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Riddick (2013)

  Tags: action, aliens, Dave Bautista, David Twohy, Jordi Molla, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, monsters, Nolan Funk, Pitch Black, Riddick, sci-fi, scifi, sequel, space, The Chronicles of Riddick, thriller, Universal Pictures, Vin Diesel

Your rating: None Average: 7.6 (8 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

riddickposter2.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
David Twohy
Runtime: 
119 minutes
Cast: 
Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Nolan Funk, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable Bokeem Woodbine, Dave Bautista, Conrad Pla, Raoul Trujillo, Keri Hilson, Dave Bautista


I've been a huge fan of the Riddick character ever since his appearance in Pitch Black and apparently actor Vin Diesel also loves the character enough that he and writer/director David Twohy have been trying to make another film for years, even after the critical and box office failure of Chronicles of Riddick. The problem with that film was the studio's hand in it, as they attempted to mold what started out as a small gritty dark sci-fi thriller into a big-budgeted action sci-fi epic. Although the movie did offer some badass scenes, the story and its uninteresting supporting characters just weren't strong enough to turn it into the next big franchise. Not to mention its toned down PG-13 rating, which essentially neutered the Riddick character to a certain extent.

This has been a passion project for Vin Diesel and apparently the hardest part in moving forward (aside from proper financing) was securing that R-rating, which he and director David Twohy were adamant about. I'm glad they stood their ground against the evil studio-heads, because now we've got Riddick as he was meant to be once again--ruthless, cunning and unapologetic. And as a fan (despite some script issues) I'm happy with how it turned out.

The flick takes place many years after Riddick became Lord Marshall of the Necromongers. Reluctant from the start, power and boredom weigh heavy on him, as all he wants is to return to his home planet of Furya. Karl Urban briefly returns as Commander Vaako, who claims to know where it is. However, Riddick soon discovers that all Vaako wants is the throne (no surprise!), and the Furyan is left for dead on yet another unknown planet. Of course being the survivor that he is, he adapts and finds that his only way off the treacherous planet is to hitch a ride from a group of mercs that have discovered his location.

The first 30-or-so minutes of the pic is spent on Riddick simply adapting to his environment; learning what to avoid and use to his advantage. He eventually befriends some sort of native dog-like creature, which was cool to see alongside Riddick. Watching how he survives this barren wasteland and educating himself of its local inhabitants (friendly and otherwise) was probably the strongest and most interesting part of the film for me. If the whole movie was just about Riddick and his pet going from point A to point B and dealing with all the terrain, aliens, and obstacles along the way, then this would've been an awesome movie, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, after the 30-minute mark the pacing slows down a bit and the rest of the flick is spent on the mercs dealing with Riddick. Naturally this eventually leads to them having to work together after its discovered that a storm is heading their way, which would also bring forth a local deadly alien species (kinda sounds familiar doesn't it?). Basically, once the mercs arrive it's a retread of Pitch Black, which was rather disappointing. Regardless, I dug some of the new characters and Riddick picking them off and playing mind games on them was amusing. It's just great to see Riddick back in true form, I just wished the script had been tighter.

Although not as powerful as the first, this sequel is definitely an improvement over Chronicles. It was great seeing Riddick back in true form, especially sporting that R-rating. Sadly, the script could've been better as it was essentially a retread of Pitch Black after a certain point. Like I said before, had it just been about Riddick surviving the planet and finding a way off, it would've been a much more interesting and better movie overall. As it stands, it's a good, but also semi-disappointing sequel. Either way, fans of the character and series (like myself) will look passed some of its faults and enjoy seeing their favorite anti-hero once again.

Posted on September 9, 2013 - 1:08pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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