Written by: Matt Molgaard
I’m a fan of David Twohy’s Riddick franchise. It’s not what I’d deem classic material, and not a single film in the lot is what I’d label technically flawless. But these are fun, brainless pieces of cinema that a lot of fans will remember years from now because they do one thing very, very successfully: they entertain. Pitch Black, for my money, still stands as the strongest of the trio. It was dark (well, the first half was, in literal terms quite bright), edgy, short on punchlines and rewarding from both an ation and a horror fans stance. The Chronicles of Riddick had a bit more of an epic sci-fi feel to it, and Riddick, the latest in the franchise is a fair blend of both vibes.
Riddick’s back on a hazardous planet where the sun beats down and the monsters crawl about in abundance. There are a handful of mercs in hot pursuit, some for the financial gain, and others for completely different reasons. When all forces meet, and the darkness and rain wake the monstrosities of the planet, it’s a free for all in the homicide department. Anyone or thing can die at any time, and most will.
The action sequences are rather rewarding, and there are a few amazing shots in which gore is the true shiner. One gentleman gets his head cut clean in half, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t disgustingly beautiful. The story, in general, is really just a small slice of Riddick’s life. There are no major ramifications that loom (other than the obvious issue with death), no great indication that something profound is approaching. No foreshadowing. It’s just a few really rough days for Riddick and a bunch of would-be tough guys. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But the true, true errors of the flick come into play when the vocal exchanges open up. This dialogue is beyond terrible, defining a new level of camp for the Riddick brand and ultimately devaluing the picture significantly.
If you’re a fan of the Riddick movies, or you dig Vin Diesel’s work, Riddick is worth a look. It isn’t amazing, it isn’t outright wretched. If you’ve got a spare hour and a half, a few beers to drink and a comfortable recliner, Riddick isn’t an utter waste.