XXX Return of Xander Cage: The Expendables Meets The X-Games (Blu-ray Review)

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From Paramount Pictures, director DJ Caruso comes the third entry of the franchise, XXX Return of Xander Cage. Starring Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Rory McCann, Michael Bisping, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, Samuel L. Jackson and Toni Collette, the film is available now, May 16, 2017 on Blu-ray/DVD.

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After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister weapon known as Pandora’s Box, a device that controls every military satellite in the world. Recruiting a new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of government.


Review

Vin Diesel and all of his crazy-ass friends have breathed life into a dead franchise. Director DJ Caruso and his team have embraced over-the-top silly-ass action and morphed your standard espionage thriller into an explosive spectacle that now rivals the Fast and Furious franchise. XXX The Return of Xander Cage pays tribute to BOTH of the original flicks while transforming the franchise into The Expendables meets The X-Games. Vin Diesel will ski down a mountain with no snow on it and surf waves with a motorcycle because why the shit not? He’s XXX and he’s EXTREME BRO!

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I will say – the first five minutes were hilarious and one helluva an explosive way to kick off the film… (The ending ruins this, but whatever – by then if you’ve managed to stick around, nothing is too stupid anymore). Xander Cage is pulled back into the XXX program after a new threat begins targeting old friends and potentially you know – the whole world… Or something. The plot is paper thin – doesn’t matter. Usually it should, but in the case of XXX 3 – it doesn’t mean shit. What matters here are the bonkers action sequences and fun cast of characters, who all get their moments to shine including UFC fighter Michael Bisping, Ruby Rose (who is just as cool as she was in John Wick 2), The Hound himself Rory McCann and Donnie Yen — who I think steals the damn movie right out from Vin himself.

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The first time we see Donnie Yen infiltrating a building and murdering a shit-load of people is one of the most thrilling set-pieces of the year so far. His battle on the airplane in the end is also damn good… I won’t ruin why – but it was gravity-defying madness and I couldn’t stop smirking the whole time. Everyone seemed to be in on the fun (except Toni Collette — who was the only bad performer in the film…) and it really showed in the final product. It doesn’t even matter that Vin Diesel is surfing a wave with a dirtbike – or using it in some sort of Dirt-Bike Kung Fu moments prior to that – nothing matters but the fun. Embrace the dumbassery and have a blast.

Special Features

Look. If you thought everyone making XXX 3 had a good time doing so – you’d be correct. Watch the special features and look for moments when the cast or crew AREN’T smiling (aside from dead-faced Toni Collette) – and you won’t find any. The casting feature does a great job introducing audiences to the global assortment of badasses they’ve assembled for the film and the stuntwork feature is a must-see. The action in this film was ridiculous and terrific all the same, so be sure to watch that segment directly after the credits roll on the main feature.

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  • Third Time’s the Charm: Xander Returns
  • Rebels, Tyrants & Ghosts: The Cast
  • Opening Pandora’s Box: On Location
  • I Live for This Sh#t!: Stunts
  • Gag Reel

Rating:

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Editor-In-Chief of Fox Force Five News. I had a zombie cameo on the opening page of The Walking Dead issue #91, where I was killed with a machete... It was awesome.