Nsa agent augustus gibbons fresh off the success of his last renegade recruitment once again finds himself in need of an outsider. Gibbons & his new agent also code-named xxx must track a dangerous military splinter group ... more »that is conspiring to overthrow the u.S. Government in the nations capital. Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 02/20/2007 Starring: Ice Cube Willem Dafoe Run time: 99 minutes Rating: R Director: Lee Tamahori« less
"I was a real fan of the original tripple X. Finally, we had a spy, although unlikely, was a bit more believable than Bond. The plot, other than a comic book type crazed killer, was intruigeing, the tempo was beyond belief, the sound track was good, and the hero was a stand-up guy. I liked the concept of a protagonist that began as a self-centered thrill seeker who gradually turned into someone that saw true evil and decided it was up to himself to make things right. I was anxious for a sequal, and upon the previews, wondered why Vin did not return. After seeing the film, I soon discovered why (he most likely vomited while reading the script). The film started with a gripping plot. Gibbon's (Samuel Jackson) branch of the NSA is attacked by unknown high-tech assailents. Most of the branch (made up of Gibbon's military team)has or is in the process of being assasinated. Gibbons decides to go further out of the box, and recruit a member of his former SEAL team (Ice Cube), who is currently searving time in military prison (for insubordination and punching his commander, portrayed by William DeFoe). A prison break is exicuted, and Ice Cube becomes the new xXx. From therein, the plot and Ice Cube's charactor becomes downright offensive. In a nutshell, William DeFoe's charactor is planning to unseat the president...why? Because the president is a Clintonista liberal who wants to understaaaaand our enemies, turning the other cheek to attacks and showering them with aid. The "evil" DeFoe, instead, wants to strengthen the military enough to be able to properly defend the country (this is evil?!? Apparently so, and why terrorist attacks seem to continue.) DeFoe's charactor believes the only way to do this is to enact a small coup on the capitol building. It's up to a bunch of unrepentant gang bangers/car theives to save America. Unlike the original, where there is charactor developement, it is absent in the sequal. Other than a side National Security head man, no one else seems to care why they are trying to rescue the president, just what's in it for themselves (especially the gang bangers; they are in it for the right to jack cars in D.C.). Oh, yes, did I mention ample gratuitous black on white racist cracks (especilly comapiring an NRA chairman to a Ku Klux Klansman)? I used to like Ice Cube (in movie roles), but after starring in this garbage, well, I have to throw him in the same bin as other Hollywood RDDB's (I'm very surprised someone the caliber of Samuel L. Jackson would appear in something like this unless he was bound by contact). Well, guys, if you are going to make another xXx similar to this debacle, here's your plot: Right wing radio talk show hosts have invaded the capitol. Gibbons goes further out of the box and springs an ex-Al Quida member from Guantanimo Bay. Together with the help of the ACLU and GLAD, explosions and lawsuits fly and anyone to the right of the loony left is overcome by compassion. The president disolves all the armed forces, and every dictator in the world is so overcome by our understaaaaanding, that they all throw down their guns and step down from power, and the world is at one with peace. Hey, it's in line with the sub plot of this movie, and the way a certain group of writers in Hollywood seem to think. And they wonder why box office reciepts are down. Please excuse me while I snap in "Seargent York" so I can see what Hollywood was at one time and feel like an American again.
How to ruin a movie series in a single film
mrliteral | 09/04/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It may be too early to make a final judgment, but overall I am optimistic when looking at the state of the movies in 2005. Others may talk of declining box office, but I see a rosier picture when it appears that the audience is becoming more discerning. Derivative action flicks like Stealth stumble out of the gate, and not long ago, the same happened with the sequel to XXX.
Subtitled "State of the Union," XXX 2 is merely an excuse to watch things blow up. There are the vestiges of a plot involving a coup attempt by the Secretary of Defense, but the story is merely an excuse to get from one silly incident to the next. What's the most inane scene in this movie: the ludicrous prison escape or the final battle sequence which involves the recruiting of a bunch of gang members who all apparently never do drugs and have a vague sense of patriotism? There are probably a dozen other choices.
The intent of the original movie was to showcase extreme sports in a James Bond parody, and it was quite successful. With Vin Diesel's replacement (a perpetually scowling Ice Cube) an ex-SEAL, we basically lose what made the first movie original. Instead, we get a clichéd action flick that has been done better dozens of times.
So maybe movie audiences are getting better at recognizing garbage when it comes out, and maybe that in turn will lead to better movies. Yeah, right.
