XXX

Bomb Rating: 

By the time Xander snowboarded in front of the intentionally-caused avalanche, I started to wonder whether this was a comedy.

(Warning: Spoiler.)

This movie is essentially a two-hour advertisement for ESPN's X-Games, with the volume turned up so loud that all the dogs within a three-mile radius start foaming at the mouth from aurally-induced seizures.

Let me see if I can remember everything our hero, Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), does: He moto-crosses, he BASE jumps off a corvette that he drives off a bridge, he rides a serving tray down a railing, he snowboards ahead of an avalanche, and he skydives with his snowboard. I've probably missed something -- like Xander surfing a pyroclastic flow or skateboarding down Mt. Everest -- probably due to my temporary loss of hearing. Apparently X-gamers need their movies played at insanely loud levels because they've spent so much of their lives screaming "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?" in each other's ears.

Director Rob ("The Fast and the Furious") Cohen appears to be trying to corner the market on loud and stupid. NSA Agent Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits Xander Cage to go to Czechoslovakia and infiltrate Yorgi's (Marton Csokas) gang. Incidentally, the definition of bad casting is when you make Samuel L. Jackson your #2 bad-ass.

It would be one thing if these stupid stunts were performed in a way that made any sort of sense, but they're not. Xander jumps a motorcycle over a security fence again and again, but we never see the ramps that allow him to do so. His stunt of boarding down the railing on a serving tray makes him an easier target for the sniper shooting at him. By the time Xander snowboarded in front of the intentionally-caused avalanche, I started to wonder whether this was a comedy.

The ending provides the most laughs. Yorgi wants to poison the world with this sub that shoots big darts. Incidentally, Yorgi has the stupidest reason for wanting to take over the world I've ever heard, which was something like, "No more politics. Freedom!" Anyway, as the sub races down the river toward Prague, Xander has to jump aboard to disable it by removing its hard drive (note to future evildoers: plug n' play hardware in your doomsday weapon = bad idea). Pulling the hard drive sends the thing into an immediate dive, conveniently neutralizing the poisonous agents on board, unlike the infinite number of other doomsday weapons that smartly explode when you try to screw around with them.

Triple X = triple stupid.

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