The superspy genre has always thrived as a source for cinematic reverie. Since the introduction of James Bond over five decades ago, audiences have craved high octane tales of international intrigue and explosive action. Over the years, however, the genre has evolved, toning down on some of the more ridiculous aspects in favor of more grounded, reality based worlds that feel less flashy and more gritty. That trend, spurred largely by the Bourne series, even found its way into James Bond, as the latest entries into that franchise in large part focused more on the spy and less on the super. While some fans of decried the move towards realism within the realm of espionage, the xXx series has stubbornly refused to forego the fantastic.

That’s how it seems, at any rate, if the trailer for xXx: Return of Xander Cage is any indication. The third movie marks the return of Vin Diesel (Furious 7) to the franchise after handing the reins over to Ice Cube (Ride Along 2) for xXx: State of the Union back in 2005. The over the top bombast of the trailer showed all the hallmarks of the series as the stunts and action set pieces of Diesel’s adrenaline-junky-turned-secret-agent Xander Cage becomes even flashier and even more extreme than the previous two movies. It almost seems as though it’s an intentional thumbing of the nose at the gritty realism that has permeated the spy genre for the last decade – and early indications are that audiences are eating it up.

A press release from Paramount, the studio behind The Return of Xander Cage, confirms that the film’s trailer has become the quickest Paramount movie trailer to net 100 million views and shares across Facebook and Youtube. That bodes well for interest in the film, which is set to be released in early 2017.

Of course, watches don’t necessarily translate into the tickets sold, so it’d be best if Paramount didn’t count their chickens quite yet. Still, reaching 100 million views in just a week’s time is a remarkable feat, so you can’t really blame the studio for seeing dollar signs on the imminent horizon. The addition of Donnie Yen (star of the Ip Man trilogy and the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as the film’s villain Xiang could be a great move, especially for the increasingly lucrative overseas market. As one of the biggest martial arts stars working today, Yen’s presence lends a legitimacy to the film that only increases the desire for fans the world over to see it in theaters.

xxx 3 xander cage vin diesel trailer xXx 3 is Paramounts Fastest Movie To Get 100 Million Trailer Views

And, even with how ridiculous the trailer gets (Xander skis through a jungle, bouncing off trees as if that’s somehow normal), it’s kind of hard not to get sucked in by Diesel’s inherent charms. His deadpan deliveries, coupledwith Samuel L. Jackson’s (The Hateful Eight) fear inducing speech about world safety, sells itself, in a way, and portends more of the same things that made xXx a success back in 2002. Even though Diesel appears to be playing a variation on the character Diesel always plays, his return to the franchise alone should be enough to garner interest in the film, and those 100 million (and counting) views might just pay off when the film is released.

It helps that the movie is being released in the middle of the traditional dump season; without much competition, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage might be the financial success its online success is hinting at. Regardless, in the face of the gritty realism of Jason Bourne and, to some extent, the James Bond series of late, it’s somewhat refreshing to see a superspy film remember that it’s okay to be over the top and have fun. If it’s trailer is any indication, we’re in for plenty of that when the film opens this winter.

NEXT: Vin Diesel’s Daughter Visits the Fast 8 Set

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage opens in U.S. theaters on January 20th, 2017.

Source: Paramount Pictures

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