xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Xander Cage meets Xiang and Serena Unger in a remote island in the Philippines. They’re playing with death while talking about the Pandora Box which has lead the murder of Gibbons.

What element that you like most in an action movie? The stars, the acts, the plot or merely the bangs? Or, perhaps, a small amount of drama in it? Yeah, everyone has his/her own point of interest. I am myself interested to the first-four option. Still, the last one, i.e. dramatic touch, plays important role; even if in an action cinema. It seems that F. Scott Frazier, the writer of the latest xXx: Return of Xander Cage, truly understands that evoking emotion is a prerequisite to a successful artwork in addition to his imaginary Boatercycle.

Different from other series of the same title, xXx: Return of Xander Cage is much more special. At the beginning of the movie, the death of Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) while recruiting Neymar Jr. (Neymar Jr. himself) as the next xXx in a Chinese restaurant sways audience emotion; a part of magnets has lost. A satellite destroy the restaurant along with all the guests including Gibbons. Apparently, the incident is caused by an electronic device called Pandora Box which has the ability to control any satellite orbiting the Earth; making it an active warhead. It needs only a gentle touch of a cruel man to determine the coordinate in order to launch airstrike. To audience horror, when high rank CIA officials led by Jane Marke (Tony Collette) have a talk about the box and the death of Gibbons, a group of highly skilled men under Xiang (Donny Yen) leadership infiltrate the CIA headquarter and steal it.

Driven by the need to get the box back, Jane launches initiatives to capture Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) who has faked his death and been living in the Dominican Republic. The man refuses to do what Jane asks. It’s only Gibbons’ death that matters to him and drives him motivated to seize Pandora Box from Xiang. Xander accepts the mission by saying that he want his own team instead of military squads under the leadership of Paul Donovan (Tony Gonzales). Then he chooses Adele Wolff (Ruby Rose), a skilled shooter; Harvard ‘Nicks’ Zhou (Kris Wu), an entertaining and joyful DJ; and Tennyson ‘The Torch’, a getaway driver. A female weapon specialist of Jane’s team, Becky Clearidge (Nina Dobrev), also joins Xander. The location of Xiang is then acquired. Xander, Adele, Zhou and Tennyson then go to the Philippines to get the box. Both parties encounter each other. Xiang has Serena (Deepika Padukone), Talon (Tony Jaa) and Hawk (Michael Bisping) in his team. Xiang tells Xander that he and his team are part of xXx program initiated by Gibbons. He decided to steal the box in order to avoid misuse, while Serena insists that Pandora Box should be destroyed. A group of Russian soldier attacks the party in order to get the same item. Xiang manages to flee using Boatercycle. But, Xander has the box in his hand eventually. Serena crushes it into pieces, then joins Xander’s team.

To their surprise, a satellite crashes in Russia. It means that the destroyed box is only a prototype, and Marke thinks that CIA Director Anderson (Al Sapienza) behind all of this. She asks more favor to Xander to get it. Xiang, who discovers the same, tries to reach Anderson sooner than Xander. Anderson is then killed by Wolff, and the actual Pandora Box saved. But, something shocking happens; something that drives Xiang and Xander cooperate instead of hurt each other. The same thing happens to their team. Fortunately, Serena calls 9 in her phone to get assistance and has Darius Stone (Ice Cube) welcomed by fierce and brutal soldiers.

xXx program involves men and women having marvelous combat skill. At the end of the movie, they all attend Gibbons’ funeral. Some becoming quite emotional, and burst into tears. The plot is quite similar with movies of the same title, but there are many improvements, including the involvement of more global actors and actresses. Donny Yen, notable actor from China, for example, joins the movie. While Tony Jaa, a martial artist from Thailand formerly known in Ong Bak series, and Deepika Padukone, a famous and highly paid Indian actress, also become more popular among action movie geeks. One thing for sure, xXx: Return of Xander Cage has the elements needed to be an outstanding action movie.

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