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XXX

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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 Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

If you like your movies loud and fast, this is the ultimate blast. Vin Diesel headlines the testosterone-drenched thrill ride which is deliberately calculated to capitalize on the brawny "Fast and Furious" image that made him Hollywood's first multi-racial action hero. The story is simple: a spy for the National Security Agency, Samuel L. Jackson, recruits a buff, tattooed, fearless extreme-sports athlete named Xander "XXX" Cage to become a secret agent and avert the global catastrophe, dubbed "Silent Night," that's been planned in Prague by a brutal ex-Russian Army anarchist named Yorgi (New Zealand actor Marton Csokas) and his nihilist mistress, Yelena (Asia Argento), a sexy Russian spy. Xander gains Yorgi's confidence by feigning interest in a fleet of hot muscle cars for American clients and infiltrates his organization. So where's the CIA amidst all this international skullduggery? But the plot's not important - it's the bone-crunching, daredevil stunts, superbly photographed by Dean Semler, that are awesome: hurtling a Corvette over a bridge and parachuting to safety, snowboarding down a mountain ahead of an avalanche, jumping a motorcycle through barbed wire, punctuated by blaring Euro/Pop/Goth music. Plus the 007-inspired gadgetry! Director Rob Cohen ("The Fast and the Furious") is familiar with Vin Diesel's rugged, rebellious appeal and emphasizes it throughout Rich Wilkes' monosyllabic, gung-ho screenplay that was written for the gruff actor who calls his biceps the Kryptonics, naming them after the biggest top-of-the-line skateboard wheels. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "XXX" is an adrenaline-propelled, x-plosive 7. Don't underestimate the cool charisma of this dude Diesel, who's reinvented a grungy, dumbed-down James Bond for a new generation.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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