‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’ trailer looks dope

07.20.16 1 year ago

Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes and clips and puts it all in perspective.

When I was a young writer (or younger writer, I mean what is age?), I had a meeting with Revolution Studios. It was in 2002, and it was there that I learned the legend of how xXx was born. The writer, Rich Wilkes, sold it in the room, which is something you could do at that time. The executive at Revolution was quick with a decision when you pitched him an idea.  He would  stop you if he wasn't interested, so as not to waste your time. Or he would hear the whole thing out, expressionless, and then add something he'd like to see in the movie, which meant you sold it. That's how Revolution did things. 

Rich Wilkes came into Revolution and destroyed with his pitch. It helped that Rich embodied everything that xXx was about. An athlete with wild hair who played the drums, he looked like an extreme sports guy. He was an extreme sports guy. Rich's idea: James Bond is outdated. He's a fuddy duddy. He's past his prime. Who cares about wrist watches and tuxedos and all that prissy nonsense? We need a hero for the video game generation. We need a guy who boards and jumps and bikes. An X Games athlete, educated on Playstation, turned criminal turned spy. Crazy action. American tough guy. Babes galore.  Boom. The studio handed over a check and Xander Cage came to life. 

The movie itself was not great. And the sequel without Vin Diesel was even worse. And somewhere in there, his character died, but that's never stopped anyone before. Rich Wilkes's idea for xXx continues to be viable, maybe even more more viable now because original lead actor has only become a bigger star who has mastered the art of playing live action and animated cartoon characters. Plus, the popularity of extreme sports in the vein of MMA has risen and games like Grand Theft Auto have become a fabric of our pop culture lives. So it makes sense to give this franchise another shot. There's a good movie in this concept, or at least a fun movie, and this trailer delivers.

If you believe in Samuel L. Jackson's simple action philosophy: “Kick some ass, and try to look dope while you doin' it,” then you're a sucker for this, you can't help being a sucker for this. I'll do you one better, and I'm gonna bet they don't let us down this time. 

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