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xXx (Triple X) - Vin Diesel, Samuel L Jackson, Asia Argento, Rob Cohen

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

A new breed of secret agent.

Tattooed. Head shaven. Buff to the max. Attitude to spare. A walking advertisement for anti-authoritarianism. And like the letter that begins his first name (and is emblazoned into the back of his neck in triplicate by ink-and-needle), extreme in every way. Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is xXx. He makes his questionable living by selling web videos of his outrageous, thrill seeking exploits, whether parachuting out of a stolen car as it plunges 200 metres off a bridge, or other renegade activities which invite maximum adrenaline flow or, perhaps, a very early grave. Xander has a coterie of friends and admirers in their death-defying subculture, but after his umpteenth tangle with the law, his world is about to take the most extreme detour yet...

... For what Xander doesn't know is that he's been "scouted" by Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L Jackson), a veteran agent with the National Security Agency whose tough attitude and scarred face mark him as a grizzled but determined warrior for the USA. Gibbons and the NSA are facing a desperate situation in distant Prague, where their undercover operative has been killed by a gang of cutting-edge thugs calling themselves Anarchy 99, headed by the brutal ex-Russian Army Commander Yorgi (Marton Csokas) and his beautiful but hardened girlfriend, Yelena (Asia Argento).

Gibbons needs a new breed of agent to get to Prague, go undercover, and play by Anarchy 99's own rules (or lack of them) to stop them from destroying the world and discover just how dangerous their game really is. And Xander Cage, with his astonishing physical and athletic prowess and indifferent attitude is a perfect, if unlikely (and completely unwilling) candidate. Gibbons will use any means possible to find out if Xander is his man for the job, even if it means putting him through the most gruelling series of "tests" imaginable.

For Augustus Gibbons believes that a man can change - even a seemingly hopeless if talented guy like "X", and so, Xander is compelled to acquire a new occupation and a revised identity to go with it: Agent Xander Cage, code name... xXx!

Theatrical propaganda posters

xXx (Triple X) image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film adventure spy agent extreme sport undercover Praque action violence

Persons of interest

  • Vin Diesel .... Xander "xXx" Cage
  • Samuel L Jackson .... Agent Gibbons
  • Asia Argento .... Yelena
  • Marton Csokas .... Yorgi
  • Joe Bucaro III .... Virg
  • Rich Wilkes .... Screenwriter
  • Rob Cohen .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

I saw just what I thought I would.

xXx is a film-by-numbers spy flick with a big emphasis on effects and stunts. The effects are mostly great (the avalanche still needs a bit of work, although the "snow hits the camera lens" was nice) but the stunts are truly awesome. There is no attempt to hide the fact that they are stunts (some are so completely impossible that they don't even try to make them look possible) and are shot with a reverence that only a true action aficionado can appreciate. The explosions are twenty times bigger than they need to be, the leaps are twenty times higher than they need to be, while Xander's extreme action (why doesn't anyone use the term "daredevil" any more?) is twenty times more extreme than it needs to be.

Do not try this at home.

Other than that, there are lots of sexy chicks not wearing much clothing, platoons of stunt people shooting at anything that moves and a line-up of cars that will give a boofy bloke a woody: they make Fast and the furious look like the parking lot at Coles. Some of them even make it to the end of the film without being shot, stolen, exploded, crashed or otherwise destroyed. That's life in the fast lane.

Pet peeve: 10 points off for making a Russian in the Czech Republic use American slang for accelerator (ie "gas").

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Languages: English, Italian
  • Picture: Widescreen (2.40:1/16:9 enhanced)
  • Special features:
    • Animated menus
    • Biographies: Talent profiles
    • Commentary: Rob Cohen
    • Deleted scenes: Optional commentary from Rob Cohen
    • Documentaries:
      • xXx a filmmaker's diary
    • DVD-ROM:
      • web links
    • Featurettes:
      • Building speed: The vehicles of xXx
      • Visual effect sequences: Creating an avalanche, Shack explosion
      • Diesel powered
    • Music video: Adrenaline by Gavin Rossdale
    • Picture disc
    • Trailers: Theatrical, bonus
  • Subtitles: Dutch, English, English captions, Italian

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level violence, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

124 minutes (2:04 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 12 September 2002
DVD rental: 2 April 2003
DVD retail: 2 April 2003
DVD retail: 2 April 2003 - Box set
VHS rental: 2 April 2003
VHS retail: 27 August 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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