Franchise Adjustment (xXx: State of the Union)

xxx-sotu-posterSo, one year before Casino Royale, xXx is back.  Vin Diesel is not, but yeah, the Franchise soldiers on.  Although both Diesel and  Rob Cohen were both signed on, they eventually dropped out.  In a bit of irony, the film is directed by the director of Die Another Day, Lee Tamahori.  Replacing Diesel’s Xander Cage as the new xXx is Ice Cube’s Darius Stone.

Samuel L. Gibson’s Gibbons is back in charge, and they face a situation that requires someone tougher than Cage.  That is Darius Stone.  Stone is a highly decorated Marine who tried standing up to his corrupt commanding officer and was locked up for it.  Stone is pretty much a one man army, as evidenced by his prison escape.

It turns out, his former CO is part of a dark plot that needs Stone, as xXx, to take him and his cronies down.  And that is pretty much it.  Like it’s predecessor, State of the Union is mostly a showcase for outrageous stunts and action sequences.  And snappy comebacks.  Ice Cube is always reliable for attitude fueled quips.

The film was very obviously setting itself up for a sequel, setting the franchise up to have a different actor in the role each film.  This seems like a setup of necessity.  This is a serviceable sequel with the expected performances from it’s cast.  If you are looking for deep espionage, xXx: State of the Union is not going to be all that satisfying.  It is, however, a pretty fun popcorn action spy movie.

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