Sunday, January 15, 2017

XXX: The Return of Xander Cage - Movie Review



Just watched XXX : Return of Xander Cage with Hubby dearest yesterday! First day, first show!

The movie is a no brainer. Guns, bombs, flyings cars and planes, babes and dudes! Plot? Who cares! Vin Diesel makes anything worth watching! Seriously though, the movie pales in comparison to the ´Fast and Furious´series.

And Deepika? Never mind...Dont believe the hype. She wasn't upto to the mark. Of all the character roles that she has portrayed, this is by far the most ill-fitting one. Deepika as Piku was spectacular. Deepika as ´Veronica´in Cocktail was iconic. Deepika as ´Serena Unger´in XXX Return of Xander Cage? Not so much! Somehow with a name like Serena Unger and a heavy south Indian accent, dressed in trashy hooker outfits - leather mini skirt, highlighted hair and a flaming red lip, working for a Chinese badman on some obscure island, you cannot help wondering from which planet does she hail from! Deepika did not become Serena Unger for me. She was trying too hard to fit in a role that was simply not her. And, she really couldn´t pull it off either.

 I can understand the makers wanting to experiment with the cast....getting more imports from the globe onto the XXX sequel project. But, is it necessary to bring in an Indian actor only because they are stereotypical brown and they happen to be the most popular in the country. For a role that didn´t call for much acting skills, they could have scanned Indian models and just anybody, with a killer bod. For me, Jesse Randhawa with her effortless swag comes to mind. Maybe even Lara Dutta! And a note to Hollywood makers, Indians comes in all colour shades. I agree, largely, brown skinned and that is beautiful. But, dig a little deeper, and you´ll find more suitable fits to a character.

Another thing is that Deepika gets royally overshadowed by the other girls. If she was the sole female lead character, maybe she could have somehow pulled this Hollywood coup off. But, when pitted against some really beautiful and competent actresses, you cannot but draw comparisons between them. For me, amongst the actresses, Deepika was the weakest. Nina Dobrev, Ruby Rose and Hermione Corfield make better eye candy and were way more spunky and natural. The beautiful Nina Dobrev underplays her sexiness as ´Rebecca "Becky" Clearidge´. Yet, she sizzles up the screen in those big, nerdy glasses and tailored business suits. She plays Xander´s super cute fan girl with conviction. With her spirited attitude, Nina is very endearing. Ruby Rose as ´Adele Wolff´ fits  the character like a hand in a glove. With her natural badass attitude, androgynous punk fashion statement, green coloured pixie hair and barbie pink pouty lips, she makes the perfect eye candy and side-kick to Xander Cage. Not to forget, Rose´s body language is spot on.  Hermione Cornfield as Ainsley  sets the screen on fire with her classic blue-eyed British looks and the perfect bikini body. She also has that cocky attitude to match Xander Cage´s own.  They played their characters with a quiet, natural ease that was missing in Deepika´s act.

Among the dudes, Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen and Neymar win hands down. Vin Diesel is what makes this movie worth watching and he lights up the screen with his charismatic persona. He looks and becomes Xander Cage. He is charmingly outlandish with an confidence that can put any super-hero to shame. At 52, Donnie Yen as Xiang looks damn fine and makes you sit at the edge of your seat with his Martial Arts stunts. As Xiang, he plays the very cool, mean baddie with finesse. There are cameos by Neymar and Ice Cube. Neymar, especially is totally worth a watch, even if its a´gone before you blink´act.

Finally, about the chemistry between Deepika and Vin Diesel. Well, what can I say? They tried their best. But Alas! The truth remains that theirs is one very odd pair with absolutely no chemistry. That super publicised kiss is one damp squib. Awkward would be an understatement. Yes! They grinned at each other endlessly though out the movie, exchanging flirty glances in between. But, still this pairing is one big fail. There were more sparks between Becky, Adele, Ainsley and Xander than between Serena and Xander.

Too many cooks spoil the broth making this sequel one unpalatable fare!

4 comments:

deeps said...

hope to watch it soon

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

I thought poorly of the movie on the whole as well. I felt Deepika was directed to have a more pronounced accent than she normally does. Now waiting for Baywatch to confirm what Hollywood thinks of the Indian woman.

Tina Sequeira said...

Deeps - Hi! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views! Would love to know your review of the same! Cheers!

Tina Sequeira said...

Hi Subhorup! Oh yes, it was´t that great at all. The accent thing is a good observation indeed. I noticed that as well. Found the same pronounced accent in Irfan Khan´s acting in Jurassic Park as well. The accent bit in Deepika and also the makeup ..duskier or prolly more exotic than she normally is. They were trying to be as diverse as they can, in my opinion. I haven't´watched Baywatch as yet. But, the reviews are very mixed...it´s a no brainer movie. For some it´s a lot of fun..for some it´s trash. Anyway, Priyanka and Deepika will be promoted for the cause of diversity..at least for a while by Hollywood.