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Action -Shoot-em Ups

xXx 2: The Next Level (2005)

Duration1h 41m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Canada: 13+ 
Source of storyA sort of follow up to the original xXx film with at least one of the same characters.
DirectorLee Tamahori
Writers/ScriptSimon Kinberg
StarringWillem Dafoe, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube, Scott Speedman, Sunny Mabrey, Nona Gaye, Peter Strauss
RatingsIMDb: 4.5 by 67,936 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 17% by 137 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: xXx is the designation of the National Security Agency, a super undercover organisation whose purpose is to protect the US nation. Their underground base is attacked by a bunch of black clad soldiers leaving only the boss, Augustus Gibbons and his techy assistant alive, so to hit back they break an ex Navy Seal, Darius Stone, out of prison. It is soon apparent that the very small team are going to need help since they are facing a rogue element of the government whose objective is nothing less than revolution. When Augustus is apparently killed by the opposition things hot up for Darius. He is helped by a glamourous woman, but can she be trusted?

Content: No sex or nudity, but some precipitous cleavage. Before the titles there is the attack on the NSA headquarters, a lot of gunfire, and explosions. Some hand to hand combat at times. Slightly memorable the team visit a car pimping garage where numerous supercars were on display including two GT40s. Darius manages to get onto an aircraft carrier and becomes involved in a  tank battle on the hanger deck – inspired I thought. The villains are going to attack the president at the annual address to the nation, but a gang of doubtful characters armed with weapons stolen from Homeland Security may be able to stop them.

A View: The critics did not like this, and to be honest how many films have we seen where an attack on the White House, or Congress is the central feature, but I am quite surprised that the general public also gave it the thumbs down. You would know what to expect if you went to the cinema or decided to watch it on line.  The BBC critic said that “by its own standards it succeeded” and it did. It was pretty wild stuff and it is not the worst shoot em up I have seen. So, if desperate probably worth a view with friends, while consuming a few beers.

Additional Info: Vin Diesel, the star of the first xXx film gave it a miss because he did not like the script! 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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