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Published on June 17th, 2008 | by simeon

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XXX

For years those who participated in Xtreme sports were often viewed as social misfits and outcasts who lacked direction in their lives by large portions of society. While many could appreciate the stunts and daring, most lumped participants into the same category as MTV’s “Jackass” and disregarded those who seek to take sports to the next level.

All that may well change with the release of the new Vin Diesel action fest “XXX”.

Diesel stars as Xander (XXX) Cage, a tattooed thrill seeker, who is the star of a very popular and illegal web and video show where he engages in all manner of stunts usually at the expense of a local politician. One such victim ends up having his sports car driven over a cliff for the world to see while Cage parachutes to safety. While Cage parties it up with all manner of well-wishers who want to either idolize, sleep with, make a buck from, or be him, a government agent named Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) has an idea to recruit Cage for a mission. Gibbons figures that since traditional agents keep getting spotted and killed while trying to infiltrate an Eastern European ring of thugs who may be preparing to use biological weapons, then perhaps a misfit who can take care of himself might be their best bet, as he explains to his superiors that Xander and his like are disposable commodities.

Before long, Cage is recruited against his will and forced to travel to Prague in order to undertake his mission. Due to his notoriety he is able to infiltrate the group headed by Yorgi (Marton Csokas) and the sexy but mysterious Yelena (Asia Argento), and is able to start to unravel the method and motivates behind an evil plot that threatens the world.

Sound familiar, well in many was the film is James Bond for the X-Games crowd, as tattoos, metal music, and wild stunts are what this films all about. The plot, characters and acting are very basic as the emphasis is on the stunt work and there is plenty of that. Some of it is fantastic while others seem like a drawn out clinic on how to stage a stunt, as multiple angles, slow motion shots and shots of stunt people who bear little resemblance to the actors they are filling in for permeate the film. One such sequence in a drug factory was well staged but was drawn out far to long to be effective, and I could almost see the explosive charges being set off in sequence. That being said, the film does pack some good shots and Diesel is good in the bad guy with a hear role that he first perfected in “Pitch Black” While not an epic it is a fun way to spend a couple of hours and from the looks of the films ending we will be seeing plenty more of XXX in the future.

3 stars out of 5


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