Vin Diesel is sure to score big at the box office when Fate of the Furious hits theaters on April 14, 2017, and the star is also hoping he can pad his 2017 numbers with the January 20 release of xXx: Return of Xander Cage. Return is a sequel to Diesel's 2002 hit xXx, in which he starred as an extreme sports star and stuntman who became an agent for the National Security Agency. A previous sequel, xXx: State of the Union was released in 2005, and then xXx seemed to go away forever.
But not so fast: In xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Diesel is back at it again, this time trying to stop motorcycle-enthusiast/warrior Donnie Yen from getting his hands on a super-weapon called Pandora's Box. Of course before he can battle Yen, Diesel has to put together a team of fellow thrill-seekers, a team that is set to include one well-known rapper-turned-actor whose presence in the movie was not known until now (though star Diesel did hint there would be cameos).
As Paramount Pictures reveal in their new TV spot for Return of Xander Cage, Ice Cube is back playing his State of the Union character Darius Stone. Cube's appearance is not credited so it's a delightful surprise to see him pop up in the new spot. The ad also gives us some more glimpses of the extreme action featured in the movie, including Vin Diesel surfing a wave on a dirtbike. Hey it doesn't have to make sense, it just has to be exciting.
The spot does also include a brief appearance by Orange is the New Black star Ruby Rose, who played a very prominent role in the movie's international trailer. A lot of weapons are brandished in the spot as it turns out, including Rose's sniper rifle and Ice Cube's rocket launcher. Besides extreme dirtbike-surfing action and BASE jumping, it appears Return of Xander Cage also features some old-school Hong Kong-style gunplay. The movie's international cast hints that overseas markets were very much at the center of the thought process behind unleashing this particular sequel.
When you see how much fun everyone appears to be having shooting guns, blowing things up and spouting one-liners, it's not hard to see why Vin Diesel would sign on for another xXx all these years after the previous film. Rather than being a movie that's intended to launch a franchise, this very much has the feel of a "let's get the band together one last time and have a blast" one-off effort. The January release date gives away that expectations are likely not very high for this film to make any kind of impression at the box office (even though Diesel claims Paramount wants a fourth xXx film somewhere down the road).
Then again, you never know. A silly over-the-top movie featuring early-2000s-style action, complete with a ridiculous surfing scene to rival the one from 2002's Bond flick Die Another Day, might just be what people are craving right now (the first trailer certainly did generate a lot of buzz). Either way, Vin Diesel is probably going to have a very lucrative year, with xXx: Return of Xander Cage on the docket and yet another Fast and the Furious movie coming up.
Source: Paramount Pictures
- xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) release date: Jan 20, 2017