XXX STATE OF THE UNION

by Jonny Lieberman on March 7, 2006

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OK, so how bad are we talking?

It is difficult, really, to discuss exactly how horrible XXX: State of the Union is. I know I saw it less than 24 hours ago, but already I remember nearly nothing about it. This is partially due to the fact that more than half the movie is car chases and fight scenes, all of which employ the dreaded MTV-style of editing where the cuts happen at a rate of three angles per second, minimum, inter-spliced with a lingering (and pointless) slow motion shot of somebody hitting the ground. It actually all blurred together into one big lump of horror. The other reason why I can remember not a God damn thing is because after leaving the movie, I drank about eight beers. Abita Amber and this really good Biere de Mars that I made, the latter weighing in at about 7% abv. My friend and I decided to watch The Big Lebowski when we got home–my vote for the greatest film in history–to clear our minds of the sewage we had just swallowed. Honestly, it was like gorging at Taco Bell. Nauseating.

So, you’re saying that the sequel is worse than the original?

Orders of magnitude worse. Several. A spate of orders. A clutch. Fuck it, a score. Re-reading my review of the first XXX, it is pretty obvious that I hated that pile of shit. Mostly because of the gaping plot-holes and implausibilities. “Gaping” in the anal-sex sense of the word, mind you. But, like, the new one is even dumber. Like, the original is clearly aimed at the mentality of fifteen-year-old boys, whereas the new is gaming for ten-year-olds. I just… I just don’t fucking get it. Like there’s one scene where XXX (played by Ice-Cube this time out) just discovered that the US military under the command of the Secretary of Defense (A guy named Deckert, played quite half-assedly by Willem Defoe) is going to stage a coup and kill the President, the Vice President and the Speaker of the House so that he (Deckert) will be next in line to assume the Presidency. And Deckert is going to hang the whole thing on XXX’s old SEAL unit. Like, that’s some pretty big news, right? What does XXX do? He goes back to a chop shop and works on his monster truck’s engine. No, really. I’m simply staggered.

That sounds pretty awful

Incomprehensibly so. Get this; a full third of the audience left halfway through the film. How do I know it was exactly 33.3%? Because there were only six people in the theater. XXX: State of the Union was released on April 28, 2005, and a week later on 5.5.05 there were six people watching a Thursday night showing. In Los Angeles! And what do we got now, something around 4 million inhabitants? It was sort of nice that the theater was empty because no one told me or my friend to shut the fuck up as I laughed almost the entire time while she cried.

Tell us about this friend

Ah, yes. She’s a bondage model. In other words, she earns her living being tied up, beaten and mummified; a masochist. Also, two of her friends/colleagues (Masuimi Max and this bald chick) were cast in the film and she knows the director, um, professionally. Anyway, I guess I have a pretty strong stomach for shit like this–built from years and years of watching utter garbage–but I have never seen anyone in as much physical pain as my friend. Honestly, she was moaning. At one point she started whistling and singing. At another she started begging me to leave. Repeatedly she asked me how much longer. The topper though, was when she started to kick at the scream and grunt, “Go away!” She couldn’t take it! She get’s punished for a fucking living, wrapped up fully in saran wrap with only a tube to breathe from for hours and she could not handle ninety minutes of this disaster. Incredible.

Tell us about some of the really bad parts

Well, the entirety of the film is a “bad part.” OK, OK, scenes that stuck out as particularly bad: Well, first of all, every black character in the film was A) a criminal or B) a butler. With the exception of Sam Jackson, who was named Gibbons and spent most of the film in a cage. Oh! There were two truckers who were black and fat and retarded. The two truckers were hauling guns for homeland security, but they thought they were hauling “gov’ment cheese.” How did they miss that half the length of their truck’s trailer was hidden behind a secret door? They’re black!! At least that’s the message. Oh, and to open the secret compartment and get to all the guns you need a three digit code. So, XXX and a gang of car-thief thugs pull the truck over, detain the drivers, find the code pad and the white guy has to punch in the code! Three digits! Fuck me.

Speaking of the white guy… it’s the same imbecile who played the tech-nerd in the first XXX. He’s somehow even worse here. Anyhow, XXX demands that “Toby” hack into the White House computers. Toby cries, “but that’s even harder than breaking into the FBI, CIA, NSA and NASA combined!” Less than two minutes later he has not only hacked in, but printed out the secret whateverthefuck XXX wanted. What else… I wouldn’t buy a car from the actor they got to play the President (Peter Strauss). The female lead (Nona M. Gaye) was the least compelling woman to ever appear in a motion picture. She makes Penelope Ann Miller look intelligent and full of vigor. The “love” scenes (no screwing, just Ice Cube going “We had some fun back in the day” to her “Baby…” over and over and motherfucking over again.) were so excruciatingly dull they make Anakin and the Princess’s courtship feel like The Last Tango in Paris. Oh, and at one point XXX is inside a mansion and actively being framed for murdering the Joint Chief of Staff and the place is surrounded by three hundred cops and SWAT guys. What does he do? Well, he heats up a ton of food in the microwave and puts it in the bathtub. That way, when the coppers turn on their insanely accurate infrared cameras that can not only see heat but walls and rooms and shit, they’ll think the hot meat is XXX! Now, this poses two problems, one being how XXX is going to shield his own body’s heat (never even considered by the writer) and two, WHY THE FUCK DID THE COPS WAIT TEN MINUTES TO TURN ON THEIR INSANELY ACCURATE INFARED CAMERAS??!!!!?????!!!?!?!?! What the fuck?

