xXx (2002)

xXx

xXx

Triple X (or xXx if you are hip) is the best movie ever. How awesome is this movie? Let me count the ways.

Vin Diesel. Has there ever been a more perfect action hero? He’s huge. He’s got a voice like he’s been grinding glass into shards and then gargling it. And he really beat the crap out of people for years as a bouncer. Oh sure, he can act. But he doesn’t have to act, he just is a badass. This is one of the men who has made it so much cooler to be bald.

Samuel L. Jackson. There is nobody in the world awesome enough to hate Samuel L. Jackson and not burst into flames. He’s just that awesome. He was awesome even before Snakes on a Plane, but now he’s just on a whole different level. He’s bald sometimes too.

Asia Argento. Her dad is a horror movie director…so she’s genetically predisposed towards being awesome. So hot. Not bald.

So this movie starts off right. Some pansy James Bond type parachutes into a very cheap area to make movies, kicks a little ass, and dons his tuxedo. He takes a wrong turn and ends up in a Rammstein video. I was wondering if Rammstein themselves were going to kill him, since they are the most well armed band in the universe. But our villains ‘Anarchy 99′ beat them to it. Bond’s easy to see because he’s the only man in the country wearing a tuxedo. Sauve and sophisticated doesn’t mean jack when Rammstein is town, baby! People rock out and America shrugs. Whatever, Bond was British anyway.

But now there is like a power vacuum in spydom. Samuel L. Jackson, or maybe it was his character Gibbons, decides that we need a new spy who can kick some serious ass. Someone who’s actually going to enjoy all the babes and property destruction that goes with the job. Xander Cage enters the picture, trashing some senator’s car because the dude hates video games and rap. I think we can all get behind that. He then throws a slammin’ party. “I’m untouchable!” he declares, as the army attacks and brings him down a peg.

“Take off these handcuffs so I can beat the shit out you.” – Xander Cage, innocent victim

He wakes up and proves he has a brain. He also proves that the best way to elude the Columbian army is to pull a sweet jump over an exploding coke factory. See, his motorcycle skills are so extreme he can catch air off of just about anything, up to and including air. He also saves another thug, because that thug is bald (definitely a point in favor) and doesn’t try to escape with a metric ton of Columbian cocain (unlike the other guy with them).

“A small price to pay for putting foot to ass for my country.” – Augustus Gibbons, patriot

They ship Xander off to Europe and put him in the care of a couple of Ivans, appropriately both named Ivan. He goes to a bar, screws a cop, and generally does thuggish things to impress Anarchy 99. It turns out that one of them is a fan (Kolya), and they know how to party. They disco underneath huge unnecessary streams of power at a place that might as well be the Tesla museum, only with a better sound system and lots more hotties writhing around to techno beats.

“Bitches come!” – Kolya, public relations expert

But these fun loving Russians aren’t all parties, prostitution, and grand-theft-auto. They also like shooting cops and have a plan to destroy the world. Xander can’t get behind that, so suckers gotta pay. It also turns out that one of the resident hot chicks is actually a KGB agent that got sort of forgotten in that whole Soviet-implosion thing. She’s been trying to figure out what to do about these guys for awhile, and hopes to get into America with Xander’s help. Diesel is actually awesome playing off her. She thinks he’s a twit, and he basically becomes an overgrown nerd around her, moping that he’s actually a secret agent and a really good dancer, and finally hissing that she’s embarrassing him when she doesn’t take him seriously.

“Two years? What was your plan? Have them die of old age?” – Xander Cage, master tactician

Things go wrong and lots of shooting starts. Xander snowboards a bunch of badguys to death with the help of his giant white bitch, the 500 ton avalanche. He has all the cool toys, including x-ray glasses, hidden explosives, and a cool gun. And unlike certain other secret agents he giggles and enjoys the hell out of using them all. His Q also enjoys his job way too much, delighting in blowing things up for no real reason and packing insane amounts of weaponry into a GTO…pretty much just because Xander gave him an excuse to.

“I’m an authority figure. I motivated you. That’s my job.” – Augustus Gibbons, joyous bastard

Lots of people start to die, random scientists get poisoned, and Xander leads the cops in a frontal assault against the bad guys. The movie plays this perfectly. Xander is talented and coordinated, but not experienced. He doesn’t know where the safety on his gun is, but he has good instincts for making things explode. Kolya also gets a really righteous close-up as his hero detonates him in the middle of getting some wicked air, thus proving that the best way to die is on an exploding motorcycle in the middle of a sweet trick jump. Xander also helps the cops get in touch with their own inner-bald-badass, so that they might go forth and put some foot to ass for their own country. He’s an inspirational leader.

“Dude, you have a bazooka. Stop thinking Prague Police and start thinking Playstation. Blow shit up!” – Xander Cage, motivational speaker

All the bad guys get shot or blown up real good, and Xander has to chase weapon of mass destruction/speed boat in his rad GTO, and blow up a few peasant bails of hay that threaten to get in the way. In a totally hilarious homage to Goldfinger he gets to the control panel, looks at the high-tech controls…and really has no idea what the fuck to do. Bond had someone to walk in and flip the simple switch to turn his WMD off. Xander is on his own, and shrugs and turns the rocket upside down, sending the speedboat plummeting underwater. Deep water nuetralizes the poison and saves the world. They actually say that earlier, but you probably weren’t paying attention.

The peasants of Prague get to live another day, and start dancing in the streets. Xander gets Asia Argento and flees to Bora Bora or something. It’s pretty much just an excuse to put Asia in a bikini and show off Vin’s cool fake tattoos. He gets an extra nerd point for one of the tat’s being his epic level Dungeons and Dragons character. Honest.

What a great way to end the best movie ever. If you didn’t love xXx, you may not have a soul. Go see a doctor and see if you should be filling that void with sugar or something.

About the Author

Stark Raving Reviewer Darrell Hayhurst is an acclaimed game designer, best known for the Origin-nominated WWII pulp-sci fi space combat hit "Hard Vacuum" released in 2000 and the follow-up expansion “Hard Vacuum: Science Gone Mad” in 2001 and the “Hard Vacuum: War’s End” three-parter, "Bright Sun Ascending!", "The Highest Ground!" and "Red Rockets Rising!" in 2004.