How many Sam Jackson movies have you seen? There are enough of them that he could have been in some you don’t even remember. Back in 2005, he was in the sequel to the Vin Diesel movie xXx. The sequel, xXx: State Of The Union, may have been overlooked at the time but is now on Netflix and is the 12 most popular movie streaming.
Do you have to watch the Vin Diesel movie to watch this Sam Jackson one? Not really. With xXx: State Of The Union, they had lost Vin Diesel. Moving forward, the filmmaker decided they would try to focus each new xXx installment on a different agent. In the sequel, we are following the character Darius Stone, played by Ice Cube. He is a new agent in the xXx program. Darius Stone is charged with stopping villains who are after the President of the United States. The movie also stars Willem Dafoe as a General. Sam Jackson plays Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons, a more seasoned agent who selects Darius Stone for the xXx program. While those who saw the first movie will have more background information on what the xXx progam is, that’s not really necessary to watch and enjoy this action crime movie.
One of the great things about streaming services today is that a lot of movies that flopped get a new life. We used to see this occasionally happen with movies that didn’t do well at the box office but became favorites after being aired on television. The Christmas movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, is a prime example. Today, this happens with streaming services. This Sam Jackson movie was definitely not well received when it aired in theaters. It still sees pretty brutal reviews on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes today. The first movie in the franchise made $346.1 million USD at the box office. State of the Union made $71 million. That’s a sharp drop.
It can be easily surmised that Vin Diesel refusing to be in the sequel accounted for some of the issues here. Vin Diesel apparently didn’t like the script. This became more complicated later.
In xXx: State of the Union, they claim that Diesel’s character, Xander Cage, died off-screen. The Sam Jackson movie continues on in a way that’s very separate from anything that happened in the first film. Later, they made a short film using his stunt double to show his death. Then, he came back in the third movie, and they pretended like that didn’t happen. It was weird. Now, Vin Diesel is being sued over promises of an xXx 4. Things continue to be complicated with the franchise and its storyline. For that reason and more, to enjoy this Sam Jackson movie, it’s better you treat it as a standalone. If you don’t view it as part of an xXx series, it’s a lot more fun.
As for where it stacks up against other Sam Jackson movies, that’s hard to say. He’s been in so many different things. Did you love him in Star Wars? Do you prefer Quentin Tarantino Sam Jackson? Will your heart always belong to Nick Fury?
Suffice to say, xXx: State of the Union is probably not anyone’s favorite Sam Jackson movie. He’s been in too many great ones. But are you in the mood for an action crime movie where Jackson tells Ice Cube what to do and some things blow up? Then you may be one of the many checking this one out on Netflix this week.