Pros: It might not have made enough money to have a 3rd XXX
Cons: flimsy plot, terrible dialogue, poorly executed action sequences, wooden characters
The obvious intent of having a sequel to the first 'XXX' movie, was to capitalize of the popularity of it. Unfortunately, Vin Diesel wanted nothing to do with the film, and the creators decided they really didn't care, and fished around for someone to fill the shoes. Enter Ice Cube, as the NEW triple X. The attempt quickly becomes, to show how he is badder, tougher, and more lethal than the last XXX, and that he is basically an improvement on the original. Yawn. It was an expected facet of the movie, but at the same time, it is something that simply isn't true. Vin's character was as tough as they come and it was a mistake to think that they could pull this off without the main character of the first film. XXX is NOT James Bond, he cannot be replaced on a whim and expect people to come see the carnage.
I guess I should actually review the movie as well, but the point I am trying to establish, is that this is a Vin Diesel role, attempted to be filled by Ice Cube. Cube is good in his own right, but he simply isn't right for this role, and I think he hurt himself by trying to be. Samuel L. Jackson returns as Agent Augustus Gibbons who is basically in charge of the department which "creates" the XXX type soldiers. I am a huge fan of Jackson, but it seemed like he was just bored in his role as Gibbons, and recites the lines as if the image in front of us is computer animated, and he is back in some studio speaking into a microphone. To put it bluntly the dialogue is terrible, and there is nothing for the characters to really work with. Want someone else who doesn't have enough to do? How about Willem Dafoe who plays the evil General George Octaves Deckert. A man with extreme political ambition that wants to take the White House by force.
Deckert had commanded both Gibbons and Stone (Cube) in combat before, and things had gone terribly wrong. Defying orders, Gibbons and Stone had tried to save civilians that Deckert had condemned to death. The aftermath left Gibbons scared from the fire, and put Stone in jail for life. The movie picks up, as the NSA chapter that Gibbons is in charge of, has been hit by an unknown force, leaving everyone dead except for Gibbons and his tech wizard. This is where the dumbest moment in the movie occurs, as we are told that the old XXX has been killed overseas. I actually laughed when they chose to go that route to explain why Vin was not here. So, of course since Gibbons has no team left, he has to "go off the grid" and recruit his old buddy Stone to take on the role of the new XXX. Action ensues.
Together Stone and Gibbons must uncover a plot that has been set in motion by General Deckert, and they must put a stop to it before it is too late. (Insert Sarcastic Gasp) The plot itself hangs by a thread for the duration of the film, and the action sequences don't even make sense most of the time, as Ice Cube is only really intended to be a "cool guy" barely escaping from each situation he finds himself in. Blink for a second, and you will have no idea why any of the characters are doing anything in the film. If you actually do make it to the end of the film, you get to see sequences with CGI created trains and cars traveling almost 200 miles per hour as the climax draws near. A climax that you are glad ends the movie. I fully understand if you cannot finish this film once you start it, but I highly recommend you don't even start. Save your time and avoid this one, I know in retrospect that I would have liked to.