State of the Union: Cold as Ice!

Well, ladies and gents, it is movie monday, and I'm not all that proud to say that I spent this weekend's precious hours watching Triple X, State of the Union. Now, let me preface this by saying that I saw the first Triple X, at the movie theater, 3 years ago, when I was on vacation camping at Assateague Island. I got bored of the sand and the wind and the pretty ponies, so I ventured inland and caught the movie. And yes, there was a moment when I was silently applauding the movie for making sense, but that was before Vin Diesel, AKA Xander Cage, outsnowboarded the avalanche and then attached a wire from his car to a boat for about two miles on a road that has never seen telephone poles or any other sorts of obstructions.

WARNING: key facts about the movie are revealed below. not that you should care.

Triple X, State of the Union, makes much of the fact that Xander Cage is gone. They mention it like 5 times. A new Triple X is needed, and since the "Extreme" demographic is passe, the new Triple X must come from the gangsta demographic, and thus Ice Cube. Because their soldiers are eternal.

Samuel L. Jackson's secret agency is attacked and only he and the annoying white guy (much funnier in the first one) and an outrageous car get away. They spring Ice Cube from prison and trade in the outlandish car for an outlandish pickup. No, this is not Fast and the Furious, it just seems like it (The first Triple X was directed by the same dude who directed the first Fast and the Furious, Rob Cohen, who also directed hopefully the first and last Stealth, playing in theatres near you.)

Triple X 1 kind of winked at the audience and played knowingly off the Bond tropes. Triple X 2 seems to play it straight, even though this means that the ridiculousness factor is through the roof. For example, their first mission is to return to the scene of the crime to grab some computer data. So they drive out into the middle of rural nowhere in a tricked out, huge tired, semi-irridescent pickup truck. Nothing to see here, folks. No, of course they won't get pulled after driving right by a bunch of NSA agents checking out a horse farm. Of course not! These guys are sneaky!

The plot revolves around the Secretary of Defense's plan to stage a coup d'etat with Army units that have tanks with like three main guns and an extra turret so the tank is like 20 feet tall. Just pile 'em on folks, maybe put a helicopter pad and a hot dog stand on top. I mean, why not?

And does anyone in Washington DC refer to Baltimore Maryland as upstate? I didn't either. the only upstate I know of is in New York. and since DC is no state, there's no upstate or downstate, now is there?

Other key plot twists include veteran agent Samuel L. Jackson, aka Liza Gibbons, returning to his home, by himself, even though 5 minutes before he said that he was next on the "getting killed" list. So I imagine the bad guys would maybe, I don't know, stake out his house, or wait in ambush inside, something like that. Clearly he suspects so, but he manages to sneak in without being detected and grabs the vital information it was his mission to retrieve...mission accomplished, right? Wrong. Gibbons then hears a noise upstairs and decides to investigate. De dee de de deee This Just In...It's the freakin' people who want to kill you!! Go out the way you came!

The SecDef's plan, by the way, is to fake the deaths of Gibbons and his team, then really kill them as part of a frame up for killing the president. Simple kidnapping I guess wouldn't work, because no one would believe the cover story that these highly trained superagents were in far flung places across the globe on super secret missions for months at a time...no way, too implausible.

And don't get me started on the Presidential bullet train. Because when the President's life is in danger, and he needs to get away, the bullet train is the best thing! because there's no way anyone can tell where the bullet train will go: north? south? West? on the same tracks as all the Amtrak trains? maybe. just maybe. Those bullet trains whoosh! they're gone! and they leave no trace.

Other highlights of the movie include incredibly bulky space-age uniforms that appear to be body armor but can't stop a bullet to save their wearer's lives. In a unique twist, except it straight copies Eraser, gangstas and thugs band together to thwart the government's dastardly plans. And the film's one genuinely funny moment treads the fine line between racism and experiential truth (I'm sure I can say it better, but it depends on the dual nature of proper attire for a black man at a gala party) until 2 minutes later when the joke is complicated and ultimately ruined by the white person who set up the joke in the first place and then the joke becomes really racist when the movie basically makes the same joke, but this time much cruder.

To top it off, at the end of the movie, they talk about recruiting the next Triple X. Who's it going to be? All I'm saying is the nebbish Jew demographic has not yet been exploited. Let's see to it. Hebrew Hammer, where are you?


TMC said...

I think you're missing the point, Aaron. Everything in there may have flaws, but it's all done to the XTREEEEEEME! When you think about it like that, really, it all works fine.

aaron said...

I have to disagree, my friend, the movie makes very clear that they are not looking for another XTREEEEME!! daredevil like Xander Cage to fill the roll of Triple X, but rather trained killers along the lines of Darius Stone, AKA Ice Cube.

And while the antics of our hero could be defined as XTREEEME!, they are only incidentally so, and yet they remain unequivocally and XTREEEME!ly stupid.

TMC said...

I see. Perhaps I should actually watch the movies before writing about them.

On the other hand, maybe you just missed the rampant symbolism that is surely crucial to understanding the film...