XXX: State of the Union

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
XXX: State of the Union Movie Poster Image
Loud, violent, and predictable action movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2005
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No truly positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters too clichéd and one-dimensional to be seen as positive role models. 

Violence

Intense action sequences. Explosions, shoot-outs, vehicle chases, and hand-to-hand fighting. Mass shooting in Congress, dead bodies. Dead bodies early in the movie from a terrorist attack. Gunfire, machine gun fire. Character stabbed in the arm. A train catches fire and burns up. 

Sex

Some sexual innuendo, particularly about the past sex lives of two former lovers, talk of "damage in the backseat." Character makes reference to how "XXX" "sounds like a porno." 

Language

Some strong language. "F--k you," "bitch," "a--holes," "ass," "piss." One of the lead characters talks to a former girlfriend about their past relationship and the sex they had, with reference to "damage in the backseat." Reference to "XXX" "sound[ing] like a porno." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine and champagne drinking in a formal black-tie setting; no one acts drunk. Cigar smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that XXX: State of the Union is an action movie (loosely tied to the original XXX) in which Ice Cube plays a former Navy Seal who is taken out of prison by the leader of an elite espionage team (led by Samuel L. Jackson) who must save the American government from a deadly conspiracy spearheaded by the secretary of defense. This movie includes intense action sequences, some strong language ("bitch" is a favorite for the men, and "f--k" is used), and sexual innuendo (the women show cleavage repeatedly). The first scene is full of troops in black SWAT-style uniforms shooting automatic weapons and being blown up. Characters drink and smoke. Violence takes the form of explosions (so bodies fly in front of bursting flames), missiles fired, shoot-outs, vehicle chases, and hand-to-hand fighting. Many anonymous bodies fall. There's a mass shooting and machine gun battles that take place inside Congress, resulting in many dead bodies. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byMya S. November 13, 2018

VERY bad language

This movie contains GD along with other cuss words throughout it
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 16 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

What's the story?

In XXX: STATE OF THE UNION, Darius, the new Agent XXX (Ice Cube replacing Vin Diesel, whose character is pronounced dead and never seen in this film), is an ex-gangster, very tough, very independent-minded. He's actually in prison, looking mean, when his old associate, NSA Agent Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson), recruits him to defend Washington, D.C., against invasion by U.S. troops, led by Secretary of Defense Deckert (Willem Dafoe). Darius and his team -- including Zeke (Xzibit), Lola (Nona Gaye), and token "white boys" risk-taking Agent Steele (Scott Speedman) and gadget geek Toby (Michael Roof) -- battle the guys by hijacking a tank in downtown D.C., and sneaking onto an aircraft carrier and a speeding bullet train. Deckert is mad because President Sanford (Peter Strauss) wants to cut the military budget and make friends with everyone, including folks in the Middle East and American inner cities. Old-school Deckert wants to bring democracy by killing all U.S. enemies. And D does the right thing.

Is it any good?

The plot of this sequel is simple and ridiculous on its surface, but Ice Cube makes an unusual action hero, cooler and shorter than most, charming and vaguely complex. "D" has a history, a good heart, and a stunning fearlessness, jumping off bridges and onto flying helicopters, even though his small frame doesn't seem capable of enduring such wild stunts (he is not at all like Diesel's "extreme sports" guy).

If the outcome is never in question (after much mayhem, the good guys win), D's political position is very unusual in an action movie: He fights for U.S. values and ideals, bringing a mostly black, ragtag militia to stop the official military (on orders from Deckert) from overrunning D.C.. The sight of D.C. saved by a hip-hop crew (D quotes Tupac, inspiring the president to do the same) is pretty remarkable. Still, XXX: State of the Union's power-to-the-people optimism is achieved by loud, raucous, predictable action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the threat against the U.S. government in XXX: State of the Union (both scary and familiar in action movies) and the ways characters justify violence (to defend the nation, spread freedom).

  • Do you think this movie glamorizes violence? Why, or why not? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?

  • This movie shows, in graphic detail, both terrorist attacks and mass shootings. While depictions of such events in action movies might have worked for mass audiences when this movie was released, how might these scenes be viewed differently now?

Movie details

For kids who love action and adventure

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