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xXx: The Next Level DVD Review

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by AVForums Aug 1, 2005

    xXx: The Next Level DVD Review
    SRP: £19.99

    Picture

    With a theatrically correct 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen picture, we have a very nice transfer indeed. First off, there were no dust specks or scratches, nor any other blemishes on the print used, so far so good. Colours are bright and sharp, with the notorious reds being free from bleeding and black levels are deep, particularly good during 2 particular scenes - the raid on the boat and the siege in the house. Grain wasn't noticeable and neither were any artefacts or edge enhancement either, although I may have wished many times to have been struck blind, there's really no issues with the picture quality.
    xXx: The Next Level Picture

    Sound

    With a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, you would and should expect a reasonably aggressive soundstage and indeed we have that here. Dialogue is clear and isn't drowned out by the loud explosions, although no-one really talks much during those scenes anyway, but at no time do we have difficulties in hearing the actors. When we get to one of the many action sequences, the soundstage gets really busy with bullets whizzing around the rear speakers and the LFE making the most of the explosions, of which there are lots and pretty frequent they are too. Indeed if you listen to this at reference levels, you may well upset the neighbours. One minor issue, was at one point the surround sound felt a little forced, almost deliberately engaged. This may just be me, but instead of making me feel in the middle of the action, I felt that it sounded almost artificial - perhaps a dub? Still, with large bass driven explosions and plenty of action scenes, you should find the soundtrack engaging.
    xXx: The Next Level Sound

    Extras

    Extras present start off with 2 commentary tracks, 1 with the filmmakers, the other with the visual effects team - neither of which I listened to, as I had to endure the movie once, no amount of witty anecdotes could make me endure it again, let alone twice. From Convict to Hero is the making of featurette and for some reason is split into 2 parts, but thankfully(?) you can play both together for a total length of 48 minutes. Oh how I laughed when the opening sentence was where they tried “to top the previous movie”. Between Dafoe mentioning “Homeboys saving the day” and a new drinking game you can play (Drink every time someone says “Y'know” during an interview - in one take, Cube says it 5 times.) this is brilliant, but for all the wrong reasons. As a feature, it's awful as it is hype pure and simple, but on the other side of the coin, it's hysterical to hear how “easy” it was to change the plot or how they thought they were reinventing the genre. As Meatloaf sang, not a dry eye in the house.

    The 3 featurettes Bullet Train Breakdown, Top Secret Military Warehouse and xXx: According to Ice Cube and are mercifully short but has the funniest line ever where Ice Cube says he was in “the best shape of my life since High School”. Please, you look more like Ice Chunk than Ice Cube.

    Rounding off the extras, we have some deleted scenes and trailers for “Bewitched”, “D.E.B.S” and “Man of the House”.
    xXx: The Next Level Extras

    Verdict

    Not only is this a poor action B-movie at best, it has illusions of grandeur about how good it and the actors truly are. Sure the picture and sound are superb, but when the movie is as one-dimensional and bad as this truly is, it counts for nothing. On the positive side, the extras are unintentionally hysterical, considering they all believe the hype, something which Ice Cube should have listened to Chuck D with regards to. Unless you really have a hankering for a dumb, dumb and did I mention dumb action movie, look elsewhere.

    The Rundown

    Movie

    2

    Picture Quality

    8

    Sound Quality

    7

    Extras

    4

    Overall

    2

    2
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10
    You own this Total 0
    You want this Total 0
    You had this Total 0

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