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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Movies
XXX: Return of Xander Cage
    2017-February-10  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    NOT that anyone was clamoring for it, but Vin Diesel has returned to his role as an extreme sports-loving secret agent who saves the world in the very belated third installment of the “XXX” franchise he abandoned after the first film (Ice Cube took over in the far less successful sequel). However in this movie, Diesel makes “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” a reasonably entertaining popcorn movie experience.

    Actually, popcorn alone wouldn’t suffice for the film’s nonstop barrage of high-octane action sequences that make you feel like you’re burning calories simply watching them. From its opening sequence featuring Xander skiing through a jungle and skateboarding down a steep mountain road to its climactic battle in a plummeting aircraft resulting in zero-gravity conditions for the combatants, this is a picture that demands the accompaniment of nachos, candy and soda as well.

    To its credit, the film, directed by D.J. Caruso (“Disturbia,” “Eagle Eye”), definitely has its tongue not only in its cheek, but practically rammed down its throat. It begins with an amusing sequence in which Xander’s former boss Augustus Gibbons (Samuel Jackson) attempts to recruit real-life Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr. for his organization, only to be killed by the explosion of a fallen satellite shortly thereafter.

    It turns out that the satellite has been brought down by a device known as Pandora’s Box, the picture of which should be included in the dictionary definition of “McGuffin.” And the only one who can retrieve it, naturally, is Xander Cage, despite the fact that he’s dead, or, at least, starring in the “Fast and Furious” movies.

    Well, not really. Xander is actually hanging out in the Dominican Republic, where he’s apparently beloved by the local population. He’s brought back into action by icy CIA operative Jane Marke (Toni Collette), who offers him a back-up team of hard-boiled military types. Xander responds to the offer by ejecting them from the back of a plane.

    Instead, he puts together his own group, which seems to have been assembled for maximum international box-office appeal. They include heavily tattooed sniper Adele Wolff (Ruby Rose, “Orange Is the New Black”); crazed stunt driver Tennyson (Rory McCann, “Game of Thrones”); sexily nerdy IT specialist Becky (Nina Dobrev, “The Vampire Diaries”), so immediately smitten with Xander that she informs him her “safe word” is “cumquat”; and Nicks (Kris Wu), whose chief skill seems to be as a DJ.

    There’s another crew of bad guys who at first seem like villains before forming an alliance with Xander’s gang. They’re made up of martial-arts expert Xiang (Chinese superstar Donnie Yen); the dangerous, and dangerously sexy, Serena (Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone); British ex-Special Forces member Hawk (UFC and MMA fighter Michael Bisping); and blonde, Mohawk-sporting Talon (Thai martial arts star Tony Jaa).

    The bare-bones plot is merely an excuse for the action set pieces, which also include Xander chasing down a bad guy by surfing on a motorbike. It all comes across like a montage of the opening sequences of James Bond movies, but the net effect is more numbing than exhilarating. And while there may indeed be impressive stunt work on display (augmented by voluminous CGI effects), the impact is diluted through overkill.

    Other than the voluminous tattoos, anyone would be hard-pressed to notice any difference between Diesel’s Xander Cage and Dominic Toretto characters. More adept at the role’s physical than verbal demands, the actor is an engaging, muscle-bound presence, but the way his franchise-heavy career is going, he seems to be auditioning for a future gig as a “Celebrity Apprentice” host.

    He’s certainly outclassed here by such co-stars as Padukone, who practically steals the film, and Yen, whose effortless charisma and dazzling martial arts skills signify that he’s long overdue for a Hollywood vehicle of his own.

    The movie is now being screened in Shenzhen. (SD-Agencies)

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