Why ‘xXx’ was a truly great guilty pleasure movie
xXx Vin Diesel

It’s time to step back into the ‘Xander Zone’, with the first trailer for xXx: The Return of Xander Cage dropping online

Vin Diesel continues his business model of leaving-then-returning-to an action movie franchise (See: Fast & Furious) with an upcoming sequel to extreme sports spy thriller XxX – a mighty fourteen years after the first outing.

The trailer sees a slightly older Xander Cage pulled out of retirement to fight new sets of baddies, using skateboards and jet-skis. It also features the phrase ‘girls, guns and global domination’ twice, and we’re still not sure what that means.

While a previous dodgy sequel (xXx: State of the Union) featuring Ice Cube and Willem Dafoe may have soured your memories of the franchise – the original was actually, well, pretty damn fun.

If you’ve forgotten all the charm of that original big dumb take on the spy movie, then let us refresh your memories with our favourite aspects.

Vin Diesel actually acting

xXx marked the first time that Vinny D had been entrusted as a Hollywood leading man, and he was going to make the most of it.

Far from the mumbling action-man we’ve seen in both the Chronicles of Riddick and the Fast & Furious – Xander Cage was an extreme sports star with his own TV show.

He was meant to be an edgy loudmouth and that’s what Diesel gave us, taking us straight into the Xander Zone. Sure, it wasn’t great acting, but at least there was some effort there.

The world’s cheesiest terrorist cell

Before every action movie was forced to give us ‘baddies with backstory’ that made us understand their cause, xXX gave us the ludicrously named Anarchy 99 – complete with thick Russian accents, beards, Euro-trash club music and Nuclear missiles.

xXx Triple X

Even still, you cared more about Anarchy 99 leader Yorgi than all of the Spider-man villains put together.

Samuel L. Jackson as a government agent

Way before Marvel’s Nick Fury, Sam Jackson was providing some much-needed Hollywood heavyweight appeal to the franchise as NSA Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons.

Jackson fans will also be pleased to see he’s signed on for this third instalment too, as the man literally cannot say ‘no’ to a movie.

The extreme cameos

To give some ‘alt-culture’ credibility (Xander Cage was, after all, an extreme sports guy), a number of high-profile names were drafted in.

Celebrity cameos included skateboarders Tony Hawk and Mike Valleley, BMX rider Matt Hoffman and most importantly German metal’s finest Rammstein – cranking up the Euro vibes.

The sheer balls of it

In the summer of 2001, Sony plastered billboards with the xXx logo across Los Angeles – and they didn’t even have a script yet.

Vin Diesel xXx

The film took just 82 days to make, across three locations, and took $270 million dollars across at the box office.

It’s big, stupid movie making at its finest – and we loved every minute of it.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is set to hit cinemas on January 20, 2017

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