‘xXx 3:’ Xander Cage returns with ‘Ip Man’ and friends

0

Karen Kunawicz

I was rather hesitant to watch xXx: Return of Xander Cage. In my mind, I was, ‘Oh my gosh, more Hollywood noise, formula, franchise and bombast.’ When the day came for me to see it, I had a backup plan: if I couldn’t take the film, I’d just step out, grab a cup of coffee and wait for my friends to finish.

To my surprise, the film was light, tongue-in-cheek and the action, fights and stunts were well-executed and choreographed. It almost seemed like I was watching a slick B movie Hong Kong martial arts film instead of a Hollywood action blockbuster.

Stunt supervisor Bobby Brown with the support of Jon Valera and action design and fight choreography outfit 87Eleven did an amazing job of making the sequences look fun, cohesive and at times even sexy and graceful. Credit goes to Corbin Fox for all the rigging work he did to pull of the sequences.

The casting department did a lot of homework to please sports and pop culture fans—not just in the US but in Asia and India as well.


Apart from lead star Vin Diesel, there’s the currently in demand Donnie Yen (best known for “Ip Man” and recently seen in Rogue One) who dazzles with his impeccable fight sequences. As if the addition of Donnie Yen isn’t enough, they have Tony Jaa of Ong Bak fame—sporting and blonde Mohawk—and bringing his own brand of action to the franchise.

Donnie Yen (right) is a busy man; after watching him as Chirrut Imwe in ‘Rogue One,’ he now goes toe to toe with Vin Diesel (left) in ‘xXx’

For the younger fans, the cast also include basketball player and K-pop star Kris Wu, and for MMA followers, there’s UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. Even Game of Thrones aficionados will be tickled to find The Hound, Rory McCann, as part of the ensemble.

Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone takes on the lead female role while Nina Dobrev from the Vampire Diaries tries her hand at the action comedy genre. Additionally, Ruby Rose from Orange is the New Black plays a sharp shooter, adept with all sorts of guns, who can improvise for almost any scenario.

Samuel L. Jackson returns to the franchise as well as another past actor who is best saved as a surprise. Toni Collette joins the cast along with another surprise cameo from World Cup athlete.

The producers of xXx know their audience and their stunt work. It’s clear that they are having fun for the duration of the ride.

A scene from the film is supposed to have been shot in the Philippines (but I did not see the country in the closing credits), I’m thinking maybe a beach on the Dominican Republic may have doubled for it. The scantily ladies in the scene looked more like Latinas and there was no trace of local rums or beers at the beach party.

Share.
.
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

Comments are closed.