xXx: State of the Union

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) of the National Security Agency has orders to find out whos behind a plot to destroy the president (Peter Strauss), who is preparing his State of the Union address. Gibbons can no longer call on Agent XXX who is now dead, so he recruits a new XXX by aiding Darius Stone (Ice Cube) in escaping from a high-security prison cell. A former Navy Seal, Darius in his new role as superhero might be described as a blue-collar James Bond. Not only does he have access to the most sophisticated spy gadgets and powerful warfare weapons, his old girl friend Lola (Nona Gaye) furnishes him with vehicles from her chop shop. Despite a weak plot, this action-packed guy flick will no doubt do well at the box office with the strength of its fast cars, chases, crashes and explosions. Be prepared for more XXX sequels.

Heroic crooks, countless explosions and senseless killings combine for a disturbing message: Gratuitous violence is okay, fun and exciting, especially when performed by the good guys. Throw in some humor, and the carnage draws laughter and cheers. The villain is, of course, a right-wing conservative (Willem Dafoe). This secretary of defense wants to see the president, vice president and speaker of the house all dead so he can become president. Along with the explosions are vicious gun battles, hand-to-hand fighting and painful kicks to the groin. Guess he doesnt want to spend the money for an election campaign. There is no sex or nudity, but the women are all voluptuous and wear low-cut dresses. Lola and Darius have a strong sexual attraction for each other, which is expressed by body language and double entendre. Some foul language adds to the negative score for State of the Union.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (13) times mild (hell 4, damn 3); strong (-ss 3, b-tch 2, SOB 1)

Obscene Language: Few (2) times strong (f-word 1, s-word 1)

Profanity: Few (4) times strong (GD 3, JC 1)

Violence: Continuous and gratuitous moderate (hijackings, man in car chases train on railroad track crashing and derailing train, hand-to-hand fighting); strong (many explosions destroy buildings and kill hundreds with bodies displayed, numerous gun battles with sophisticated weapons designed for warfare, bloody corpse of woman, tanks armed with cannons fire into public street)

Sex: None

Nudity: Several times mild (voluptuous women wearing low-cut dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (double entendres, suggestive body movements)

Drugs: None

Other: Cynical view of government, villain portrayed as right-wing conservative, illegal chop shop assists secret agents

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Age 13 and Older

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.