Franchise Recap: The xXx Story So Far

ON

The xXx story goes on in our full xXx story guide!

Catch up on the xXx story so far with our franchise recap

xXx: Return of Xander Cage will hit theaters on January 20, 2017. Vin Diesel is back as Xander, and to use some extreme sports to save the world from another deadly weapon. This time around, he’s fighting the villain Xiang, played by Donnie Yen, to retrieve a terrible weapon called “Pandora’s Box.” Samuel L. Jackson will also return as Agent Gibbons, the man who got Triple X into the government agent game to begin with. The film has a cast action fans are going to be happy with, including Conor McGregor, Tony Jaa, Deepika Padukone, Nina Dobrev, Ruby Rose, Toni Collette and Ariadna Gutierrez. Now, the first film, xXx came out in 2002, and the sequel, xXx: State of the Union starring Ice Cube came out in 2005. It’s been a while, so we’re going to get you caught up on the xXx story so far.

xXx

When we first meet Xander Cage, he’s posing as a valet at a fancy party. He boosts a car from a rich and obnoxious politician, who hates rock music, video games, skateboarding and fun in general. While his cronies film it, Cage races the car to a ramp on a bridge and drives the car off, parachuting out of it at the last minute. He tells his extreme sports-watching audience, “Welcome to the Xander zone,” as he races off to an unexpected party at his house. During the party, he finds himself drugged and kidnapped.

When he wakes, Cage is in a cafe with a nervous waitress who sends him a message on a napkin saying, “911.” What looks like a robbery turns out to be a test set by NSA Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons (Jackson). Xander figured it out because no waitress would wear heels to work. Gibbons tries to recruit him for the NSA, and he’s given another test, post drugging. He ends up on a plane in Colombia, parachuting out of it with other recruits. They end up captured by a drug lord named El Jefe (Danny Trejo). When the government comes in and attacks, Cage escapes spectacularly, doing some crazy jumps on a motorcycle, though he tries to save a fellow recruit. He’s a nice guy, you know. Gibbons shows up after the battle and tells him he has two choices; he can take on an assignment for the government (the bad guys can totally spot police training, so they need outsiders for the job) or he can go to Leavenworth Prison and end up in solitary confinement. Gibbons refers to the xXx tattoo on Cage’s neck, refers to them as three strikes and decides to call him Triple X.

The xXx story goes on in our xXx story guide!

X, as he’s now called, heads to Prague to meet with the NSA support team where he’s teamed up with agent Milan Sova (Richy Müller). The mission is to find out what a rogue group’s secret project is. They head to a club owned by a group called Anarchy ’99, who’s leader Yorgi (Marton Csokas) is into some dark dealings. X sells Sova out as a cop and gets accepted into the gang. He sets up a deal to get some fancy cars with Yelena (Asia Argento), Yorgi’s girlfriend. Though the NSA gave him a specific list of cars, X adds a 1967 Pontiac GTO, upsetting Gibbons. He gets all the info the NSA needs by getting Yorgi’s brother, who is a fan of X’s, drunk on vodka. He heads back to base where young and eager agent Toby Lee Shavers (Michael Roof) gives him assorted weapons, including guns with fake blood darts, drug darts, explosives in a bandaid and a pair of x-ray binoculars that can see through walls when in “penetrator mode.”

There's more xXx story to come in our xXx story guide!

X heads back to Anarchy ’99 and gets his cars. Yorgi is happy to welcome him to the organization, but Sova breaks into the warehouse, messing up his deal. Yorgi thinks X betrayed him, but X shoots Sova during a high-speed chase, seemingly killing him. He used the fake blood dart, of course. At another Anarchy ’99 club party, Yorgi explains to X that the group is full of former Russian soldiers who left the Army in 1999 because of the death of their friends. The ’99 is in their honor. He implies that the government might fall and asks Yelena to take care of X. It’s strongly implied that he’s giving them permission to sleep together. Though they kiss once, Yelena tells him it will never happen again.

At an after party at the Anarchy ’99 mansion, he hooks up with a woman pole dancing on his bed frame, then heads out to do some recon. He sees Yelena opening up a floor safe and realizes she’s not who she appears to be. He tells her he knew, because despite her actions, her eyes give her away. They go to lunch where he offers her a way out. She doesn’t believe he’s an agent until she gets a call from Yorgi saying that he knows X is NSA. She asks X for immunity, asylum and citizenship. An agent is outside, waiting to shoot X, but they fake a violent fight and he escapes.

The xXx story gets pretty involved in our xXx story guide.

