xXx: The Return of Xander Cage parents guide

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage Parent Review

The male fantasy movie’s real focus is creating action sequences -- plot is just an incidental detail.

Overall C

xXx is believed dead --- but Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), the extreme athlete turned government agent, gets back into the game when a friend is killed and his country begs him to help stop powerful technology from falling into dangerous hands.

Violence C-
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use B-

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of gunplay and violent action, and for sexual material and language.

Movie Review

The good, the bad, the extreme and the insane. That is how Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) describes the team he puts together to go after a stolen piece of powerful technology called Pandora’s Box.

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In truth, the extreme athlete who was pressed into service (as seen in the 2002 film xXx) by an unconventional recruiter for the National Security Agency, had never intended to come out of retirement. But loyalty to his former boss Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson), plus the call to be a patriot by a new department head (Toni Collette), eventually coax the reluctant agent into doing his duty again. However, nothing will convince the rebel to do it the traditional way. Hence his choice of eclectic helpers (played by Ruby Rose, Kris Wu and Rory McCann).

The first order of business is to track down the mysterious, highly-trained group of thieves that took Pandora’s Box in the first place. This requires Triple X to do a little “undercover” work (an orgy is implied) and then travel to an isolated, off-the-grid island (which still has enough power to run a wild rave complete with lights, music, well-stocked bar and sensually dancing women). There the operative finds his targets (Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Tony Jaa and Michael Bisping) and discovers they have something in common – they have all been members of Gibbons’ organization. That means they are equally matched as opponents. Where they differ is in what they think they should be done with the stolen hardware. The dangerous gadget has already been used by an unknown terrorist to bring down a satellite and crash it into a populated city.

With this premise, the script is set up to examine trust: Who should be given control of such a weapon? With whom should the characters place their allegiances? What ulterior motives might they be hiding? While some of those questions are explored, in reality the film’s plot is just an incidental detail in this male fantasy.

The movie’s real focus is creating action sequences, like heist scenes, stunts with skis, skateboards, motorcycles, cars and planes, as well as spectacular crashes and explosions. Combat is pervasive and includes fistfights, martial arts moves, gun and weapon use, along with depictions of deaths, injuries, bloody wounds and bone breaking sound effects. Characters even play in traffic – beating one another while trying to avoid oncoming vehicles. Interspersed with these violent portrayals are plenty of peeks at scantily clad girls, and a brief sexual encounter with passionate kissing, moans and fondling. Profanities are shot about too, along with a strong sexual expletive and three crude finger gestures.

Anyone who has seen the other offerings in this franchise (a sequel, xXx: State of the Union, released in 2005) are likely to find much of the same thing presented here. Yet those looking for family entertainment may feel like they are also dealing with the good, the bad, the extreme and the insane. The characters do want to do good in the world, but they aren’t afraid to do bad things to meet those objectives. Meanwhile, their extremely reckless behavior makes them terrible role models, and you’d have to be insane to believe the implausible stunts (motorcycles that can run underwater, people surviving falls from airplanes) and brainless attraction the many babes have for this brawny bad boy.

Directed by D.J. Caruso. Starring Toni Collette, Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson, Deepika Padukone, Donnie Yen. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release January 20, 2017. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage here.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage Parents Guide

Most of the characters depicted in this movie have a rebellious attitude. How does the script make them rebels with a cause? How do you feel about Serena’s (Deepika Padukone) motives after she claims that she decided to change the world instead of rage against it?

In reality, does being disobedient to rules and laws make a person a good candidate for secret service to their country? How might ignoring orders create trust problems? Why is it hard to accomplish anything in a group where everyone would rather follow their own plan?

How are women portrayed in this movie? How many of them are depicted as sexually alluring? How many appear to be smart? How are the men depicted? Do they possess any other traits, besides strength and fighting skills? Are either of these gender depictions accurate representations of men or women?