It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off the character before the 2005 sequel. Both films were pretty terrible, mindless action connected by the thinnest imaginable plots. And this franchise relaunch is just as random, with a nonsensical thriller storyline that exists merely to string together a sequence of explosive stunt trickery. Thankfully, this time the cast and crew make it clear that they know how preposterous this is.
No, Xander (Diesel) isn't dead. He's whizzing around the jungles of the Dominican Republic, wooing sweaty, scantily clad babes and keeping the locals cheering at his exploits. Then CIA black ops director Marke (Toni Collette) appears to draft him back into the XXX programme, because she needs to recapture a gadget terrorists are using to drop satellites from orbit onto carefully chosen targets. OK, sure. X assembles a team of his old pals (actually newcomers, played by Kris Wu, Ruby Rose and Rory McCann), plus a hot computer geek (Nina Dobrev), and chases down the team of equally extreme baddies (Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Tony Jaa and Michael Bisping). And as they head to London, the Philippines and Detroit, everyone realises that there's something else going on here.
There probably isn't a law of physics that isn't broken in this movie. These characters fly, are shot, fall from great heights and are blown to smithereens, but emerge unscathed, apart from their excessive tattoos (Xander has somehow redesigned his logo neck art for the reboot). Refreshingly, everyone keeps their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, winking at the camera at each ridiculous moment. Such as the chase in which motorcycles magically transform into water-bikes. Or when Xander does a spot of Alpine skiing through a rainforest. Or the frankly jaw-dropping weightless fight scene in a power-diving airplane.
Continue reading: XXx: Return Of Xander Cage Review
Xander Cage has led quite a life, he's been an extreme sports celebrity with his own TV show, worked as an undercover spy for the National Security Agency and saved the world from a deadly toxin being released. Xander wasn't exactly the most obvious person to become a spy as his celebrity status made him know around the world but his arrogance and known run-ins with the cops are will publicised.
He was recruited by NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons who saw potential in the daredevil. To test his skills, Gibbon's dropped Cage into a number of life threatening situations including an armed robbery and an escape from a cocaine plantation run by violent cartel bosses. Having successfully completed his tests, Xander found himself face to face with a Russia mobster who was planning to release toxic matter which is capable of killing millions. His mission was a success and he also found love with a Russian FSB agent called Yelena. Realising that the life of a spy isn't all it's cut out to be, the pair retire to Bora Bora.
Years later a crooked agent called Cobb is thought to have assassinated Cage leading to Gibbon's to find a new XXX agent - a title that only seems temporary for its holders.
Continue: xXx: Return of Xander Cage Trailer
First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a realistic road trip for two very different men. Genre fans might wish it was more of a shoot-em-up (the massive final gun battle is astonishingly earthy), but it more than makes up for that with a strong sense of its characters and settings. And by shooting it in New Zealand, Maclean found an unspoiled, spectacular landscape that has its own memorable impact.
The story centres on Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a tenacious 16-year-old travelling from Scotland to find his beloved Rose (Caren Pistorius), who has moved to the Wild West with her father (Rory McCann). As Jay enters dangerous bandit country in Colorado, he meets bounty hunter Silas (Michael Fassbender), who offers to accompany him through the perilous forests and mountains ahead. What Jay doesn't know is that Silas used to be in the most feared gang in these hills, led by his old pal Payne (Ben Mendelsohn). And as they traverse the landscape, meeting various robbers and some angry Native Americans, Payne is never too far behind, because he's hoping they'll lead him to Rose and her father, who have a $2,000 bounty on them, dead or alive.
What makes this movie so engaging is the growing connection between Jay and Silas, who aren't quite as different as they seem to be on the surface. Smit-McPhee plays Jay as soft and naive, and yet his fearlessness shows a steely inner strength that should never be underestimated. Meanwhile, Fassbender gives Silas a jaded charm as the stranger who doesn't want anyone to know who he really is. While Jay wears his emotions on his sleeve, Silas clearly feels them just as strongly but has learned the hard way to keep them bottled inside. Especially while living in a place like this, where any true sense of civilisation has yet to take root.
Continue reading: Slow West Review
'Game of Thrones' is infamous for killing off its characters, so without paying attention to the books (as the show seems to be doing) we looked at who we think is destined to go the way of dodo.
Prince Doran - We've only seen Prince Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig) in one episode so far, he's already made a strong impression on everyone. The elder brother of fan favourite Oberyn, who came to a horribly messy end in the last season, Prince Doran is trying his best to keep the peace in Dorne, and stop his people from seeking revenge against the Lannisters. It stands to reason, however, that his death would make give them a great reason to rise up and start a war.
Kit Harington in 'Game of Thrones'
Brienne/Podrick - Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman) have been giving us a good dose of the "two buddies traveling", following in the footsteps of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage ) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn), and Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann). The problem is, that each of those has come to a rather disastrous ending at some point, and the death of Brienne or Podrick seems likely - especially with what they seem to be getting themselves into.
When a young boy in Scotland falls in love with young girl, he is prepared to travel across the world to follow her. When she travels to the United States, he follows her, and travels forever west in order to find her. In a lawless land where only the most deadly can survive, the boy, Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is forced to team up with the mysterious Silas (Michael Fassbender), and work under his mentorship as they travel west together. The only problem is, that there is a bounty on his head, and a team of people desperate to collect it.
Continue: Slow West Trailer
Lena Headey appeared on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' on Monday (16th June) and channelled her 'Game of Thrones' character Cersei.
"You have such a way with words, I wonder if you'll be so clever when I have your tongue ripped from your throat," are not the sort of sentiments one would expect when tuning in to watch Jimmy Kimmel Live! Unless you're Lena Headey and happen to play one of the most evil female characters on television, Game Of Thrones' Cersei Lannister.
Lena Headey stars on Game of Thrones as Cersei
The 40-year-old British actress appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday (16th June) and channelled her character Cersei. Headey spends the majority of her time as Cersei drinking wine and insulting whoever crosses her path. And, as Kimmel pointed out, "No one drinks a goblet of wine like you do on Game of Thrones - in character of course."
Continue reading: Game Of Thrones' Lena Headey Channels Cersei On Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Rory McCann - Premiere of the third season of HBO Series 'Game of Thrones' - Arrivals - Los Angeles, CA, United States - Monday 18th March 2013
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