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Awfully Good: xXx: State of the Union

Sep. 4, 2013by: Jason Adams

They waited nearly 10 years for Vin Diesel to return to the Riddick franchise. It's a shame they didn't do the same for this movie

xXx: State of the Union (2005)

Director: Lee Tamahori
Stars: Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe

Who do you call when Vin Diesel can't save the world? The star of ARE WE THERE YET!

XXX: STATE OF THE UNION is not a sequel to Vin Diesel's XXX as much as it is a two-hour vehicle for Ice Cube to scowl, glare, snarl and stare at people. It doesn't matter who they arefriend or foeIce Cube WILL lock eyes with them and make a frowning face. It's almost like he has to constantly remind the viewer that this movie is SERIOUS BUSINESS.


What started as a staring contest would quickly evolve in to a black hole that destroyed most of the Western Hemisphere.

At least with the first film, you could tell what was somewhat appealing about bringing Vin Diesel on as a secret agent. I couldn't give you one good reason why Ice Cube was even considered to be XXX aside from hilarity:

  • He's not a good fighter. (At one point he literally kicks some guy in the ass.)
  • He's not stealthy. (His "delicate" approach to a situation is to fire a rocket launcher at it.).
  • He's not smart. (Best way to evade the cops? Spend 20 minutes microwaving frozen food to create a fake heat signature on the off-chance they're using infrared.)
  • He sucks at one-liners. ("I think of you every time I chew steak!" "And I thought of you every night I spent in prison!")
  • He's not smooth with the ladies. (Take a shot every time he uses "nasty" or "dirty" to flirt.)
His casting truly is a mystery, as if some studio exec saw a picture of Cube holding a gun from his NWA days and said, "Hey, that guy seems to know how to use one of those things!"


Waiterz Wit Attitudes

At least Samuel L. Jackson is back. Oh yeah, that's righthis character also sucks in these movies. The film opens with an attack on the secret NSA compound and Jackson immediately makes his way to the escape pod without even attempting to help his co-workers escape the plethora of bullets riddling their bodies. As he drives off to safety with his nerdy white assistant, he declares that they have to go "off the grid" and find a new XXX that has "more attitude." [Cut to Ice Cube awkwardly grimacing at the camera.] Cube's Darius Stone is a former Navy Seal who's in jail for disobeying his commander and punching him in the face. Unfortunately for him, that commander is now the Secretary of Defense. Even more unfortunate, he is now the Secretary of Defense that is murdering all NSA agents so he can secretly stage a coup and kill the President during his State of the Union address. He is also played by a thoroughly embarrassed Willem Dafoe.


That's one way to get Chris Tucker back in the Friday franchise.

The new XXX (wasn't that Vin Diesel's nickname, not his code name?) breaks out of prison by jumping off the roof and grabbing on to a passing-by helicopter. Since he's Ice Cube, they immediately go to Washington D.C. and hide out in the ghetto. From there, the second act of the movie is comprised of stupid mini adventures for Ice Cube to suck at. He saves the nerdy white guy from getting a speeding ticket by jumping a boat on to a bridge, landing it on top of the cop car and walking away in slow motion as everything inexplicably blows up. He goes undercover as a southern preacher named Billy Bob. (Cube's accent is as horrific as you imagine.) And he drives a tank in an aircraft carrier, which is surprisingly boring until XXX somehow puts the tank in to a slingshot and uses it to destroy another tank. STATE OF THE UNION also occasionally takes a pit stop for mild racism, like the time Ice Cube pretends to be a waiter at a black tie event and is able to escape because all of the hundred other waiters are also black and Willem Dafoe's men can't tell them apart. And funny enough, before Ice Cube shows up, the film boasts all these high-tech gadgets like flying robot bugs and drill bombs. As soon as Ice Cube is introduced, however, all that disappears and they have to steal vehicles and rob people for guns.


"Yo dawg! Can I pimp your ride? Raid your room? Date your mom? I'm lonely."

Eventually, XXX and Friends realize they can't trust anyone in the government, so they hook up with Cube's former gang now led by rapper Xzibit. Our hero convinces X to the Z to join their cause and save the United States by saying, "You're free to operate this illegal chop shop and now it's time to fight for that freedom!" It's around this point that the movie stops giving what little f*ck it previously gave. They rob a cheese truck that secretly transports guns, pimp out all of their rides and set off for the final showdown, which seriously turns in to D.C. street gangs vs. the U.S. military outside the State of the Union. XXX "tankjacks" a tank, drives it to the Capitol and then tries to save the President by firing directly in to the room where he's being held hostage. If that's not ridiculous enough, Dafoe and the Prez escape on a bullet train, which Ice Cube manages to chase in his pimped-out car. He drives on to the track at nearly 200mph, which destroys his tires just enough so that his rims line up perfectly with the rail. He catches up with the speeding locomotive, saves the President and jumps off a 200-foot bridge as the train explodes. But don't worry; on his way down Ice Cube manages to blow up the water so it's a little softer to dive headfirst into. (<-- Now imagine all of that with the worst CGI imaginable and you have the ending of this movie.)


It was a good day!

