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Do Not Blink

Saturday, January 14, 2017
By Deepa Gahlot

xXx:  Return of Xander Cage
DJ Caruso
Cast: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padkone and others
Rating: * * *

For a movie in which the chief mode of communication is grunt and snarls, Xander Cage gets to utter the line, “There are no patriots, only rebels and tyrants.”

Cage (Vin Diesel) is obviously the rebel, and one who returns from the dead to separate the good guys from the bad, and proceed to decimate the latter. He isn’t a superhero but could well be one—he gets shot at, hit by cars the size of tanks, falls of a plane without a parachute and far from breaking any bones, he gets just a tiny bruise on his forehead.

DJ Caruso has made an actioner that is so fast paced that if you blink you miss something. The multi-racial cast also ensures that xXx: Return of Xander Cage does well in Asia, India in particular. Deepika Padukone has a significant role and some solid action scenes.

Those who have seen previous films in the franchise would know that Cage is part of a secret group established by Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson).  Cage has been given up for dead, and is having fun in a South American country when he is dragged back into action by “the suits” headed by a woman called Marke (Toni Colette). Gibbons was killed when a satellite crashed into the restaurant where he was about to recruit a new man, which is good reason for Cage to find the people responsible.

The cause of all the fuss and bother is a little black gizmo called Pandora’s Box, which can be used to crash more satellites and also spy on the enemy. The ‘bad’ guys steal it, and Cage along with his gang of misfits, each with a useful specialty, is sent to get it back.

Turns out the bad guys and a gal called Serena Unger (Deepika Padukone) are actually on the right side, so all of them get together and leave the villains with no chance of getting away.

In the process, more weapons are fired and more cars crashed (Rohit Shetty, please note) than the viewer can count.

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