xXx: State of the Union
Minus Vin Diesel and the immediate post-Sept. 11 imperialist patriotism of the first XXX, opportunistic Revolution Studios gambles on a zeitgeist shift and offers up the first anti-neocon action movie. Seems that insane right-wing nut Secretary of Defense George Deckert (Willem Dafoe) is sick of the ally-loving, peace-making ways of new President James Sanford (Peter Strauss), so he mounts the ultimate black op: whacking the prez during the State of the Union address. To the rescue: ex-Navy SEAL/new XXX superagent Darius Stone (Ice Cube) and his gang of B’more-based hip-hop/chop-shop insurgents. Lee Tamahori directs with unflagging (ahem) energy and his tongue deeply in cheek. That Revolution is betting on blacks being fed up with Cheney-ian war-love is encouraging, but the studio hedges its bets. At film’s fiery close, we’re told a new XXX will be chosen; one prays the political trade winds won’t demand he be played by James Caviezel.