Given that his entire career for the last 20 years has been predicated on turning everything he touches into a multi-film series, something must have gone seriously wrong behind the scenes for Vin Diesel to decline the opportunity to throw on the temporary tattoos and oversized fur coat of Xander Cage to return for xXx: State of the Union.
Ice Cube is always good value when he brings his furious charisma to the comedy genre, but he’s been found sorely lacking in the action hero department. Despite this, the rapper-turned-actor’s Darius Stone was positioned at the forefront of the second installment, and it probably would have been a much better idea had it just not been made at all.
Even with the valiant efforts of suitably hammy duo Samuel L. Jackson and Willem Dafoe, State of the Union is terrible. The plot is the bad kind of convoluted nonsense, Cube does nothing to assuage doubts about his leading man status, the CGI is ropey, and it’s all a bit of a slog.
Critics and audiences were in firm agreement, with xXx: State of the Union flopping hard after only recouping $71 million of the $113 million budget, while a 17% Rotten Tomatoes score might even be deemed a tad generous. Nonetheless, it’s inexplicably rebounded on Netflix as per FlixPatrol, having shuffled up the most-watched list by fourteen places.