xXx: Return Of Xander Cage 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 222, December 2017

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Extended sequences of gunplay and violent action, and for sexual material and language
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(Running Time In Minutes):
105 Minutes
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
D.J. Cruso
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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(French Language):
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xXx follows superspy Xander Cage (Diesel) on the trail of a group of lethal mercenaries who steal a hi-tech weapon that poses a global threat. Recruited back into action, Xander leads a team of death-defying adrenaline junkies on a mission to kick some ass, save the day, and look dope while doing it. (Gary Reber)

Special features include four featurettes: Third Time's The Charm: Xander Returns (HD 08:13), Rebels, Tyrants & Ghosts: The Cast (HD 20:18), Opening Pandora's Box: On Location (HD 16:10), and I Live For This Sh#t!: Stunts (HD 15:17); a gag reel (HD 02:02); and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR picture quality is fantastic. The resolution and the HDR dynamic range really heightens the excellent production design with its incredible attention to production values and detail. The color palette is nicely saturated throughout with strong primaries that really pop, such as reds, greens, and blues. Hues are rendered naturally with realistic nuances and contrast. Fleshtones are naturally hued and emphasized by lighting effects, which are obviously graded in telecine for attraction. Black levels are deep and well defined. Shadow delineation is revealing. As noted, production design is intricate with noticeable object texture. Resolution is excellent throughout and indicative of the digital capture, especially in the less-controlled settings such as urban environments, which is less satisfying image quality. But the controlled set designs are often gorgeous. Fine detail is nicely rendered in facial features, hair, clothing, and objects. This is an excitingly visual experience that really pops on the screen. Overall, while often digital in appearance and under-stylized lighting conditions, this is a wonderfully pleasing picture that effectively uses HDR. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is very dynamic and powerful with strongly intense bass extension in the .1 LFE channel that enhances the action scenes, enhancing the intenseness. The soundfield is quite dimensional and aggressively directional with all manner of gunfire, explosions, and interchannel panning effects. The music score is quite active with a very wide and deep soundstage presence and aggressive surround immersion. At times the music is rock, soul, and dance tainted and loud, dominating the soundfield. The music also is delivered with a sense of height as well as the sound effects. Atmospherics are quite active and sound effects are bolstered with intense .1 LFE energy. Dialogue, through all this holosonic® intensity, retains intelligible, though, heavily ADR produced. This is an intense and exciting soundtrack that really provides a system workout, with all channels firing full-on and at intense SPL. Fans will love the sonic excitement this soundtrack delivers.

The Immersive Sound element consists of a lot of aggressive swishing sounds in the opening sequences and later on the island involving a motorcycle, automatic rifle fire, police car or fire truck siren, brief thunder, heavy wind, car crash through bank front, loud effects under character billboard introductions, crowd noises in dance club, island insect and bird sounds, crowd noises in island club, fire burning in fire pit, screaming crowd on island, bass guitar sound and swishing and bubblng water and ocean surf, more gunfire and brief music during climax and explosions, Music score extension is virtually absent except for a couple of very brief segments. The object-based sound effects are often brief with long lapses apart. Most carry some aggressive SPL weight and are effective with exceptional power and precision. However, much in the way of soundscape dimension has been ignored by the sound designers. (Gary Reber)