XXX State of the Union (2005) review

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Fun Mindless blaxploitation ride

XXX: State of the Union. 6 out of 10. XXX State of the Union is a classic blaxploitation film updated with a nice big budget. This means it jettisons the horrible dated Mountain Dew vibe of the first XXX. Thank God.

Blaxploitation films are often fun and “State of the Union is no exception. The always watchable Ice Cube fills Van Diesel’s shoes nicely and gives us a much more fun Triple X to watch. On the downside, the plot involving a bloody coup by the Defense Secretary against the President is by the numbers. On the upside, the stunts are often over the top. In addition, “State of the Union” is certified snowboard and bungee jumping free by the committee of all of us who are not 15-year-old boys.

The movie moves at a decent enough pace and doesn’t take itself all that seriously. The plot holes and impossible physics don’t take away from the fun ride. Like any true blaxploitation film, there is over the top racism and many evil white dudes. (It does take place in Washington D. C. Yet “State of the Union” being a more progressive blaxploitation film allows for some sympathetic honkies.)

Unfortunately, there are three performances that threaten to bring down the whole fun vibe. Nona Gaye as Ice Cube’s love interest has virtually no chemistry with our lead and looks like a basketball player in drag. Speaking of Dennis Rodman, Q substitute Scott Speedman spends the entire film like he is trying out for his own Bravo special. Rounding the trifecta of awful President’s Peter Strauss’ title speech is so awful (and wrongheaded) one begins to root for the bad guys. These performances aside, everyone else does pretty well and seems to have a fun time. Hopefully, this signals an end to the extreme sports trend in action films and back to the mainstay of blowing things up real good.

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