xXx (2002) starring Vin Diesel and directed by Rob Cohen. I’ll spare you the recap. I liked it up until the midpoint. It’s a goofy, but fun action flick. As with most of Diesel’s roles, Xander is BA but has a sense of humor about him and he plays the role with a __-eating-grin on his face. The film entertains with Sammy L as a pre-Nick Fury head of a secret organization missing one eye and Marton Csokas (you may know him from Aeon Flux) delivers a great performance as the villain, both providing larger than life foils for Diesel. It tries to be an X-treme Sports James Bond, with over-blown villains (complete with henchmen, secret lairs, and world ending devices) and gadgets like the x-ray binoculars, which while fun, waters down the earlier feel of the film. It then falls apart after Xander is ‘discovered’ to be an agent and Yelena is forced to go back in, twice.

Two high points in the film: The zither playing the score from The Third Man (1949) when we get to Prague. Side note: Watch The Third Man, one of the best film noirs ever made, and its impact on cinema has been astounding.  The second coming in the opera where Sammy completely plays X.

Watch if you have a notion and like Vin. I went 12 years without seeing it, could have gone longer.