XXX: STATE OF THE UNION is just over-the-top and stupid enough that you might get some ironic enjoyment out of it. But even the movie hates Ice Cube as the title character. The film ends with Samuel L. Jackson telling his co-workers, "Um, yeah for the next assignment we're going to get a new XXX who's even better. Promise!"


Watch this montage of embarrassing lines and then realize that the guy who wrote this is also writing the new STAR WARS movie.

Some of the most ridiculous action scenes involving boats, tanks, cars, trains and more.

If you want to see more of Sunny Mabrey, watch SPECIES III.


Don't mess with Korean Jesus! Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:
  • Someone mentions the old XXX
  • Ice Cube hits a woman
  • You're creeped out by Ice Cube's flirting
  • Someone steals a tank
  • The leader of the free world quotes Tupac
  • The music sucks
  • Someone says "I should've killed that bitch"
Double shot if:
  • Ice Cube pops out of an appropriate kitchen appliance

Thanks to Andrew and Bradley for suggesting this week's movie!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:48AM on 09/04/2013
You had me at "presidential bullet train". This really is one of those very entertaining "so bad it's good"-apaloozas. I don't think I've seen a less convincing action hero than Ice Cube. And of course, Willem Dafoe chewing scenery as only he can.
You had me at "presidential bullet train". This really is one of those very entertaining "so bad it's good"-apaloozas. I don't think I've seen a less convincing action hero than Ice Cube. And of course, Willem Dafoe chewing scenery as only he can.
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3:53AM on 09/04/2013

The only thing worse than this movies is .......

TORQUE, also starring Ice Cube. When Blockbuster had TORQUE on clearance for 99 cents I bought 20 copies and left copies at peoples houses that I didn't like. With Biker Boyz bringing up a close 2nd.
TORQUE, also starring Ice Cube. When Blockbuster had TORQUE on clearance for 99 cents I bought 20 copies and left copies at peoples houses that I didn't like. With Biker Boyz bringing up a close 2nd.
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5:20AM on 09/04/2013
For me, Torque is slightly, just slightly, better than Biker Boyz. But yes, both are awful movies.
For me, Torque is slightly, just slightly, better than Biker Boyz. But yes, both are awful movies.
5:19AM on 09/04/2013
This XXX movie is simply AWFUL in a bad way, not awfully good.
This XXX movie is simply AWFUL in a bad way, not awfully good.
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7:03AM on 09/04/2013
Come on, this movie is simply garbage. It's not even entertaining in a bad way.
Come on, this movie is simply garbage. It's not even entertaining in a bad way.
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7:30AM on 09/04/2013
No one would believe me when I told them how awfully good this movie was. I think it's hilarious. You neglected to mention how doughy Ice Cube looks and the fact that he doesn't get the girl. Saddest action hero ever.
No one would believe me when I told them how awfully good this movie was. I think it's hilarious. You neglected to mention how doughy Ice Cube looks and the fact that he doesn't get the girl. Saddest action hero ever.
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8:36AM on 09/04/2013
Terrible film.

Aren't they making a third XXX film but with Diesel returning?
Terrible film.

Aren't they making a third XXX film but with Diesel returning?
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9:35AM on 09/04/2013
So they've been saying since 2006.
So they've been saying since 2006.
9:47AM on 09/04/2013
Such a bad flick, but so fun to laugh at.
Such a bad flick, but so fun to laugh at.
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11:42AM on 09/04/2013
There was a Riddick video game in 2009 with Vin Diesel doing voice work. It hasn't been five years let alone ten.
There was a Riddick video game in 2009 with Vin Diesel doing voice work. It hasn't been five years let alone ten.
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3:42PM on 09/04/2013

This movie is the shit, and my taste is impecable!!

This movie is the shit, and my taste is impecable!!
This movie is the shit, and my taste is impecable!!
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6:23PM on 09/04/2013

Why has it taken so long for this to get on here!!!

I was just contemplating last night how utterly horrid an excuse for a film it is. I've actually always enjoyed the ending chase and the opening is cheesy fun to but when I finally caught the rest of it oh how I heated myself for sitting through it. Horrid dialogue, an almost nonexistent story, blatant racism that was clearly intended to be hip and cool but ultimately is just offensive and stupid.

This may rank up there with the worst movies I have ever seen. If it wasn't for that
I was just contemplating last night how utterly horrid an excuse for a film it is. I've actually always enjoyed the ending chase and the opening is cheesy fun to but when I finally caught the rest of it oh how I heated myself for sitting through it. Horrid dialogue, an almost nonexistent story, blatant racism that was clearly intended to be hip and cool but ultimately is just offensive and stupid.

This may rank up there with the worst movies I have ever seen. If it wasn't for that ending...
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+2
6:25PM on 09/05/2013

IT CURRENTLY RANKS #30(OUT OF 73)IN MY ALL-TIME WORST LIST.

It's just way too boring to enjoy. And those silly elements you mentioned aren't presented in a tongue-in-cheek way. They're just silly.

Meanwhile, I gave the 1st one a 4/10. That one was less serious, and therefore, more enjoyable.
It's just way too boring to enjoy. And those silly elements you mentioned aren't presented in a tongue-in-cheek way. They're just silly.

Meanwhile, I gave the 1st one a 4/10. That one was less serious, and therefore, more enjoyable.
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