Prayer Focus
Movie Review

xXx

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, non-stop action sequences, sensuality, drug content and language

Reviewed by: Ryan Izay
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action / Thriller
Length:
2 hr. 5 min.
Year of Release:
2002
Vin Diesel in xXx

Starring: Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson, Asia Argento, Eve, Michael Roof | Directed by: Rob Cohen | Produced by: Neal H Moritz | Written by: Rich Wilkes | Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Sequel: “xXx: State of the Union” (2005)

“Triple X” is the perfect example of a summer film: it’s got tons of non-stop action, bad one-liners, and about as much sex and violence as can be crammed into a PG-13 film. It’s just the kind of film that makes me glad summer is almost over.

“Triple X” takes every trend that kids today might fall for and mixes it with every temptation they should be staying away from. What is produced is a generic big budget stunt show. Although the plot really doesn’t matter all that much in this poor film, the writers do attempt some direction for the trash. Xander (Vin Diesil) is a kind of radical who takes things he doesn’t like into his own hands. If he isn’t happy about a politician’s views, then he punishes him by breaking the law and destroying his car in a flashy/trendy style. That is… until the government decides to use him. They channel his destruction towards a Russian group that plan to destroy the world with a weapon of mass destruction. Rambo reborn. In all fairness, there is a subtle message present in “xXx”: patriotism and honor to one’s country. But it is subtle.

So why was this film rated “PG-13” by the MPAA? Bottom line: money. Because of money our youth are able to see women being treated as objects of pleasure alone and a criminal being paid to kill people. In most instances the women of this film do not even speak before they are carried away to have sex with the man that has chosen them. Even the female spy must wear dresses so short that her bra is exposed. Parents, I strongly caution you to keep your kids away from “xXx”.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Negative
Negative—I went to see this movie prior to allowing my 15 year old son see it. I came away saddened that this is the entertainment our youth is drawn to. True, it’s all about the action and that is why my son wants to see it. I especially loved the midnight blue GTO! But the scenes involving women as play things goes against what I’m trying to teach my son about relationships. True, the whole movie was not about women being play things, but the small percentage of scenes involving women in thongs being carried off, a woman pole dancing with a bedpost and then X laying on top of her (who is she? what significance is she? no one and nothing.) Yet, X sees this as serving his country.

The opening scene of a heavy metal band, slimy people, fire-line stage, fire breathing performer left me with a feeling of being in hell. (one of many dark party atmospheres.) I would just urge parents to see this before letting their teens, pre-teens, and especially younger ones see this. I keep hearing some of our Christian kids saying “It’s not THAT bad,” but where do we go from here?…
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/ 2½]
—Cynthia, age 42
Positive—I was quite surprised. I didn’t notice much language, although there was suggestive language. The title character spoke against smoking and ordered non-alcoholic drinks, although other characters drank. There was no sex, but it was implied, which would warrant discussion with younger teens. The movie was all about the action. One thing I didn’t like was the loud music, but I couldn’t understand most of the lyrics.
My Ratings: [Average / 5]
—Sojourner, age 30
Positive—This is Bond for the MTV/PlayStation generation. With lots of cars, bikes, boards, and plenty of over-the-top action sequences and Bond-inspired gadgetry, this movie has it all. The premise—take an unwilling criminal and tell him to save the world or go to jail.

The first 45 minutes deals with Xander being drugged by the NSA then thrown into extreme situations to test/train him. Classic fish-out-of-water story. It’s really interesting to see our hero start enjoying his new job near the end of this film to the point where he personally finishes the mission even after his superiors call it off. The few female encounters our hero did have ended with an onscreen kiss quickly fading to the next day—envision what you will, but sexually, this movie is far tamer than any Bond movie.

Hardcore German rave/rock (mainly from Ramstein) fills much of the soundtrack and will scare off most parents or those with delicate ears. Anyone who enjoys extreme sports, loud music, and amazing amounts of intense action will enjoy this spy-action-thriller.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Mark Smith, age 38
Positive—I didn’t find this movie that objectionable, even for younger teenagers, as long as you keep communication open and take them not drop them off, and talk to them about it afterwards. As a youth minister, I’m always looking for movies that might pass the test—this one does, in my opinion—there is NO bad language, the sex is implied (frankly, the kids see more sex on TV than this!), and there are some anti-smoking and anti-drinking messages shown amidst the violence, which was a lot less gory than some other movies of this genre.

I thought the special effects were well done and not overdone, and although the plot line was a little thin, it was followable and did have a patriotic “save the world” attitude. I’d take this movie over, say “Dumb and Dumber” any day.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Carl Fuglein, age 55
Neutral
Neutral—There were some great stunts in this movie. Their was also some gratuitous flesh, so much so that my wife did not think it appropriate for our 14 year old son. Ultimately, the hero, who is really an anti-hero, makes the correct moral choices in regard to selfless service to his country and his fellow man. From that standpoint, he is a good role model. Along the way, though, he frequently displays a very bad attitude, in particular toward authority. This culminates in a complete disregard for property rights of a fellow American when he punishes him for views contrary to his own.

