xXx: Return of Xander Cage – Returning from self-imposed exile, former member of the xXx programme, Xander Cage is brought back into the line of fire when a weapon used to crash satellites on specific targets. Recruiting his own team, he sets off against those who took the weapon but he discovers that they are not necessarily the enemy. With each person having their own agenda, Cage must decide what choice to make and more importantly, who he can trust.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) – Director: D. J. Caruso

Is xXx: Return of Xander Cage appropriate for kids

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52646071

Rating: 12A

Running Length: 107 mins

Starring: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Toni Collette

Genre: Action

‘XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE’ REVIEW

The third movie in the ‘xXx’ franchise, ‘Return of Xander Cage’ sees Vin Diesel come back into the fray with his own style of cool fighting, extreme sports and blatant disregard for the laws of physics. The ‘xXx’ movies have never tried to be intellectually stimulating and ‘Return of Xander Cage’ works hard to continue this. Thankfully, there are plenty of interesting and fun characters to keep Vin Diesel’s macho-fest in check although fortunately for Xander the extremely attractive women – who barely wear any clothes – are only ever attracted to him (sometimes several all at the same time)!

While there are impressive stunts, action-packed gun fights and witty dialogue, the genuine talent of martial artists Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa shine through. Yen (who plays antagonist Xiang) in particular is given plenty of screen time with great choreography to showcase his fighting skills and Jaa’s likeable but rather superficial character, Talon, is the light relief, a role which he seems to thoroughly enjoy and thus works well with his personality.

There are a few double standards in the moral messages of the movie, for instance Cage treats women as equals but the close-ups of scantily clad women have more than a little hint of misogyny, and while a group of big game trophy hunters are cheekily punished by being non-fatally shot, Cage is deliriously proud of his huge fur coat.

Despite the problems inherent in a movie such as this, xXx is most definitely entertaining; it’s fun, exciting and the more ridiculous it gets, the more enjoyable it becomes. If you like mindless and light-hearted action movies, you can’t get much more of either with ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’.

IS ‘XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

Two characters are killed in an explosion, one is seen in close-up as a fireball completely engulfs him. There is no gore and as it is completely unexpected and quick, no suffering is shown.

There are numerous fire fights throughout the movie, the camera work is very quick and frenetic so little graphic content is seen, however there are quite a few moments where someone is shot in the head and a bullet wound is seen in their forehead before the camera cuts to other parts of the action.

There are also several fist fights, one man is beaten around the face and chest with the spine of a book, others are punched and kicked hard; occasionally it is made clear that bones have been broken however these fights are again shot with quick camera cuts and it is mostly done with good martial arts choreography rather than brutal brawls so there is very little blood or gore.

There is a lot of heavily implied sexual content. A man passionately kisses a woman in bed, he lies on top of her and his bare back is seen. Later, a man is approached by several women and we see him the next morning smugly looking at all of them sleeping naked. There are a lot of close-up shots of women in bikinis and generally very revealing clothes including gratuitous close-ups of their buttocks and breasts (the men often look approvingly at them) and there are at least three times when the camera pans up or down a woman’s body in close-up. Cage has women on his team but he never objectifies them and he treats them as equals.

A woman who is initially (almost obsessively) sexually attracted to Cage talks about a ‘swing’ that she has (implying it would be used during sex) and that she has a ‘safe word’. While nothing explicit is said, this strong innuendo could have kids asking about their meanings! She also tells him that she can get him ‘illegal drugs within fifteen minutes’.

A woman looks through the sights of a rifle and aims at a lion for several seconds, she then readjusts her sights to a small group of trophy hunters who take aim at the lion. She shoots each of them, including a teenage girl who is shot in the buttocks. None have been fatally shot and they clutch their wounds while howling in pain, this causes the lion to chase after them, while the woman chuckles to herself.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT – IS ‘XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE’ FOR KIDS?

There is no denying that ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ is giving the people what they want – it is cool, fun and entertaining but its ridiculous aspects are more than enough to put a lot of people off. It is most definitely been aimed a teen/young adult market and as such, with its casual take on violence, objectification of women and almost constant swearing, we feel it is inappropriate for kids aged under twelve.

  • Violence: 4/5 (there are numerous action scenes throughout the movie with lots of people being killed, however there is little blood and gore and no suffering is seen)
  • Emotional Distress: 0/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (during a particularly intense action scene, it seems like all hope could be lost for the heroes and they make a decision to go out fighting)
  • Sexual Content: 5/5
  • Bad Language: 4/5 (frequent and unavoidable moderate cursing, lots of mild to moderate blasphemy and one strong word is used)
  • Dialogue: 3/5 (plenty of innuendo)
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of working as a team, trusting your instincts, working with an enemy for the greater good, adjusting what you believe is right with the correct information, betrayal, trust, confidence and understanding other people’s points of view.

Words by Laura Record

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