It's been a while since my favorite reviewer Walter Chaw had made me laugh out loud at a movie review for a film he particularly reviled. Thankfully, XXX: State of the Union delivers the goods, and some of his trademark wrath:
- The chief benefit of the perceptively-titled xXx: State of the Union is that it gathers, for two hours at a time, all the people in your community from whom you'd like a two-hour break. It's a salt-lick for under-hung jackasses--car porn that features one woman shot in the back and another while she's defenseless and on the ground, with the marauding hero strutting around as a bulletproof fantasy of domesticated blackness the whole time. There's a big truck, a couple of tanks, a trio of helicopters, and as its climax, it features a presidential bullet train shooting through the heart of Washington D.C. at roughly mach 4. It's calamitously loud, edited like a primer on how not to edit, and in a just universe, it would be the last nail in the coffin of Ice Cube's precipitously falling career. But this isn't a just universe--this is a universe where a critic is "out of touch" if he doesn't like a piece of shit that happens to earn an extraordinary amount of money, where it doesn't make an ounce of difference if it's actually something anybody involved in the film would want to see as long as you pay a few bones for the privilege of siphoning your life away before its awful majesty. Feckless, vile, and--in the wake of ballsy ruminations on violence and genre like Sin City, Head-On, and Old Boy--not even exciting or affecting in any meaningful way, it's the foetus in the pickle jar in the sideshow tent: impotent, grotesque--and ultimately more than a little pathetic for everyone involved. Save your two bits for a shave and a haircut.