Cop A: Hey Bob, do you think I should turn this thing on now?”
Cop B: Naw. Give it five minutes.

Wretchedly poor stuff.

How was the dialogue?

ARGHH!!!!! Worst ever! Holy fucking hell let me clear my throat that shit was STOOOOPID! Fully half the script was clichés–half. The other half was inane nonsense about how tough prison was (XXX was wrongly imprisoned, of course) or about how tough the ghetto is. Oh wait, that would make all the dialogue 100% cliché. Rest assured it fucking sucked. There was some shit part where Ice-Cube was in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and having words with a bad guy who was commanding an opposing tank (I should mention that the tank battle was on board an aircraft carrier–the action still sucked–and the tank wasn’t just a normal tank, it was a Poochified tank with three cannons…) and I’m not shitting you the conversation was like this:

XXX: I’m gonna get you, sucka!
Bad Guy: You should have stayed in prison, black criminal!
XXX: I’m keeping it real!
Bad Guy: Try this one on for size, homie! (tank fires and misses)
XXX: You shoot like a white-boy!
Bad Guy: You score low on standardized tests!

It just would have been so much more bearable if the back and forth had just been, “Nigger! Honkey! Nigger! Honkey! Nigger! Honkey! Nigger! Honkey!” At least it would have been honestly accurate to the rest of the film’s race-baiting message. You know, white guys are uptight and crooked whereas black guys are “street” and crooked. There’s even one inexplicable sequence where XXX has infiltrated a fancy DC restaurant (by wearing a suit!) and he has to talk to the head of the NRA. XXX pretends to be a Southern Baptist Preacher and the NRA guy asks him how the NRA could attract more inner-city youths. Ice Cube responds by telling him to offer free food and make sure it’s fried. Get it? Should I even mention that the black characters car-jack a tank?

Did shit at least get blowed up real good?

In a comedic way, yes. Being an EXTREME movie, the explosions are completely over the top. The best one being when the car-jacked tank blows the dome off the US Capital, which is apparently packed with gasoline. One that had my friend and I belly aching was when XXX drives a speedboat one hundred feet up a ramp and onto a bridge smashing into pursuing NSA cars (don’t ask). Somehow, XXX is able to get out of the boat and walk snarling in slow motion as the boat and destroyed cars explode behind him. Just goofy shit. The most inexcusable had to be at the end when the President’s secret bullet train (I told you not to ask) blows up while a top a very high bridge. XXX jumps out before the train explodes. However, defying the law of physics that states all free-falling objects (on Earth) accelerate downwards at a rate of approximately 10 m/s/s (to be exact, 9.8 m/s/s), the train pieces accelerate past XXX on his way down. One of the big fiery CG pieces of shit even lands in the water directly below him. Luckily, XXX has enough time to pull out his gun and shoot it to pieces.

What about the…

Can I interrupt?

Uh… sure, why not?

Listen, I really don’t want to talk about this movie anymore. It’s horrible. On the Top 10 Worst list for sure. Can I stop, please?

But what about the blond chick, Sunny Mabrey?

She had a Tori Spelling-type boob job and a prehensile nose. Are we finished?

Defoe? Jackson?

Fucking disgraceful. I beg you, stop.

All those cool cars? You love cars

You’re hurting me.

But what about the screenwriter?

Damn you… Fine, OK, this effing maggot, Simon Kinberg, was not only responsible for this travesty, but was a script doctor on both Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and Elektra. The idea of a script doctor is that a movie in production needs to be punched up–improved in some way. Quentin Tarantino famously got $600,000 for writing two scenes in Crimson Tide, and despite the absurdity of the price tag, he actually helped the film out. But those two fucking films!? Just simply disgraceful. Jesus, where did they find this asshole? Oh yeah, at Columbia University in the MFA program. I should probably mention that I applied to the MFA writing program at Columbia and did not get it. For years I was bitter, but if this is the caliber of cocksucker they are looking for, I’ll wear it as a badge of honor that I was rejected. Seriously, this Kinberg fucker wrote the following;

XXX: Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal.
Gibbons: I like that. Who said it? Jefferson? Patton?
XXX: Tupac.

Good choice, Columbia. Oh, and fuck you. Now, if we could end this, I have a life to get…

The soundtrack?

Quit pushing my buttons! It sucked. Every fucking thing about XXX: State of the Union sucked. Outright. Oh, except the part where the one NSA guy is explaining to the other that Vin Diesel had been killed in Bora Bora. Vin Diesel dying is pretty funny.

Anything else?

Mommy…

About

Jonny was the site’s co-founder and helped carry the place in the early years. There was a falling out with Erich and he left the site for good, but a lot of his reviews live on. He has moved on to a successful career writing about cars. Look him up.

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