gibbons: capable of harnessing the power of a thousand gibbons.

"...Ladies."

But despite the directors obvious attempts to make the viewer fall in love with Xander and his tendency to make things explode for no reason, I immediately became suspicious of Xander after the first time he turned to the camera and in a dull, monotonous voice said, “You just entered the Xander zone!” as if those around him knew what the hell that meant. And while I’ll admit that the Xander zone does sound a bit cooler, it’s really no less pathetic than an overweight, sweaty nerd demanding that his friends refer to him as the sexmeister, despite having minimal sexual experience outside masturbation.

But to be fair to Xander, he does at least seem to get a lot of attention from the ladies, even if he does occasionally have to pay for it. One scene sees our hero light a bunch of candles in a confusing attempt to seduce a prostitute. You know, just incase the money alone wasn’t enough.

"Touch my Xander zone? No?"

This is a man, I feel I should point out, whose first appearance on screen shows him stealing a politician’s car, recording a video message in which he informs that politician that he has just entered a ridiculous, fictitious zone, claiming that rock music is “the only education we got!” and then proceeding to drive the car off of a bridge before climbing onto the bonnet and riding the car through the air like a bloody skateboard.

I'll give you a moment to digest this image...

By the way, when Xander claims that rock music is “the only education we got!” he’s actually referring to the kind of crap that makes up much of the soundtrack, like that horrendous “let the bodies hit the floor” song, which in recent years has become an angry, aimless anthem of sorts for mildly irritated 13-year-old boys that refuse to tidy their bedrooms.

Suggestive German sex rockers Rammstein also pop up in the soundtrack, and even make a brief appearance at the start of the film, performing their subtle smash hit “Bang Bang”, which I must warn, does give away most of the major plot developments of xXx like the bit where it goes bang, the other bit where it goes bang and the bit at the end where it goes bang.

Okay, just a quick question: what’s the best way to dodge bullets on a motor bike? By performing a series of little tricks, miraculously jumping 20 feet in the air without the aid of a ramp and then turning the bike sideways so that the people shooting at you have a larger target to shoot at? That’s the best way, right?

Is that really necessary?

Apparently so. Apparently that works. But then again, apparently the best way to get away from generic Eastern European villains is to grind down handrails on a serving tray because, in Xander’s own words, he likes anything that’s “fast enough to do something stupid in,” regardless of its association to dinner parties.

Really now, this is all starting to get a bit silly.

Despite xXx’s attempts to shock, I only found the film genuinely shocking when it was having fun objectifying and degrading women, which seems to be an ongoing theme throughout. Although, really, what did I expect from a film that appears to be targeting a demographic of men who are only interested in about four things: tits and ass, fast things, loud noises and serving trays?

The film’s about as kind to women as it is to, say, logic or physics, and every female character seem to exist purely to fawn over Xander’s impressive slab of back or to sexually fulfill the needs of Eastern European sleaze balls. In one scene, for example, one of the said sleaze balls summons a selection of prostitutes by yelling, “Bitches come!”

And come they do! Women, eh?

"Bitches come!"

List of fings dats cool checklist:
Tough man
Boobs
Drugs
Fur coat
Tray
Motorbike
Bitches
Cars
Ass
Loud, angry music with bad lyrics
Swears
Tattoo
Long johns
Eastern European bad guys
Base jumping
Using car as skateboad
Gibbons

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