|Directed by||Rob Cohen|
|Produced by||Neal H. Moritz|
|Written by||Rich Wilkes|
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Editing by||Chris Lebenzon
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||124 minutes|
xXx, pronounced "Triple X", is a 2002 American action film directed by Rob Cohen and starring Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, a thrill seeking extreme sports enthusiast, stuntman and rebellious extreme sport athlete-turned-reluctant spy for the National Security Agency who is sent on a dangerous mission to infiltrate a group of potential terrorists in Central Europe. xXx also stars Asia Argento, Samuel L. Jackson, and Marton Csokas.
An NSA agent is infiltrating a Rammstein concert in Germany, only to be killed by Anarchy 99, an underground Eastern European group. After losing the third agent assigned to the mission, NSA operative Augustus Gibbons gets permission to run a project to find a person to infiltrate Anarchy 99, since conventional agents are too obvious to the group.
Xander Cage is a law-breaking, extreme sports enthusiast, with a propensity for rebellious behavior. After crashing California state senator Dick Hotchkiss' car in response to the senator championing a ban of controversial video games and music, Cage's hideout is raided during a party by a SWAT team and he is tranquilized. Cage wakes up in a diner. He notices things are out of place and is not surprised during a fake robbery attempt. After Cage quickly foils the "robbery", Gibbons informs him that the whole scenario was part of a test and that he passed. Cage tells Gibbons that he's not interested and is once again tranquilized as he attempts to leave.
Cage, once again, wakes up in a U.S. Marine cargo plane along with two other criminal types similar to Cage. The cargo door opens and the group is dumped in Colombia and taken captive by a Colombian drug cartel after stumbling upon a cocaine plantation. The cartel leader, El Jefe (Danny Trejo), attempts to interrogate the three who, believing the scene to be another NSA setup, jokingly refuse to cooperate. As the drug lord begins to use torture, Cage realizes that the situation is real and frees himself and the others as the Colombian Army raid the plantation. As Cage attempts to escape, he is captured by camouflaged NSA agents.
The next morning, Gibbons says that exposing the Colombian drug cartel was another part of the test. Cage is given a choice by Gibbons: work for him or serve a lengthy prison term in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary for his actions. He grudgingly chooses government employment and Cage goes undercover in Prague, Czech Republic to find out more about "Anarchy 99". Their leader, Yorgi, is an ex-Soviet soldier who has a grudge against authority and society in general. Xander finds himself drawn to Yorgi's apparent girlfriend Yelena, and he negotiates a political asylum deal with Gibbons to secure a new life for her in the United States. He starts to work for Yorgi by importing several high-end exotic cars from the United States over Rijeka, Croatia, but keeps one, a purple hardtop 1968 Pontiac GTO for himself, approved by Yorgi.
Cage learns that Anarchy 99 is a terrorist organization, planning a series of chemical weapons attacks on major cities by utilizing a high speed, automated seafaring and river-faring drone named Ahab, which is equipped with a device designed to travel to highly populated areas to deploy its missiles and then submerge in the ocean. The chemical weapon (referred to as "Silent Night") is made of everyday chemicals that are lethal in combination. Its formula has been missing since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. After killing millions the chemicals are designed to harmlessly disperse in water. Yorgi's goal is to bring civilization to an anarchic end, destroying the system that killed many his military comrades for no reason.
An agent-turned-criminal, Milan Sova, unaware of Yorgi's ultimate plans, finds Cage's methods extreme and defects in support of Yorgi. Yelena is forced to kill Sova and reveals that she is an abandoned agent of the FSB who was assigned to monitor Yorgi, and that the FSB has shut down the plan, but left her behind. Cage arranges an operation with Czech authorities to raid the remote castle Anarchy 99 uses as a base. Cage is briefly captured before the Czech police arrive, blowing up the mansion. In the ensuing chaos, Yorgi escapes with his right-hand man, Kirill, an expert sniper. Cage and Yelena follow them and Cage kills Kirill using a heat seeking rocket (due to the fact he's smoking a cigarette). After Cage shoots and kills Yorgi, he speeds along in the GTO, winding roads and parasails onto Ahab as it speeds down the Vltava River towards Prague. Cage finally destroys the drone and the chemicals on board.
Later, Cage is on vacation with Yelena in Bora Bora as agent Gibbons jokingly informs him that because of his actions, he has passed "The Test", the "Gibbons Test". He also says that he needs him for another assignment, as "something else has come up". Cage ignores this as he and Yelena go for a swim.
- Vin Diesel as Xander Cage
- Asia Argento as Yelena
- Samuel L. Jackson as Agent Augustus Gibbons
- Marton Csokas as Yorgi
- Michael Roof as Toby Lee Shavers
- Richy Müller as Milan Sova
- Werner Daehn as Kirill
- Petr Jákl as Kolya
- Jan Pavel Filipensky as Viktor
- Tom Everett as Senator Dick Hotchkiss
- Danny Trejo as El Jefe
- Thomas Ian Griffith as Agent Jim McGrath
- Eve as J.J.
