XXX The Return of Xander Cage Review : Deepika Padukone Adds Oomph To This B-Grade Reboot

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Deepika Padukone gets third billing in this Vin Diesel franchise. ‘XXX: The Return of Xander Cage’ is an extreme action thriller directed by DJ Caruso. Diesel plays Xander Cage who is believed to be dead but is tracked down in The Dominican Republic and pulled back into service. His mentor and founder of the XXX programme Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L Jackson) is caught in a blast and taken for dead. A deadly weapon called Pandora’s Box, which can remotely activate satellites and destroy them, is said to be responsible for these random attacks. The Box is now in the hands of a rogue group and the US government needs Xander and his XXX people to retrieve it.

Padukone plays Serena, a smoldering hot fighter who is quick of the draw and even quicker with her reflexes. Xander meets his intellectual match in Serena and together they work to save the world from imminent danger. Also in the cast are Donnie Yen as Xiang, Ruby Rose as Adele Wolff, Tony Jaa as Talon, Khris Wu as Harvard ‘Nicks’ Zhou, Rory McCann as Tennyson and Nina Dobrev as Becky Clearidge.

The action moves at a brisk pace to make up for the lack of any sensible storyline. It’s simply a masala movie without any coherent plot. Caruso fills his scenes with scantily clad girls and equips his cast with cheesy one-liners and numerous high-end guns. Also the action sequences are slick and nicely executed, especially Xander’s introduction scene as he skies down some hills and skateboards along some windy roads. Diesel is the centrepiece of the show, and while most of the supporting cast is highly dispensable, Padukone’s Serena is not. And there’s enough room left for a sequel which could easily see the return of Serena.

Rating: **