Friday, September 13, 2013


The original Pitch Black (2000) introduced the world to the muscular, ethnically ambiguous good looks of Vin Diesel. He has gone on to become more well-known (and well compensated) for his appearance in the "Fast and Furious" movie franchise about hot cars and hotter "chicks" but it was a surprisingly successful low-budget sci-fi/horror flick that started it all. Apparently Diesel is pretty fond of the character introduced in that film, named Richard B. Riddick because he has now played him in three films. In fact, after the spectactularly awful sequel The Chronicles of Riddick the studio refused to even cnosider making any more films in the franchise and Diesel bartered his appearance fee in one of the many Fast and Furious sequels for comprehensive rights to the Riddick character so that he could make sequels if he wished.

For Riddick, Diesel again brought in the creative team behind all the Riddick films, writer and director David Twohy (most well-known for the disaster that was Waterworld). The film is cast with various unfamiliar faces, with the notable exceptions of Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck from SyFy's Battlestar Galactica) and Bokeem Woodbine.

The latest Riddick film has a sense of being very deliberately created to try and replicate the feeling of the first film. There are lot of scenes with just Riddick and a digitally created dog surrogate (which sort of looks like a cross between a hyena, wolf, cat and a rat) with almost no dialogue. As in the first one, the creature effects are well above average and, somewhat surprisingly, the creatures are very different from those that appeared in the other films.

The premise in this film is that Riddick gets abandoned on a harsh,barren planet through treachery and when mercenaries come to pick up the bounty on his head (which is doubled if he's brought back dead!) he is able to leverage the local deadly alien flora and fauna to convince his purported captors that he can can save their lives but in return they'll need to help get him off the planet.

Although it has a lowly 57% rating on (65% from audiences), if you go into the film with low expectations and still have fond memories of the first film, Riddick is a perfectly pleasant way to spend two hours at the movies, which from the look at upcoming attractions for the next month or two is going to be a rare event in the near future.

Title: Riddick.
Director: David Twohy.
Running Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.
Release Date: September 6, 2013.
Viewing Date: September 12, 2013.

Writing: B+.
Acting: C.
Visuals: A-.
Impact: C-.

Overall Grade: B- (2.67/4.0).

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Good review Ron. While it won't win any points for being smart or anything, it did win some for being a fun, but dumb movie, and not apologizing for being so.


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