xXx: State of the Union sucked all the fun out the extreme franchise. If xXx is exactly like The Fast and the Furious, then State of the Union is exactly like 2 Fast 2 Furious. Since Vin Diesel left the sequel only to be replaced by a black early 2000’s celebrity. Ice Cube is definitely anti-establishment, but former Navy Seal turned convict Darius Stone is all attitude with nothing to show for it. All practical extreme stunts and heavy metal are replaced by terrible CGI action and hip-hop.
In case the Bond similarity wasn’t already obvious, Die Another Day director Lee Tamahori is the one who replaced Rob Cohen. State of the Union is somehow more convoluted with an overly complex mission involving the President. Even with gorgeous women, big guns, and sports cars, State of the Union is seriously generic. It’s so generic that Willem Dafoe is supposed to be a surprise villain. The NSA is now more involved with Samuel L. Jackson returning as Gibbins alongside gadgets expert Shavers.
Their agency is targeted by the bad guys who killed Xander Cage off-screen like he never mattered. I’d probably be more insulted if I actually saw xXx at a young age. Stone being the new Agent Triple X is constantly brought up with characters comparing him to the far superior Cage. The Capitol infiltrating climax even ends with Stone bearing the xXx tattoo that he doesn’t deserve. xXx: State of the Union doesn’t work without the extreme nonsense of early 2000’s spy action.
Preceded by: xXx & Followed by: xXx: Return of Xander Cage