“XXX: State of the Union” is the most absurd, ridiculous, moronic, idiotic action thriller Hollywood has ever produced. And yet, I paid to see this crapfest in theatres.
I really should have known better, after all, the movie poster proudly proclaims “From the director of Die Another Day.” I should have heeded the warning.
The first XXX movie was filled with over the top action, and some terrible dialogue. Even though it’s not a classic film by any means, XXX was a fun movie to watch, and it brought something new to spy movies. However, the sequel deviated so much from the first film, that it should have been a direct-to-dvd release.
The premise of the sequel is that the previous XXX is dead (Code for Vin Diesel wanted a bigger payday) and ex-Jailbird Darius Stone (Ice Cube) is in as the new XXX. Samuel L.Jackson reprises his role as Agent Augustus Gibbons, and he’s joined by gadget guru Toby (Michael Roof). In State of the Union they’re joined by agent Kyle Steele (Scott Speedman).
Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to stop secretary of defense Willem Dafoe from overthrowing the goverment.Why is Willem Dafoe about to betray his country? Because the president of the United States in the movie believes we must make our enemies our allies. The secretary of defense disagrees, which is why he wants to assassinate the president and half his administration.
For the majority of the movie, Ice Cube wears the same dour expression pasted to his face. Ice Cube looks uncomfortable and a little lost in the role. And not to be mean about it, but Ice Cube isn’t exactly in peak physical shape, which makes spotting his stunt doubles is really easy, and makes for a fun drinking game. Ice Cube is good in comedic roles, and he’s actually pretty good here during the lighter moments. Sadly, there aren’t enough of those moments in State of the Union, and most of the comic relief is left up to Michael Roof, with disastrous results.
In the film we meet Darius Stone’s ex-girlfriend, played by Nona Gaye. You might remember her from the Matrix sequels, but in XXX she looks like a man in drag. Whoever designed her costumes didn’t do her any favors. Also, the relationship between her and Ice Cube is never explained, and serves almost no point to the story.
The other female role in the move is Charlie, played by Sunny Mabrey. Her character is basically there as eye candy, but there’s more to her than just looks. At first, Charlie seems to be a senator’s daughter trying to hook up with Ice Cube, but when he finds out she’s using him, he punches her out. Samuel L. Jackson spends a good chunk of his screen time telling Ice Cube to kill the bitch.
Now we fast forward to the climax of the film because the rest of the move doesn’t matter. The grand finale goes something like this: The President of the United States is giving his State of the Union speech, unaware that outside the U.S. Capitol armored troopers are attempting to break in and assassinate him, the vice president and everyone else in the chain of command. Everyone except the secretary of defense, who hired them for his attempted coup.
Opposing them is XXX, who has recruited a gang from an upmarket chop shop. With a little help from Scott Speedman and Michael Roof, the gang is outfitted with supercharged dragsters and heavy-duty weapons. A huge battle ensues on the streets of the nation’s capital, at one point a tank gets car jacked.
But the President’s speech goes on as if everything were normal. There isn’t even a breaking news alert about the street battle. During the lenghty firefight inside the Capitol building, Willem Dafoe kidnaps the President, and the two speed off in the President’s private bullet train.
But fear not, For XXX is pursuing the bullet train in his 220-mph car. In order to catch the CGI train, XXX shreds the car’s CGI tires so that it can run on the CGI train’s CGI rails. This enables a CGI Ice Cube to leap from his CGI car onto the back of the CGI train, enter it, grab the president, and attempt to CGI swing him to safety via a CGi helicopter where a CGI Scott Speedman awaits with open arms. And then the President quotes Tupac.
Thanks to bad writing, bad acting, and bad directing, “XXX: State of the Union” is easily one of the worst sequels of all time. This movie is a disservice to what Rob Cohen and Vin Diesel had built. State of the Union was a colossal failure, grossing only $26 million domestically. it’s no surprise really, that this series has been dormant since 2005.