This had to make the list. As one of Hollywood’s most rampant attacks on action sports Triple X (or xXx in case you’d forgotten just how “X-treme” it was), tried to tick as many adrenaline fuelled boxes as possible, cramming everything from motocross and skateboarding to climbing, base-jumping and of course snowboarding into one giant mess of a movie.
It’s a shame because the prospect of Vin Diesel as a gritty, muscle-bound James Bond using extreme sports to defeat the bad guys had promise.
But thanks to heavy reliance on CGI and a lead character throwing his toys out of the pram because ‘the man’ won’t let him play GTA this became a cartoon instead of the edgy, cool thriller it could have been (think more along the lines of The Pacifier than Pitch Black in the Diesel oeuvre).
“This is more along the lines of The Pacifier than Pitch Black in the Diesel oeuvre.”
This heavy-handed treatment left its finger prints all over the movie’s token snowboard scene as Vin dives out of a plane strapped to his board – whose bindings helpfully change angles mid air so that he can both airboard and snowboard as he hits the mountain below.
As Diesel spots the bad guys racing up the valley he decides there’s only one sensible course of action and throws grenades into the snow behind him. This creates an avalanche of epic CGI proportions that he somehow outpaces down the mountain, before using that tried and tested avalanche safety technique – clinging to a flimsy aerial – to save him from hundreds of tonnes of white death.
To cap it all off Vin digs himself out of the avalanche that has smothered him (somehow conscious and able to move unlike most avalanche victims and utters the unforgivable line “Nothing like fresh powder!”