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PCR # 266  (Vol. 6, No. 17)  This edition is for the week of April 25--May 1, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"XXX: State of the Union"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
One and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"XXX: State of the Union"
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The Exodus of Andy....Buccos Score Huge....King Kong News....King Kong '31
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The Man of Steel....Great Americans....Agree With....No Way!...Jaws: The Story, Part 16
 by Mike Smith
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Columbia Pictures     
Starring: Ice Cube, Willem Dafoe, Peter Strauss and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 36 mins

XXX. Three strikes. In bowling, it's a good thing. In baseball, not so good. The new film, "XXX: State of the Union," falls in the middle.

The film opens at a secret National Security location. Agent Augustus Gibbons (Jackson) is going over some data when a group of bad guys attack, killing many fellow agents. Soon we find out that this is the beginning of a plot to kill the president (Strauss). Obviously this is a job for "Triple X" but, faster then you can ask "Where's Vin Diesel?" we learn that his character has been killed in action. Luckily Gibbons has a new man in mind. Unluckily for Darius Stone (Ice Cube), it's him. And so begins a series of badly staged stunts separated only by equally bad dialogue. Both Jackson and Ice Cube deserve so much better.

You go into a film like this with a certain expectation. You know you're not going to see "Citizen Kane." You can only hope that the dialogue is witty and the action is exciting. When it is, you get "Die Hard." When it isn't...well, you get the point. What's missing most is director Rob Cohen, who made the original "XXX" a set piece for some great action sequences. Director Tamahori, who helmed the most recent James Bond film, seems to think that big explosions and poor special effects will cover up a mostly unexciting story. If there's a bright light at all it's the cast. They seem to be trying their best, occasionally rising above the material they are given. 30 years ago on "Rich Man/Poor Man," Strauss' Rudy Jordache entertained thoughts of being president. Had he known his future would include this film he may have followed Nick Nolte out to sea.

Rather then saying the film strikes out I think I'll use a little bowling jargon to sum it up: "XXX" is a turkey! On a scale of zero to four stars I give "XXX: State of the Union"  One and a half stars

This week's movie review of "XXX: State of the Union" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.