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Although no one can fly a motorcycle quite like Vin Diesel, perhaps the scriptwriters of future franchise XXX should have left the between-action yucks to Jackie Chan. Diesel’s labored one-liners and put-downs (“Ice? You can chisel some off your heart—if you can find it”) aren’t the movie’s worst ingredients, however; they’re merely the cheese that tops the horrible acting, ridiculous plot developments, and laugh-out-loud serious dialogue. But when all are accompanied by a loud ‘n’ louder soundtrack and fire, fire, fire!, will anyone really care? Xander Cage (Diesel)—or, if you don’t catch one of the 100 close-ups of his neck tattoo, XXX—is introduced as an apparent valet with an attitude, but he’s actually an extreme-sports enthusiast who somehow rights the world’s wrongs by riding bad men’s fancy cars off bridges and videotaping his antics for an “underground” Web site. He’s recruited to work for the NSA by Two-Face, er, Agent Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson, seemingly scarred just so X can crack up the audience by calling him “pretty boy”), and soon he’s in Prague attempting to infiltrate a nonsensical group called Anarchy 99, whose members have defected from Mahther Rahssia and are now attempting to “implode the world.” (At least they’re funny, with their frequent references to “beetches” and subtitled dialogue such as “Catch him fast. Kill him slow!”) Throughout, Diesel’s stunts are many and properly loud and fiery; a few highlights include him angling a motorcycle in between a fence’s barbed wires and holding on to the back of a leaping bike while shooting a very big gun. There’s also a terrific avalanche scene in which X ‘boards just in front of a thunderous onslaught of snow before grabbing onto a pole and getting temporarily buried. And though Diesel is saddled with some truly horrible lines (before one of the NSA’s “tests,” the camera zooms toward his face while he growls, “I live for this shit!”), he somehow manages to be eminently watchable and even—sigh—likable. So will Vin Diesel be Hollywood’s next megastar? Sure—when hogs fly. —Tricia Olszewski