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xXx: State of the Union (2005)

Prepare for the next level

Original Title : xXx: State of the Union
Director : Lee Tamahori
Writer : Rich Wilkes
Simon Kinberg
Genre : Action
Crime/Adventure/Thriller
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Rob Cohen , Derek Dauchy , Todd Garner , Neal H. Moritz , Arne Schmidt
Music : Marco Beltrami
Photography : David Tattersall
MPAA Rating : Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence and some language.
IMDB ID : 0329774
Official site : http://www.columbia-tristar.es/xxx2/
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poster for "xXx: State of the Union" by Lee Tamahori (2005)
xXx: State of the Union (2005) - Lee Tamahori
 

Starring

Ice Cube XXX/Darius Stone
Samuel L. Jackson Agent Augustus Gibbons
Willem Dafoe Gen. George Octavius Deckert
Scott Speedman Agent Kyle Steele
Peter Strauss President James Sanford
Xzibit Zeke
Michael Roof Toby Lee Shavers
Sunny Mabrey Charlie
 

Plot

NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons (Jackson), fresh off the success of his last renegade recruitment, once again finds himself in need of an outsider. Gibbons and his new agent (Ice Cube) must track a dangerous military splinter group, led by Willem Dafoe, that is conspiring to overthrow the U.S. Government in the nation's capital.
 

Comments

Released in the Philippines as "xXx: The Next Level", this sequel is definitely more expensive, has more action, has similar number of stunts and has new action lead played by an unlikely actor. But despite the production values, this sequel is definitely not worth your time and money. Vin Diesel, who made people think that xXx stands for "Xander Cage is eXtremely eXplosive" being the hero of the original, is nowhere to be found which is both a good and bad thing. Diesel can deliver the action and stunts solidly but he's so annoying when it comes to dialog and comedy moments. I always hated the "Think PlayStation!" line. In the sequel, Samuel L. Jackson's agency gets desperate and decides to hire a new action agent with "more attitude". It turned out to be Ice Cube, a prisoner in the film. Ice Cube never fits in well with his action-packed role. Compared to Diesel, Cube is never convincing in doing action and stunts. Worse, Cube is very lousy with his dialog and certain moments that demanded comedy. I think Cube is better off with a pure-comedy or pure-hip hop role (be it lead or supporting) but as an action star? NO WAY! I'd rather watch Ice Cube in his old role in Anaconda than this movie! You will end up wishing the producers got back Diesel in the sequel. Samuel L. Jackson this time gets more screen time although I would prefer they lessened his action scenes and added talking scenes instead. Early in the film, you'll see Jackson dual wield guns ala John Woo (to live up to his position in his agency and survive) but I find his role in the first movie better. Still it's nice to see him get more screen time this time. Willem Dafoe, who played a Vietnam soldier and a special forces coordinator before, plays the defense secretary who plans to overthrow the government. His presence is very well felt and he delivers a good performance. You will hate him even more in this film than in Spider-Man. Sunny Mabrey? She is very pretty and very sexy. In short a hot girl but she's nothing more than just eye candy here and she cannot be taken seriously. She should be given some roles that demand performance, not looks. Lee Tamahori, whose most successful flick was Die Another Day, is the director this time but most noticeable is his increased use of computer graphics. Thanks to him, the film's pace is fast and something always happen on-screen to keep you awake. xXx story this time is shallower. Conspiracies are supposed to be deep and detailed but this sequel simply skipped all the requirements just to deliver action, explosions, crappy dialog and special effects. The sequel is best viewed as a non-thinking, MTV-styled edited action flick. Action scenes and special effects are plenty but certain scenes are just too unbelievable to see and accept. I did notice however that the action in the sequel are more military in nature when compared to that of the first film wherein its action is more related to extreme sports. I don't recommend watching this sequel at all. You are better of skipping it. But if you really want to watch it, better wait for the DVD release instead.
 
poster for "xXx: State of the Union"
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xXx: State of the Union (2005) - Lee Tamahori
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xXx: State of the Union (2005) - Lee Tamahori
poster for "xXx: State of the Union"
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xXx: State of the Union (2005) - Lee Tamahori
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xXx: State of the Union (2005) - Lee Tamahori
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xXx: State of the Union (2005) - Lee Tamahori
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