Once again, X is kidnapped by Gibbons, who says that, now that he’s made, the deal is off. He’s going to sweep the building and kill everyone. X tries to get him to save Yelena, and when Gibbons says no, X goes and finds her himself. Yorgi takes Yelena and his gang to see the results of their secret project, the one X was trying to learn about. It’s a group of Russian scientists who have come up with a biochemical weapon called “Silent Night.” It kills quickly, and it can be rendered harmless under water, clearing the way for the clean-up crew. They’ve also created a solar powered submarine called AHAB that can circumnavigate the globe, shooting poison bombs that can kill entire cities. The plan is to make governments around the world blame each other so anarchy will reign. He tests it on the scientists, killing them.

X sees this through the walls with his binoculars and tries to save Yelena. He escapes on a motor bike, and heads back to his room. Sova is waiting, and reveals that he’s on Anarchy ’99’s side. Yelena shoots Sova and reveals that she was a Russian agent under deep cover for two years and abandoned when the agency changed. They tell Gibbons about Silent Night. Gibbons explains that he used reverse psychology on X to get him to go back in. He promises to help Yelena leave the country.

The xXx story continues in our full xXx story guide.

The good guys storm the castle. Agent Shavers help X brief the team and X heads to the communications tower to knock it out. He does this by jumping out of a plane on a snowboard, and skiis down the mountain ahead of an avalanche that he set off. Yelena and X head back in to get Yorgi, who captures them and says he knows all about Yelena. He escapes with the hard drive and AHAB, following it in a boat. It’s going to blow up Prague, and Gibbons calls in air support, saying that it’s better to blow up one city than ten. Shavers has souped up the GTO (and gives X a manual). He and Yelena head off to catch the boat. After reading the manual, X realizes he has to zipline to the sub, get on top and stop the weapon. He can’t do it in time, so he turns it upside down so it will be harmeles in the water. It explodes, and they think he’s dead. Gibbons offers to get Yelena to the U.S. X is, of course, still alive, and he and Yelena head to Bora Bora.

xXx: State of the Union

The film opens with an attack on a Virginia horse farm that is covering an underground NSA bunker. 16 agents are killed and Agent Gibbons is targeted. He escapes with Agent Shavers and realizes they need a new xXx agent, now that Xander Cage has been reportedly killed in Bora Bora. This time around, Gibbons doesn’t want to go with a civilian. He decides to go with someone deadlier and with more attitude, something Shavers doesn’t think is possible. He goes to Leavenworth Prison to find former Navy SEAL, Lieutenant Curtis Stone (Ice Cube). Stone doesn’t want anything to do with Gibbons, though Gibbons tries to give him a speech about lions in captivity. (It’s the same speech he used on Cage to recruit him.) Stone isn’t buying it, but knowing he’ll get out of jail and get back at the man who put him away convinces him. Stone is nine years into a 20-year sentence for disobeying General George Deckert’s order to start a fire to clear out civilians while he was on duty in Kosovo. He and half of his unit mutinied and he broke Deckert’s jaw. The rest of his unit has gone missing and Deckert has become the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Gibbons tells Stone to be in the yard at 12:06, but doesn’t make it on time. Stone takes out the guards, does some parkour over the roof of the prison and jumps onto the rails of the waiting helicopter, flown by Shavers.

Ice Cube joins the xXx story as our xXx story guide continues!

Stone heads into the NSA bunker to steal a hard drive containing important information, but first he tells them he needs what every man needs after being in prison for so long. No, it’s not a lady. It’s a hamburger, fries and a shake. They look for a safe house in Stone’s old D.C. neighborhood, and head to a chop shop in the Capitol Theater. It’s run by his old friend Zeke (Xzibit), who tells him that Lola (Nola Gaye), his old flame, now works uptown at an exotic car shop. They head up there and though Lola isn’t very happy to see him, there is still a spark between them. She agrees to help them by giving them tricked out cars and a safe house in exchange for the 1967 GTO from the first film. She provides them with a new ride. Stone and Gibbons talk about the Kosovo incident and we learn that they served together. Stone feels bad for leaving him to deal with the aftermath and we find out that the fire is how Gibbons got his facial scar. (His eye has been fixed since the first film.)

Stone heads in to steal the hard drive from Gibbons’ office in the NSA bunker, blowing up Agent Kyle Steele’s (Scott Speedman) car in the process. Shavers his acting as his getaway man in the truck but is being chased by the cops. Stone, who has stolen a speed boat and blown up the rest so he can’t be followed, drives it up a ramp and lands on the bridge, blowing up the police car chasing Shavers and drives off with him. Meanwhile, Steele learns that Stone was a Navy SEAL, a trained sniper and had top scores, setting records. He had Level 5 security clearance and made the highest dive in Navy history at 250 feet. Before his military career, he was a minor criminal, boosting cars and committing other crimes after his mother died and his father was murdered by a stray bullet. Steele reviews prison tapes and realizes that Gibbons was the one who broke Stone out of Leavenworth.

