After a 12 year-absence and ignorance of a deleted scene in its 2005 sequel, Xander Cage is back!

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Directed by D.J. Caruso (I am Number Four), this film marks the … well … return of Xander Cage, Vin Diesel’s character in the first movie (2002).

After years of self-exile, extreme sports enthusiast Xander Cage is hired by the NSA to retrieve the Pandora’s Box, a device that will allow the owner total access to military satellites. Meanwhile, Xian (Donnie Yen), a dangerous man whose motives are unknown, leads a team of similarly dangerous people to also retrieve the device.

This movie does not take itself seriously. Let that sink in before you watch it. It does not pretend to be this James Bond/Jason Bourne level of entertainment. It’s more of a parody as the film goes on. Considering the camp and over the top action, one may look and wonder if this is a spin-off of The Fast and the Furious franchise (the latter movies).

First off, this movie only has one goal in mind: show how awesome Xander Cage is. Most movies have that goal, but what sets this movie apart is how they do it. Either this is a tribute/parody of 80s and 90s spy movies or this is a big massage of the main star’s ego. There is literally nothing that hinders Xander Cage. Nothing! He simply breezes through anything. Then a scene later, someone comments how much of a badass he is. Stop telling us how badass he is; just show us! But when the moment Cage does his thing, it’s obviously a stuntman. It’s like that Deadpool deleted scene (“My stuntman will f*ck you up!”). Same thing goes to most of the spies and agents in this movie. “Look what I can do!” is a line removed in this movie.

And the acting! THE ACTING! Toni Collette portrays Jane Marke, Cage’s new NSA employer and my absolute most hated character in a movie ever. I have seen grade school acting better than this. Nina Dobrev portrays Becky, a very annoying yet pretty tech NSA agent. Why do you have to be so annoying? It does not do anything to the plot other than… oh my lord… TELL ME HOW AWESOME XANDER CAGE IS!

The action sequences are decent though, especially the fight scenes. This is to be expected considering martial artists Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, and Michael Bisping are in the cast. Such a shame, though, that Tony Jaa was not given much spotlight.

Donnie Yen stole every scene he is in. He oozes with such energy and charisma. It is a pity he serves second fiddle in this movie.

This is my first entry to my Guilty Pleasures of 2017.

Because of its insistence to show how cool their characters are, the horrible acting of its supporting actors, and its co-star outshining the main star, This film is definitely…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY

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