Episode 447: xXx: The World Will Catch Sick Air

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we tackle “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage,” Vin Diesel’s triumphant return the xXx franchise.

Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather hop on the skateboard for a trip back into the Xander Zone with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

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3 Comments on “Episode 447: xXx: The World Will Catch Sick Air”

  1. Peter Tupper #

    Moore’s law applies to both encryption technology and the MacGuffin black box that decrypts everything. The Sneakers black box can now fit on a penny, but it is hopelessly obsolete. Thus, the current MacGuffin device must have that awkward size and form factor.


  2. clayschuldt #

    I am sorry, I didn’t study for this episode. I saw “Split” instead, so I am prepared for that discussion.


  3. ScholarSarah #

    About the casual misogyny you mentioned as being employed by the antagonist in xXx (2002): I do not like when stories contain casual misogyny, and excuse it as belonging to a villain.

    First, generally, these stories often fail to engage further with the idea, which is thematically unsatisfying.

    Second, it can serve to trivialize the misogyny: by including it but de-centering it, the story reinforces the idea that it doesn’t have negative consequences, and isn’t a problem worth addressing on its own.

    Third, it obscures the way that misogyny works. It underlies assumptions and attitudes that everyone has: the villain, the male lead, and even the female lead will have their behavior affected by unconscious misogynist beliefs.
    An interesting exploration of this is in “Mulan”: the strict gender role that causes Mulan such distress, and imperils the emperor when the Huns infiltrate the palace at the end, is only ever an issue to the good guys. Her family, the matchmaker, and the Chinese soldiers have strong opinions on gender roles, and even Shang is willing to freeze her out when he discovers she isn’t male. Shan Yu, however, doesn’t have a word to say about her gender: he isn’t offended that a woman defeated his army, nor does he employ gendered insults against her.

    I like the movie taking the misogyny away from the villain, because Shan Yu’s misogyny can’t hurt Mulan more than his sword can, but the belief in gender roles employed by the good guys, no matter how well meaning, can cause her existential pain. And it is that complexity, that depth of engagement and meaning that is lost and obscured when a story has an incidentally misogynist villain.

    (In my statements about Mulan, I am drawing on an article by Jana on the Fandomentals, available at https://www.thefandomentals.com/true-villain-mulan/).


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