Los Angeles Times - 04/29/2005
"STATE OF THE UNION opens explosively and never lets up, with Lee Tamahori in full command of the action and Simon Kinberg an equally astute writer with a flair for linking socko action set pieces with terse characterization and a sure sense of topicality."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/13/2005
"Dafoe, with his rattlesnake charm, creates a witty comic-book X-ray of American military arrogance."
Ice Cube replaces Vin Diesel for this hard-bangin' sequel which favors fists, cars, and snooping over the original's heavy dose of extreme sports stunts. NSA agent Gibbons (Samuel Jackson, back from the original) finds his group under attack by well-armed, well-informed combatants, forcing him to activate a new XXX, Darius Stone (Cube), an old Navy Seal buddy currently cooling his heels in an army prison. It turns out there's a plan to whack the president (Peter Strauss) and a deranged secretary of defense played by Willem Dafoe is behind it. What's more important is the cool way Darius knows how to land a speeding boat on a bridge, then walk away in slow motion as it blows up behind him. Other great scenes include a tank battle on an aircraft carrier and a race with a bullet train that makes THE FRENCH CONNECTION look like a turtle race. There's some hilarious dialogue, such as when Darius recruits his old D.C. car-jacking buddies to ride into battle against the corrupt militia, leading to the "first tank-jacking in history." Scott Speedman plays a sympathetic Fed; Lola Jackson and Sunny Mabrey are the sexy chicks. There's lots of greal looking cars, cool gadgets, and pumpin' rap-crunk music. Director Lee Tamahori also helmed James Bond's DIE ANOTHER DAY and the 1997 thriller THE EDGE.
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