All reviews all the time! Home   Movies   Music   Video Games
4 DVDs 49 cents each!  |  Rent Dvds- Free Trial  |  Buy Movie Posters  

 Search Amazon
  
  Browse Movies 

 Browse by Genre 

 Other

All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
XXX

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: XXX

Starring: Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Rob Cohen
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: August 2002
Genres: Action, Suspense


*Also starring: Asia Argento, Evelyn Ankers, Martin Csokas



Review by Harvey Karten
3 stars out of 4

With James Bond No. 4 up for retirement this November, who will MGM tap for the next 007 episode? Some money is on Vin Diesel for the job, and why not? As he proves in "XXX," he's liked by the women; he can both cause and escape from avalanches; he can fly through the air on his bike with nary a shot of Powerade and shoot a bad guy at midpoint; he can escape from the fire of a hundred shells launched from an aircraft directly over his speeding motorcycle; he can wisecrack with the best of the cynics. What's more, unlike Bond No. 1 he looks perfectly sexy without a rug and, in fact, a lot of baldish men around the world will rejoice if Diesel makes shaved heads the height of fashion.

Trouble is, though, he simply doesn't have the class. In this feature directed by Rob Cohen from a script by Rich Wilkes, he proves this flat out: he does not like opera. Winding up somehow in Prague's equivalent of New York's Lincoln Center during a rehearsal, he tells the guy who hired him that the latter is now subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment. Maybe he can learn fast at Starbucks, but my dough says he'll never convince anyone that he can put together a cappuccino in under thirty seconds or even look at a martini, stirred, shaken or par- boiled.

Nonetheless Vin Diesel excels in "XXX" as a special U.S. agent, Xander Cage, hired by Agent Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) who bears a nasty scar across the length and breadth of the left side of his face, which he acquired from serving his country. Diesel comes across more human than he did in Cohen's drive-in style movie last year, "The Fast and the Furious," and unlike chief villain Yorgi (Marton Csokas), Diesel monopolizes all the best lines few that they may be.

Like John Barham's punkish criminal played by Bridget Fonda in "Point of No Return," Xander Cage is a criminal given the choice of some miserable, state-sanctioned punishment or the chance to serve his nation a victim of the three-strikes-you're out law that mandates a life sentence for a career criminal. Gibbons put his new agent XXX because that's what's tattooed on the back of his neck through the ringer, having him downed with a knockout dart, and waking him up in a diner (actually Gibbons's set) where he passes a test by disarming two would- be malefactors. Flying to Prague, he infiltrates Anarchy 99 headed by Yorgi, a third-force, James-Bond style organization that's loyal to no country. Its vague aim is to poison-gas a large segment of the planet so that people can live in total freedom. Hmmmm.

The romance is supplied by a woman called by some today's hottest movie babe, Asia Argento in the role of Yelena, a Russian Intelligence agent who has hooked up with Anarchy 99 and who rejects all of XXX's advances, prompting the man to say that with the money she's earning, her priority should be a set of courses in charm school.

Cohen follows the Bond formula chapter and verse. Situating his action-adventure story in the present, he equips Xander with gizmos and gadgets that would dazzle even the James Bond of "From Russia With Love," which never used a car with a retractable roof, one whose life span is close to zero considering how XXX totaled a California state senator's Corvette by driving it over a cliff.

While there's nothing here to push the formula envelope, this picture is a well-done job, with photography of Europe's prettiest city so spectacular that the Czech Republic Bureau of Tourism should extract segments for its presentations. I did not previously know that an avalanche fatal to an army of bad guys could be caused even in that country's highest point, Mt. Gerlachovky which is only 8,707 feet at its summit--but live and learn. The action is nonstop, Diesel's dialogue is appropriately monosyllabic and appropriately cynical. The Czech men and the Russian woman speak Czech a good deal of the time, which could be an education for the youth taking in this PG-13 pic. Overall, I'd take Pierce Brosnan for the role, but the grapevine has it that the principal movie audience aged 16-25 doesn't go for class. Diesel's da man.

Copyright 2002 Harvey Karten

More reviews:    Main  2   3  4   Next >>
Featured DVD/Video
Star Wars Episode II
buy dvd
($17.99)

buy video
($15.99)

read the reviews

In Affiliation with AllPosters.com
Buy movie posters!


Home | Movies | Music | Video Games | Songs
Amazon.com | AllPosters.com | Half.com | Columbia House | Netflix

Copyright 1998-2002 All-Reviews.com
Privacy Policy |  Advertising Info |  Contact Us