xXx is Unsurprisingly Bad but Split is Surprisingly Good

The new year never starts out with good movies. That’s pretty much the law of Hollywood now. If your movie was any good, you would release it in the previous year. January is where studios send their awful movies to die. This year was no exception. We started out with some truly hopeless garbage like Monster Trucks, The Bye Bye Man, and a new Underworld movie no one wanted. But today kicks off the 2017 year in movies with a couple of big releases.

Let’s start with Vin Diesel’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage. This is kind of a big deal. The original movie came out almost 15 years ago. That was very long ago. At that time back in 2002, there were as many xXx movies as there were Fast and Furious movies, 1. Since then Diesel has appeared in 92 Fast and Furious movies and has become one of the highest grossing actors in history. If they get this new xXx movie right, could they turn it into another billion dollar franchise for Diesel?

Doesn’t look like it. Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. There’s only room for one ridiculously stupid action franchise starring Vin Diesel. The reviews are not good and that’s with most critics knowing how mindless this movie was going to be. But I don’t know. Maybe the idiots will flock to this movie this weekend. I hope not as there are better options.

The other big release today is M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller Split. Shyamalan has had a rough 15 years. He hasn’t made a good movies since, actually xXx came out in 2002. Seriously, Signs came out the week before in August of 2002. Just a coincidence, maybe. Or Shyamalan was so disgusted by Diesel that he forgot how to make a good movie. There’s just one problem with that theory though. Shyamalan has made a good movie since, 2015 indie The Visit.

We wrote about Shyamalan’s rise, subsequent fall, and the beginning of his comeback way back when The Visit first came out. That film’s solid reviews but we weren’t about to declare Shyamalan back for good. But Split is getting even better reviews. Maybe he has the magic back, or maybe he never needed the magic and just needed a decade of failure to set him back on the right track. Either way, we’re excited he’s making good movies again.

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