xXx: State of the Union & Return of Xander Cage Combo Review

So yeah, if you saw the review of the first xXx review, you can probably tell I wasn’t a huge fan of it. It wasn’t necessarily terrible. It had one or two entertaining moments but it just wasn’t very engaging. The action was dull, Vin Diesel clearly back then didn’t have the same charisma and likability that he has today, and the writing is really weak. Frankly, I’m surprised this managed to get a sequel. But I honestly can’t complain that much.

Both have much more entertaining action sequences and character interaction, particularly Return of Xander Cage. Though what would you expect when that film has Donnie freakin Yen? He has the best sequences in the film. there is a lot of shaky cam at times and sometimes the CGI isn’t great, but it’s not unbearable.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these movies are magnificent or anything but they’re vast improvements over the first film. Why? Because they know what they are. They are stupid action movies and they embrace that. The third film knows it’s a Fast & Furious clone. These films feel like they had a lot more effort put into them than the first. The stories are nothing groundbreaking, but they’re at least engaging and have much better pacing than the first(If I had to say which one had the best pacing, it’d probably be State of the Union.). When you get down to it, these films are what they are supposed to be. They’re fun.

State of the Union has a much more entertaining lead in the form of Ice Cube and a really entertaining villain played by Willem Dafoe.

Return of the Xander Cage is clearly trying to cash in on the popularity of the Fast and Furious franchise, but it doesn’t deny it. And Vin Diesel’s more(for lack of a better term) developed persona helps the film a lot and the new characters are a welcome addition.

Both films get 3.5/5 Pandora’s Boxes.

Quick question. Am I the only one who thinks the poster for State of the Union looks like a poster for a video game movie?

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