Riddick is the third installment in the Riddiverse that started with PITCH BLACK (2000) and was followed by THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK (2004). Vin Diesel is back as our favorite butt-kicking anti-hero in the film written and directed by David Twohy.
The plot focuses on the anti-hero Riddick; he has been left for dead on a desert planet where he finds himself fighting for his life against alien predators far more viscious than any human he has ever faced. Riddick is forced to use a beacon to alert the very bounty hunters he has been evading to come and collect him as this is the only way he can possibly escape.
The mercs that arrive are even more lethal than any Riddick has faced before, and onboard one of the ships is a captain who has a very personal score to settle.
Vin Diesel is joined on the cast by Karl Urban who reprises the role of Vaako, former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista who plays Diaz and Katee Sackhoff who plays Dahl.
After the lack-luster showing of 2004’s THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK where it barely made back what it spent, RIDDICK used a mere $38 million to produce. This was a little evident in some areas of the CGI. At times, you could tell the actors were on a sound stage. Also, the hoverbikes were a neat idea, but didn’t play out well on the screen. The animals that passed for dogs, being a cross between hyenas and great danes, was a good attempt, but the killer scorpion-whatever-thingys were really cool!
When you have two rival merc groups descending on the planet to take the head of the universe’s baddest outlaw, you expect some awesome tech to show up. And it does. Betweeen the electro-guns and the weapons used by the Necromongers, there’s some fun ways to kill someone. What disappointed me though, was the bikes. They looked like hogs with ape-hangars. You know, the choppers with the big, tall handlebars? But, when viewed in action, they lost a little of the awesome due to bad CGI.
The plot was a simple hodge-podge of a lot of sci-fi stories, but the characters helped to move it along fairly well. Riddick finds himself alone on this savage planet and soon in trouble due to a natural phenomenon that he knows he won’t survive. He sets off a beacon at a merc way-station, expecting to get a ride out, one way or another. Instead, two groups show up. One group is led by Santana (Jordi Mollà), who is just a little off his rocker, and the other is a military-style outfit led by Boss Johns (Matt Nable). Boss has a personal reason to be after Riddick, but Santana just wants his head in a box so that he can collect the reward. Which is double if Riddick is dead.
There’s some humor in this movie, also. Riddick get’s to train one of the alien dogs to be a protector/companion and you get some great moments between the two of them. Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) is Boss’ right-hand woman and can take on any man, which she does in some great scenes. Diaz (Dave Bautista) is in Santana’s group and he gets to throw around a few good lines himself. One of the best scenes though is when Santana doesn’t know if Riddick has tampered with a locker that is locked with an explosive lock. It’s a riot to watch, not know what’s gonna happen! There are an occasional “did they really just say that?” moments when the writing could have been better, but for the most part, the rest of the writing makes up for it.
RIDDICK is a fun romp across a desert planet, with a boy and his dog. Bad guys are inbound and don’t know what they are getting in to and it ends on a good note. I liked it and will watch it again. I hope you enjoy it, too.
Have you seen it already? What did you think?