dir. Rob Cohen
Opens Fri Aug 9
Various Theaters

Just how bad is XXX? Worse than you've imagined. Seriously. I would rather be catheterized by a Parkinson's-afflicted nurse than sit through it again.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you're one of those aggressively dunderheaded individuals who thinks that motorcycle jumps, explosions, and motorcycle jumps over and through explosions equals brilliant entertainment. And if so, then you'll probably soak your trousers over XXX. You may even feel the urge to yank said trousers down and start masturbating like a chimp right there in the movie theater, you'll be so excited. If so, some advice: Aim for your soda cup and not the person's head in front of you.

Here's the plot: A group of Russian goths--former military types given over to the dark arts (which means long greasy hair, leather pants, and bad accents)--have devised a scheme to bring the world's governments to their knees. Said scheme involves a deadly biological weapon called "Silent Night," as well as a solar-powered, automated hovercraft/ submarine (I kid you not). The U.S. government, of course, wants to halt such a scheme, hence its recruiting of an extreme-sports outlaw, called Xander Cage (Vin Diesel).

Xander, given the code name Triple-X (on account of a lame tattoo on the back of his neck), is promptly trained and dispatched to Prague, where his extreme-sports celebrity and pseudo-anarchic beliefs will help him infiltrate the Russian goths. Oh, and the Russian goths, of course, reside in a massive cliff-top mansion.

And there you go. The rest can be summed up in a single word: tripe. Things go boom, Triple-X survives booms, bad guys are dispatched, and the solar-powered hovercraft/submarine is destroyed--mere seconds before Prague is annihilated, killing thousands of annoying American expats.

Oh shit: I just gave up the ending. Sorry about that. But really, I'm doing you a favor. Mindless summer entertainment is fine and all (I loved The Fast and the Furious, by the way, so don't go calling me some sort of elitist swine), but XXX, with its repetitive action sequences, ridiculous villains, and equally ridiculous plot, is not worthy of your peepers. Your time is worth so much more.

That said, it will make a gazillion dollars. Plus, Vin's already signed on for XXX 2. For $20 million, no less. Do you smell that? It's a franchise cooking.