xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

After 15 years dormant, Xander Cage is back to save the world in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. With Vin Diesel's return to the franchise, and the film qualifying as the first entry in the series in 12 years, the filmmakers are going to have to make quite a splash to bring the brand back with a vengeance. So obviously, there's one quick way that a would be blockbuster can do that: a 3D conversion!

But is xXx: The Return of Xander Cage worth the extra 3D money, or should you save up for a skateboard and some knuckle-less gloves? Well, that's what we here at "To 3D or Not To 3D" are here to determine! If you're looking for a proper review of the film, you'll have to click here to find that information. But in this evaluation, we're focusing solely on the 3D presentation of the film. Now that you're nice and pumped, it's go time!

3D Fit Score
4/5

Honestly, upon learning xXx: The Return of Xander Cage was going to be in 3D, it was a bit of a surprise. It didn't feel like a totally natural move, but at the same time, the extreme nature of the film does lend itself to a proper 3D spectacle. It's only a slightly odd fit, but considering what gets converted into 3D these days, it's not the weirdest fit.

Planning & Effort Score
5/5

Speaking of conversion, the good folks at Stereo-D are behind the 3D process on xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. The stigma typically afforded to post-converted 3D films has fallen off in recent years, yet conversions like this and Mad Max: Fury Road have shown how 3D can still work in a completely controlled process. This is a 3D presentation that Paramount can be proud of.

Before the Window Score
4/5

There are a good number of effects that use the Before The Window factor quite well in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. Dirt being kicked up by bikes and objects, flying satellite debris, smoke effects and pointed guns pop off of the screen with brilliant detail. Unfortunately, there's still a couple effects that stop short of popping out at the audience, despite setting themselves up brilliantly to do so.

Beyond the Window Score
4/5

When conveying the depth of picture most films take for granted with their 3D variants, there's two things that tend to be the greatest indicators: the depth in the backgrounds, and spatial reasoning between people and objects. Sadly, the depth of the backgrounds in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage aren't very impressive, as there's not much deep detail in the film's picture. However, the spatial reasoning mentioned above is pretty well defined, so that makes up for most of the depth the picture is lacking.

Brightness Score
4/5

One of the most common problems with 3D movies has always been the brightness factor. While your mileage may vary, depending on how well / regularly your local theater calibrates their projectors, the screening of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage evaluated for this column was presented in IMAX 3D. With only a little bit of darkness present in the picture once you put your glasses on, the majority of the picture is bright and clear for all to see.

Glasses Off Score
4/5

If you've ever taken your glasses off during a 3D movie, you'll notice that the picture can get a bit blurry. Well, the blurrier the picture is, the better it tends to be for the 3D effects in whatever film you're watching. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is, for the most part, a pretty blurry picture when the glasses are off. Even the typical up close and personal shots that typically show minimal to no blur actually tend to have a bit of blur involved.

Audience Health Score
5/5

For all of the fast paced action and quick cutting that xXx: The Return of Xander Cage engages in, the 3D doesn't wonk out at any given moment during the film's presentation. More importantly, there's no sickening effects that cause nausea and/or eye strain while watching the movie. If you're looking for an easy film to watch in 3D, this is probably the smoothest ride you can get in theaters at the moment.

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