In a way I think movies are better when the hero has so much baggage and so many flaws. It is much more real that way. By only showing the positive attributes of people in a two hour movie, sometimes I believe it serves to diminish the glory of Jesus, who alone is the only flawless man.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Mark L. Gilliam, age 40
Comments from young people
Neutral—I actually enjoyed this movie, despite anything offensive about it. It made me think of the few Bond movies I have seen, except for the fact that I like this one. Yeah, so there’s a big fuss about Van Diesel, and I really couldn’t care less, but he did give a good performance. And the plot was slightly more inventive than some of the typical good-guy-save-the-world-and-look-good-doing-it-while-winning-the-girl kind of movies. If you want to see a good action movie with a little romance thrown in (without having to put up with tons of language or nudity), this is a pretty decent one. But leave the kids at home.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Bess, age 18
Comments from young people
Negative—Behind the stunts, cars, arrogant attitudes, killing, sex, and weapons of mass destruction there is absolutely nothing. That’s all this movie has to offer. It seemed to me that the morals were very messed up in this movie. In one point of the movie we see our so called hero wipe away some tears after he witnesses dozens of innocent scientists die at the hands of the villain, while another time he detonates a bomb on a manned motor bike without so much of a shrug. In fact, he smiles and makes a joke! I also found that he was remarkably concerned about how bad smoking is for your health, however there was not one mention about how dangerous his stunts were. I get the feeling that the movie is sending mixed messages to youth like myself. The sex in this movie was appalling even to my non-Christian friends.

They treat women like slaves rather than humans. There was one scene where all the women were in bikinis swimming in a central pond, waiting for party guests to pick them up for the night! I mean they were like party favors! The only thing that I can say good about this movie is the action. The action is so intense that I wouldn’t let any teenager miss out on it. So my recommendation to all those parents out there is, let your teenager see the movie, but go with them, and after it’s done, discuss the things that were against Christian morals. I think this is far better than simply banning them to see it because they will eventually see it with or without your permission if they really want to. My mom uses this method on me and it works well. How else would someone my age write a negative review about this movie?
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 5]
—Tim, age 15
Neutral—This is one of the coolest movies I have ever seen. I mean ya it had some bad stuff in it but that’s not what the whole movie is about. If you like action I really recommend this movie but if you are easily offended don’t see it cause it does have some adult content. I recommend it for mature 14 year olds and up.
My Ratings: [Average / 5]
—Jarrod, age 14
Negative—I didn’t mind the violence, as it was an action/secret agent movie. But XXX is portrayed as a good guy, and yet he is sleeping with prostitutes. This movie tried to hard to be cool, and “cool” is always immoral and wrong.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive /1½]
—Adam, age 15
Neutral—From start to finish this movie was action packed with stunts ranging from cars to sky diving to anything to do with a board. Much like MI2 it found itself in the category of a 2 hour music video. The music (mostly all in German) played out through the entire movie and sometimes drowned out the lines of the characters. Soon to be seen on TNT’s movies for guys who like movies cause that’s exactly what it was: a Guy movie. The women in the movie were less than respected but given the setting it was actually quite realistic. Language was at a minimum for its genre, and neither nudity nor sexual encounters displayed but implied.
My Ratings: [Average / 3½]
—Kyle, age 17
Neutral—This was a very cool movie from a secular standpoint. Basically no redeeming value to it at all. Just two hours of nonstop action, scantily clad women, and cool cars. It is not a movie to take your wife or sister to. There is one uncomfortable scene involving a lingerie clad seductress, while it doesn’t go to far, it does make you blush. Anyway, the violence is minimal, surprisingly. If you don’t mind subjecting yourself to the women part.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 4]
—Jesse, age 16
Positive—When I went to go see it I thought that it should have been an R rated film, but they stamped the PG-13 rating on it, since it’s rated for sexuality, drug content, and language. After seeing it, I can tell why it is PG-13: the sexuality didn’t show much but a girl getting on the bed and him take his shirt off, then it cut away and other than that it was just kissing.

The drug content was a couple people in parts smoking cigarettes, nothing that isn’t in most PG or PG-13 ratings now days. The language there can’t be a reason to explain for, it is unnecessary and could have something else be substituted. This movie is a great action film and the special effects are awesome.My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4½]
—Brian, age 15
Movie Critics
…A few scenes have scantily clad women and strongly suggest sexual encounters, but the emphasis is on action…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…Some sexually related dialogue is present as are some sexually related lyrics that play in a scene where a woman does some stripper-like dance moves…
—ScreenIt.com!
…ultimately, this is a movie as generic as its title…
—Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail
…Movies like “XXX”—a big 000—don’t deserve our $$$…
—Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly