xXx: Return of Xander Cage UltraHD Blu-ray Review

Specs

StudioParamount
TitlexXx: Return of Xander Cage
AudioDolby Atmos
Negative FormatsARRIRAW (3.4K)
Digital Intermediate2K
Peak Brightness1000 nits
MPAA RatingPG-13
Length107 Minutes
DirectorD.J. Caruso
StarsVin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone
Review DateMay 12, 2017
Price$21.90

Summary: The a group of lethal mercenaries steal a hi-tech weapon that poses a global threat, the world needs superspy Xander Cage (Vin Diesel). Recruited back into action, Xander leads a team of death-defying adrenaline junkies on a mission to kick some ass, save the day, and look dope while doing it. Packed with some of the most mind-blowing stunts ever caught on film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage features a powerhouse international cast including Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Nina Dobrev, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Movie Review: There are two ways to do an action movie. You can aim for the movie that is improbable but still grounded in reality so you believe it might happen. The Bourne series of films are good examples of this. Or you can go the route of something like The Expendables where it is completely unbelievable but meant to be good fun. With xXx it feels as though they are trying to be in the first category, but too often it veers off into the second category.

Too many parts of xXx are just too ridiculous for taking seriously. The first part of the film they spend their time tracking down what they think is Pandora’s Box, only to discover it was just a prototype. Then they use the beacon that the actual Box puts off to track it back to Detroit. If they could always use that signal to locate it, why didn’t they do that at the start instead of wasting time tracking down a fake one?

Too much of the film just doesn’t make sense. It tries to have fun and not take itself too seriously, but then when it tries to be serious enough to advance the plot, it is just too ridiculous.

Technical Review: Shot with an Alexa at 3.4K resolution but with only a 2K DI, xXx offers mixed results when it comes to quality. Colors are good, and HDR is used effectively, but detail is usually lacking. A few scenes show more detail, but often the image is a bit soft. The soundtrack leaves nothing behind. Height effects channels are used extensively for action sequences, and one scene where a fly buzzes around overhead is particularly impressive. It certainly does the job of showing off what your home theater system can do.

Special Features: Gag Reel and four featurettes.

Review System: Sony 65” A1E OLED, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.

Review Summary

ProductxXx: Return of Xander Cage UltraHD Blu-ray
ReviewerChris Heinonen
ProsReference quality soundtrack, good color, and HDR.
ConsNot much extra detail from the UHD resolution, ridiculous plot points.
SummaryxXx is a great film for showing off your home theater sound system and the image is better than the standard Blu-ray version if you're a fan of the film.
Value3.5 / 5
Performance5 / 5
Overall2 / 5