REVIEW: Riddick

"Riddick is deadlier than ever."

8/10

Betrayed by the Necromongers and left for dead on a hostile planet, Riddick enables a distress beacon luring two crews of bounty hunters to him in hopes of securing a ship before the coming storm laced with a deadly alien threat.   

I remember watching PITCH BLACK for the first time and instantly loving Riddick as a new breed of anti-hero.  Vin Diesel brought it and left me wanting more.  CHRONICKLES OF RIDDICK was a much anticipated sequel, and as much as everyone loves to take pot shots at it, I dug it for what it was.  Sure, losing the R rating hurt (Riddick is spelt with a capital R for a reason), but if you take a step back from all three films, the first and third are Riddick VS monsters and bounty hunters, which is cool, but at least CHRONICLES introduces us to a new breed of human monster which adds much needed depth to Riddick’s universe.  Hardcore Riddick fans want to see him tackle the Underverse, so here’s hoping we see that film down the line.  As far as RIDDICK is concerned, the fans will welcome it with open arms.

The first act explores Riddick’s betrayal at the hands of Vaako, which leaves him injured and left for dead on some random alien infested planet.  Riddick re-evaluates his current plight, and reverts back to the primal side we saw in PITCH BLACK.  This is a good thing.  I loved this journey, as well as seeing him be-friend one of the dog-like creatures who helps him hunt (their relationship had a, I AM LEGEND feel to it).  The aliens weren’t anything special, but CGI wasn’t bad and the presentation was decent enough.  The real fun comes when Riddick realizes a storm’s coming that’ll swamp the planet with these creatures (ala nightfall in PITCH BLACK), so he decides to send a distress beacon out in hopes of luring some greedy mercs out for his head.  He isn’t waiting long.

The two mercenary groups are fun to watch.  One group is purely in it for the loot, while the other had a personal agenda with Riddick.  The trailers didn’t do the script justice, because as lame and un-entertaining as it could have been, the back and forth bickering between these two groups was both hilarious and awesome.  Add Riddick and some aliens to the mix, and all hell breaks loose.  I won’t give anything away, but suffice to say, the way it goes down isn’t as ‘play by numbers’ as I expected it to be.

RIDDICK is what it is, a gritty, violent, action piece for Vin Diesel’s prized character.  At no point does this flick try to be anything else (as CHRONICKLES sometimes did), and it works.  Yes, the dialogue feels like an R rated Michael Bay film, but I happen to like Bay’s work, so no complaints there.  Do we need the R rating?  Most definitely.  Riddick should not be confined to PG-13 territory.  Ever.  Diesel fought hard to put this baby out there, rolling the dice with the studios for his cameo appearance in TOKYO DRIFT which earned him the rights to RIDDICK.  He also mortgaged his damn house (this all went down before audiences were wowed by his return to the FF franchise), so to say he really wanted this would be a severe understatement.  He posted a comment on Facebook a while back saying something to the effect of, ‘This year I wanted to do two things; get Letty back and put Riddick back on the big screen.’  He accomplished both, and as far as I’m concerned, did a hell of a great job doing it.  I for one am very happy with Diesel’s continued success and wish him all the best with his future projects. 

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