xxxstate1.jpgI don't know how I missed Armond White's review of XXX: State of the Union, but it's the only piece of text on the film that I've found that considers its (failed) political aspirations. I know, I know - why even bother dissecting a franchise widget for traces of ideological relevance? Well, according to White, we don't even have to work that hard - director Lee Tamahori makes his project pretty clear.

"It's idiotic to watch State of the Union as a thrill ride and ignore its cultural signals. [Ice] Cube and Tamahori intend to address ghetto (and race) anxiety by escalating Darius' rebellion to the level of a national emergency," White writes. "By the time Darius tells a white agent, "I was born looking guilty!" the race card is played out." Too bad the action scenes look like "X-box graphics", and Tamahori is ultimately willing to accept "political inanity as an adequate form of liberated macho fantasy." White concludes: "Cube and Tamahori collaborate to convert hip-hop's social impressions into a videogame movie. They didn't stop to realize that a videogame movie leaves you nothing to do with hands but masturbate."
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