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Was xXx: The Next Level a Good Movie? We Look Back and Reflect on the 2005 Sequel

I remember the first two xXx films coming out back in the early 2000s. It was about the time that the zeitgeist from movie blockbusters was the spy genre, and extreme sports was starting to gain some interest and was causing some mainstream inspiration.

The first xXX movie essentially started out with a 007-like spy in his tux being killed at heavy metal concert. It set the tone nicely for the film as this wasn’t a James Bond spy movie, it was something  a little new and different. It was a bold move as a movie studio tried pandering to a different audience.

Of course, the film did well enough to warrant a sequel, but without Vin Diesel, who went somewhere else, a new rouge bad-ass was needed, so someone called Ice Cube and we have xXx 2, or xXx: The Next Level, the favourite movie of 12 year old me.

What was 12-year old me like? Well, he liked explosions, cool looking guns, and spy movies, I was just getting into comics and stuff too. So like how everyone roughly my age looks back fondly on 2 Fast 2 Furious and SWAT (a movie which would’ve been way more appreciated if it was made now, by the ‘ironic’ crowd), I look back on xXx 2 fondly.

Well, I did until much older me looked back the reviews of the film at the time, and discovered this pretty much killed the franchise and wasted the potential for another rogue bad ass to take up the name xXx.

That was kind of a shame but roughly at the same time the James Bond bubble burst and Die Another Die left a sour taste in people’s mouths. Thus the spy movie template was overwritten by the Bourne movies, thus ending an era of OTT spy movies.

Honestly, I don’t know if the movie still holds up, I want it to because it was a big part of my childhood, but sometimes going back and checking out something you enjoy can be a bit of an unwanted eye-opener, that’s why so much of Power Rangers is so unwatchable.

Maybe I’ll give re-watching it a miss.