XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

This review first appeared on Cityshor download

The one where our girl Deepika overshadows the stunt lover Vin Diesel

Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: D. J. Caruso / Duration: 108 minutes

The third instalment of the XXX series sees the return of Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) who was presumed to be dead. He literally skateboards into the movie and his skateboard stunts are as mind-boggling as his other antics. He is the only (super) human who can defy all logics and laws of aerodynamics, and he has done it so many times that he confidently states that he is going to jump from the aircraft without any parachute (and man, he does it!). In short, this is a classic Vin Diesel movie – lots of action, collisions, crashes, half-naked girls, heavy metal background score, location hopping, filial bonding and tattoos.

There is no brain cracking plot but the action-lovers will thoroughly enjoy this movie because the sequences are just enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. You can watch this movie even if you have not watched the previous parts; there is no connection to those parts. CIA finds and recruits Xander Cage (in a terribly flimsy plot), to recover a device, ‘Pandora’s Box’ that can cause mass destruction. In search of the Pandora’s Box, Xander meets other XXX members and all of them get caught up in a lethal corruption conspiracy of the government.

Deepika as Serena, a XXX member, has a strong role to portray and she shines bright throughout the movie. For a refreshing change in the routine attitude, she speaks normal, unaccented English. She does full justice to her role and carries out the hard core action scenes to the utmost level of perfection. If not for anything else, this movie deserves to be watched for our girl, Deepika Padukone – she has made her Hollywood debut with much agility and confidence. Her stunts are perfect and reflect the amount of hard work put in by her. Apart from the National Anthem, I felt like giving her a standing ovation at her entry, I was so awed by her performance.

The film has an internationally assorted casting, maybe to make the agents look selected from diverse geographic areas based on their special abilities. The latest XXX pick in this instalment is Neymar Jr. (as himself), who is recruited by NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons based on his footballing capabilities.

Although the action scenes are remarkable, I wish they did not shake the camera so much while shooting some of the fight scenes, it just made me lose interest in looking at the screen. Nina Dobrev as Becky is a cute, talkative and nerdy tech-support and Toni Collette as Jane Marke is the irritated CIA boss, rest of the cast is not so notable.

The climax of the film hints at a sequel!

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