Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Take 23: xXx and xXx State of the Union

Tuesday: Take - My "take" on a film.

xXx

I had a double dose of Triple X over the weekend. I planned to watch xXx: State of the Union (2005) for today's post, but my husband insisted that I watch the original xXx (2002) with Vin Diesel first. Yeah, I guess it makes sense to watch the original before the sequel.

I'm glad the star of the original was also in the sequel: the 1967 GTO. I thought my eyes were deceiving me in State of the Union when the it kept changing colors, but I learned they used a "special paint called 'interference pigment' ... which appears to change color when viewed from different angles" (IMDb Trivia).

The car brings memories of learning to drive a stick shift. My sister's '66 GTO wasn't decked out like the one in the movie, but it did contain weapons of mass destruction:  her three young children in the back seat.

But I digress.

The stunts and special effects in xXx were amazing. I liked the concept of using an extreme sports athlete as a special agent because Anarchy 99--a group of Russian ex-military--can "smell the training on our agents a mile away." And...

AUGUSTUS GIBBONS (Samuel L. Jackson)
Do we want to drop another mouse in the
snake pit? Or do we want to send our
own snake and let him crawl in?

The recruited agent? Xander Cage (Vin Diesel). The best part of the movie was the recruitment process.

In xXx: State of the Union, Gibbons recruits Darius Stone (Ice Cube), an imprisoned former Navy SEAL, as the newest Triple X agent.

To stop the mutiny in the White House, Stone needs people he can trust...a group of car-jacking hustlers whose leader doesn't feel a pull of patriotism until Darius tells him...

DARIUS STONE
Don't do it for the red, white, and blue.
Do it for yourself. Do it for the right
to hack and jack cars of the highest
quality on the same block as the White House.
...It's the American way of life, bro.

This gave me pause. But I had to agree. Freedom, and our agency, gives the right of choice. I have the right to choose a law-abiding life, they have the right to choose crime.

And I got a kick out of this:

DARIUS STONE
The fate of the free world in the hands
of a bunch of hustlers and thieves. 

AGENT KYLE STEELE
Why should tonight be any different?

Watching the first xXx before the second helped me understand what the Triple X agency was about, and who was who, but I actually enjoyed the second one better. Maybe I felt more invested since the plot involved my own country...and freedoms.


Notes on content:

  • No nudity in State of the Union, but xXx had some nudity which is another reason I didn't enjoy it as much since I needed to fast forward through those parts. 
  • Both films had violence (part of the genre), but I don't recall any extreme goriness.
  • Each film had one f-word, and several religious exclamations. 

(I usually exercise my freedom of choice by using a Clearplay filter to eliminate nudity, extreme violence, and offensive language, but it requires a DVD and without quick access to that format for these films, I settled for streaming.)

2 comments:

  1. I haven't seen either of these films, but I do like action stories. I'm also a fan of Samuel L. Jackson. (Off topic: his character in A Time to Kill was sadly cut to make room for the romantic subplot, which wasn't even part of John Grisham's novel! How sad.)

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    Replies
    1. What?? Samuel L. Jackson AND Sandra Bullock? How did I miss that film?

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