The xXx story goes on and on in our xXx story guide!

Gibbons heads to his house to retrieve more information, and is ambushed. Deckert is waiting for him and after Gibbons is knocked out, he tells his men to make it look like Gibbons was killed by accident. They blow up his house and declare him dead in an accidental gas accident. Back at the car shop, Stone figures out that the information they need isn’t in the hard drive; it’s on it in the form of microfilm. He learns that he has to find someone named Charlie, who turns out to be a Senator’s aide named Charlie Mayweather (Sunny Mabrey). He makes contact with her at a restaurant, convincing her to help him. She gets him into a party where Deckert is speaking to Four Star General Jack Pettibone about the plan (Ned Schmidtke). Deckert sees him and realizes that he’s trying to foil his plot. Stone escapes and they return to her father’s mansion and she flirts, telling him to take a shower and that she’s just down the hall. He resists her charms, but when he leaves the shower, he finds Pettibone dead and sees the cops on the way. Charlie has framed him.

Steele arrives at the scene and heads in to speak to Stone. Stone microwaves a ton of food and puts it in the bathroom so the police see the heat signature, allowing him to leave. He heads back to the car shop where Lola gives him her Shelby Cobra prototype and tells him there are only three in the world and that they sell for half a million dollars. They’re about to kiss when Shavers returns to say he’s hacked into the Department of Defense. He found out that Deckert is taking the USS Independence up the Potomac River with his troops and tons of weapons.

There's more the xXx story and you can read all about it in our xXx story guide.

Stone infiltrates the ship and commandeers a tank. A battle with other tanks ensues. Stone finds that Gibbons is alive and imprisoned on the ship, along with the half of his unit that had disappeared. Charlie is there, speaking to Gibbons. He knocks her out, and Gibbons said he should have killed her. He tells Stone to leave them and head out to save the President. Stone gets away. Meanwhile, we learn that the President wants to promote peace in his upcoming State of the Union address, despite the fact that Deckert wants war. Stone meets with Steele, telling them about the plan for Deckert to kill the President, Vice President, Secretary of State and Speaker of the House so that he’s next in line for the Presidency. It’s going to happen at the State of the Union. Steele agrees to help, and reveals that he knows cars pretty well. They recruit Stone’s old friend Zeke and his chop shop buddies by telling them that they can boost cars on Pennsylvania Ave. if they help Stone break into the White House and through the security.

Deckert tells Gibbons that he’ll be the one to take the fall. The plan is to make it look like Gibbons faked his own death and took down the President. Deckert will look like a hero who tried his best to save the Commander in Chief. Stone, Zeke and the gang plow through road blocks and walls in their modified cars, then jack a tank. They make it to the White House as the lights go out and Deckert kidnaps the President. Steele tells Stone that he beat all Stone’s Navy SEAL records back in 1996. When they make it in, they free Gibbons who kills Charlie.

The xXx story continues in xXx: State of the Union! Read all about it in our xXx story recap!

Deckert has taken the President down three floors to the emergency bullet train. Lola gives Stone her Shelby and asks him to tell her how fast it can go. Stone follows the train in a high speed chase, eventually hitting the train tracks, blowing out the back of the train and jumping in, destroying the car. He fights his way past security (who are the other half of his unit who backed Deckert) until he reaches the President. In the air, Gibbons is piloting a helicopter, and Steele hangs out on a rope. Stone frees the President who jumps out of the train and grabs Steele as Gibbons whisks them away in the helicopter. Stone jumps out of the train right before Gibbons blows it up with a rocket. Stone shoots the water with one of Shavers’ insane guns to break up the surface tension, then jumps in.

Stone survives, but the President gives the Congressional Medal of Honor to Steele, holding one for the unknown soldier who saved his life. Deckert is buried with full military honors, covering up his role in the plot. Stone and Lola share a kiss, but Stone leaves, saying that he’s at his best when he’s on the run. As he leaves, we see an xXx tattoo on his neck, in the same place that Cage had one. Back at the NSA bunker, Gibbons and Steele discuss the next Triple X and how he has to be even further off the grid. Gibbons says he has a candidate in mind.

Are you guys ready for the xXx story to continue in The Return of Xander Cage? Leave us your thoughts in the comments or tweet us @ComingSoonNet!

Box Office

Weekend: Oct. 17, 2019, Oct. 20, 2019

New Releases