Watch This: Vin Diesel trades cars for snowboards in his post-Furious action vehicle

Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: About a year ago, we singled out some of our favorite unloved summer blockbusters. With the event-movie season upon us again, it’s time for the sequel.

xXx (2002)

Given the current ubiquity of the Fast & Furious franchise, it seems odd that the first thing producer Neal H. Moritz, director Rob Cohen, and star Vin Diesel did upon finishing the original was launch full-bore into the extreme-sports action gala xXx rather than 2 Fast 2 Furious (or whatever the Diesel-fied version would have been). It’s even odder that everyone at the time thought this was a good idea. The oddest thing of all is that it actually kind of was.

Two central elements, inextricable from xXx’s existence, tie it tightly to the year 2002: It celebrates “extreme” sports as …

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