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XXX
Buy the DVD  Barnes & Noble.com
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Genre:Action
Year:2002
Rating:PG13
Length:2h 4mins
Cast:Rob Cohen, Vin Diesel, Asia Argento, Marton Csokas

Move over, Bond, there's a new spy in town, and he's not worried about qualifying for a license to kill. Vin Diesel, the new millennium's most unlikely leading man, plays the new millennium's most unlikely secret agent in XXX, a lightning-paced, action-packed thriller with more stunts and explosions per reel than any movie we've seen in a long time. Diesel is Xander Cage, an extreme-sports daredevil forcibly recruited by government operative Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) to infiltrate a terrorist band operating in Prague. Cage's assignment: to find and destroy the deadly new nerve gas being developed by scientists working for the ruthless Yorgi (Marton Csokas), a former Soviet soldier who plans to throw the entire world into chaos. Sultry Asia Argento sizzles as Yelena, a sweetheart of Yorgi's with schemes of her own. Diesel's rough-edged, downright thuggish charm makes him well suited for the starring role. Cage is an act-first, think-later kind of guy with no use for rules and no respect for authority -- in other words, just the agent you want inside a group of self-described nihilists. Rob Cohen, who directed Diesel in The Fast and the Furious, satisfies action lovers by keeping his brawny star in almost constant motion, rewarding Diesel fans with frequent glimpses of Xander sans shirt. The elaborate and inventive action sequences -- almost too numerous to count -- supply an adrenaline-fueled rush that'll grab you in the first reel and hold you until the final credits roll. If you like your spy movies with complicated story lines, surprising plot twists, and witty repartee, XXX is unlikely to satisfy you. If, however, you prefer nonstop stunts and thrills of the most visceral kind, this is definitely the film to have. For the DVD version, Cohen supplies commentary both during the film and for a number of deleted scenes; the disc also offers a music video and a behind-the-scenes featurette, "Building Speed: The Vehicles of XXX." Ed Hulse

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