It's A "Popcorn" Movie -- Plain And Simple
Stephie Fryar | Chicago, IL USA | 12/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're expecting some big, deep, meaningful morality tale in "XXX: State Of The Union", look elsewhere. This movie doesn't pretend to be a deep psychological political thriller, like the 1962 version of "The Manchurian Candidate" was; it's a fast-paced action flick, and it makes no bones about it.
Rapper/actor Ice Cube is Darius Stone, a Navy Seal who was wrongly imprisoned when he fought a order from his commanding officer to kill innocent people in Kosovo. Stone's former C.O. is now the Secretary Of Defense, and he's got some plans for the nation which aren't too pleasant.
Once again, we have Samuel L. Jackson reprisiing his role as NSA Senior Agent Gibbons, the man who enables Stone to escape from prison after a team of masked (and heavily armed) men stage a raid on Gibbons's NSA headquarters in which several agents are killed. This isn't gonna sit too well with Gibbons, so he wants to know what's going on; hence the need for Stone to do the investigating, and do a bit of butt-kicking along the way.
Needless to say ... a lot of action, including some pretty good stunt work, is packed into the space of 101 minutes, and director Lee Tamahori, who's no stranger to the action movie genre (he directed "Die Another Day" and "Along Came A Spider" -- two other films which fit the "popcorn action movie" genre), and he does a pretty good job of keeping the movie going, even though the plot itself has holes which are big enough to fly a fleet of Blackhawks through.
It's also good to see some familiar faces in this movie, including Willem Dafoe as the Secretary of Defense, Scott Speedman (who's definitely come a long way from his days on the TV series "Felicity") as the NSA agent who always seems to be at least one step behind Stone, and rapper Xzibit turns in a good performance as Zeke, the chop-shop owner who's recruited into the fight to save the nation.
While "XXX: State Of The Union" isn't the world's greatest movie, the DVD has enough goodies to keep you interested, and it's a good companion to the unrated director's cut version of "XXX".
All in all, if you want a movie that's perfect to munch popcorn by, "XXX: State Of The Union" is your kind of movie."
Non stop and mind numbing action - saved by the performances
Craig Matteson | Ann Arbor, MI | 08/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"OK, I admit I am not the target audience for a movie like this - so read this review with that in mind. I rented this in one of those "aw, what the heck" moments. I really like Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube, and Willem Dafoe and figured how bad could it really be.
Well, if you like non-stop hyperactive action that exceeds all bounds of reality and physics, then this is your cup of tea. However, I am not a tea drinker. It really was an ok way to turn off the brain for a couple of hours. There are a few plot twists and some action sequences that are pretty good. But when it gets to the CGI portions, it isn't so good. The super fast cars, trains, and low flying helicopters look like cartoons and the movie suffers from the break with the suspension of disbelief.
Still, the actors do well with what they are given and I enjoyed it in that kind of mind numbed way that the movie asks of us. Although without the performances delivered by the stars, this movie would sink like a rock in my rating system."
Avoid like the Plague
F. Williams | Kuwait City, Kuwait | 05/05/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Oh my Gosh, where to begin. This film starts off full throttle with lots of hardcore action, and then just goes to hell-in-a-hand basket. With a film of this intent you are definitely not expecting Academy award nominations or even realism for that matter; but I draw the line at video game graphics..... and that exactly what the film turns into, xXx: State of the Union, the video game now available on PS 2 coming this Fall. The movie is just a 101 minute ad for the video game coming to a store near you this Christmas.
In this go around, Ice Cube (Darius Stone) is tabbed as special agent XXX. When the agency's HQ in Virginia is infiltrated and sixteen agents are killed during the opening sequence of this film, Agent Augustus Gibbons (played by Samuel L. Jackson) is forced to find another agent outside the company lines to track down the assailants. Former Agent Darius Stone, currently residing in a Federal prison, is the man for the job. In possibly the best action sequence of the film, Stone is freed from prison and is forced into deep uncover OPS. However from this seen on, the film nosedives into a flaming, fiery tailspin of hogwash misconceptions and horrendous inconceivable CGI special effects.
**Spoiler** In a nutshell, General George Octavius Deckert (played by Willem Dafoe) plans to annihilate the President of the United States, and all the members of the cabinet ahead of him in line for the presidency during the President's State of the Union address speech. General Deckert has amassed his own private army to include an aircraft carrier full of equipment to assist in his mission. He plans to divert the blame onto Agent Augustus Gibbons and his group of Navy Seals, who once disobeyed a direct order of General Gibbons.
I love movies. I can accept spiders swinging from buildings, unknown universes with light sabers, or even cyborgs from the future sent back to change history; but the rubbish being spewed in this film as well as its lame special effects is totally unacceptable. [...]"