- Leila Arcieri as Jordan King
- William Hope as Agent Roger Donnan
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
In the summer of 2001, Sony put a large billboard of "xXx" in Hollywood, before a script had been written.
Filming took place at three locations. Most of the film is set in Prague, Czech Republic. The Corvette jump was filmed at the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn State Recreation Area, Auburn, California. The final scenes were set in Bora Bora, Tahiti, and other areas in French Polynesia.
The first few minutes of the film take place in a Rammstein concert in Prague. The same clip is available, but from the band's perspective (with only brief scenes from the film) in their video compilation Lichtspielhaus.
Stunt player Harry O'Connor, Diesel's stunt double, was killed when he hit a pillar of the Palacky Bridge in Prague, para-sailing during one of the actions scenes. The accident occurred while filming the second take of the stunt; O'Connor's first attempt was completed without incident and can be seen in the completed film. There was also a teaser trailer released on May 3, 2002. It was then attached to Spider Man, and shown on the web.
The film score was composed by Randy Edelman, a frequent collaborator of Cohen's. The film also featured a contemporary rock music soundtrack, mostly featuring heavy metal. Rammstein provided some of the music and was even featured in the film in one scene. The soundtrack album also features Queens of the Stone Age, Drowning Pool, Hatebreed, and others, and some artists of different genres such as Nelly, Lil' Wayne, N.E.R.D, Orbital, and Moby. It was released on August 6, 2002 through Universal Records. It peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200, #16 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #1 on the Top Soundtracks. There was also a song created just for the film, titled "Adrenaline" by Gavin Rossdale, the lead singer of Bush.
xXx received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 48% of the critics gave the film positive reviews based on a sample of 174 reviews, with an average score of 5.8/10. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times enjoyed the film, giving it 3 and a half stars out of 4. It was a financial success with total gross $277,448,382.
This film was nominated for a Razzie Award for Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie.
The Director's cut DVD of xXx was released on April 19, 2005, ten days before the sequel State of the Union was released in cinemas. The Director's Cut of xXx featured new artwork, and deleted scenes of xXx previously unseen. Some of these include additional scenes that foreshadowed Xander as a hero, and also a longer stripper-in-the-bedroom sequence. There were also sneak peeks at the sequel. Interestingly for Director's cuts, these scenes were cut by the director himself, for length and pacing.
The Final Chapter: The Death of Xander Cage
In addition to the deleted scenes on the Director's Cut of xXx, the DVD also contains an extra titled The Final Chapter: The Death of Xander Cage, a four minute short film that attempts to tie up some loose ends about the Xander Cage character by showing his gory demise.
In the short film, Cage is played by Vin Diesel's stunt double Khristian Lupo (who never shows his face or speaks) while reusing some lines spoken by Vin Diesel. It also features Leila Arcieri as Jordan King from the first film, and John G. Connolly as Lt. Colonel Alabama "Bama" Cobb, one of the villains from the sequel xXx: State of the Union, as the man behind the attack on Cage.
The sequence opens with Xander driving in a car with Jordan King. He stops next to his apartment building. King makes sexual overtures to him and they get intimate. Suddenly they hear a noise and Xander goes to check it out. Cobb's men show up and abduct King. They plant a bomb in the building and drop her coat on the steps to trick Xander to his death. After confronting a homeless man, Xander returns to the building. He takes the bait left by Cobb and his henchmen and is blown apart by a huge explosion. His trademark coat survives the blast. Cobb shows up and picks up a piece of skin from Xander's neck which has the triple x tattoo on it. He remarks "Poor Xander, you never had very much between the ears." His men pick him up and drive off in their car. Cobb's motives for killing Xander are obvious; he doesn't want him to interfere in Deckert's plans. Feuer Frei by Rammstein plays in the background during the sequence.
The film was followed by a sequel in 2005, entitled State of the Union, starring the rapper Ice Cube and directed by Lee Tamahori. Neither Diesel, Cohen, nor xXx creator Rich Wilkes were involved in the sequel, and there were notable differences in both style (less emphasis on extreme sports) and music (rock music was replaced with hip hop and rap). xXx: State of the Union was poorly received by critics. It currently has a rating of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. The sequel was also a financial failure, making less than expected when compared to the original film.
- "XXX (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2002-09-24. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "xXx (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- "xXx (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
- "Extreme Weekend for XXX (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- "Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news". Aintitcool.com. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "xXx: State of the Union (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- XXX Franchise Earnings on The Numbers
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: xXx|
- xXx at the Internet Movie Database
- xXx at allmovie
- xXx at Box Office Mojo
- xXx at Rotten Tomatoes
- xXx at Metacritic
- xXx at the Internet Movie Cars Database