This latest movie is a manhunt, plain and simple. Yet this simplicity helped Riddick feel like an instant classic and another memorable (mis)adventure with Riddick (played by Vin Diesel).
Riddick is getting a bit tired of being the king of the Necromongers (his ascension to the throne being where the last movie left off), and he’s decided to go back to his infernal home. No, it’s not hell, but one of the nearby locales: Furia.
Instead, the ranks of disgruntled Necromonger generals beneath him have a different plan—one which they execute rather well considering that Riddick is on the receiving end.
Riddick ends up stranded on a hellhole of a planet that is not Furia, where everything that is not rock or sand is trying to make a meal out of him. Riddick is also badly injured and not nearly the savage that he used to be to simply walk it all off. He has to dig deep and find that part of himself that welcomed all the odds to be in his enemy’s favour. The only question is will he rediscover that titanium core inside himself before something else eats the fleshy bits encasing it.
I dare say, this is the first time we see Riddick vulnerable and maybe even slightly afraid. Of course, his fear is like his tears, not something mere mortals can see.
Shortly after watching Riddick, I rewatched Pitch Black (the first ‘Riddick’ movie), which, in many ways, is very similar to this new movie. In fact, if you have seen Pitch Black too recently, you may feel ripped off at the similarities of the two movies, their plots, stories, etc.
It feels like this movie was made just for the sake of making another Riddick movie, but the character Riddick is so powerful, captivating, and enviable that the movie sacrifices no entertainment because of this literary lethargy.
The supporting actors were well chosen and each played his/her role convincingly (up until Riddick takes them off the screen … permanently).
There is also quite a bit of humour in this movie, and not the usual corny type jokes about who left the airlock ajar, either. This humour seems to come just at the right time between actions scenes and suspenseful moments. This emotional turbulence makes Riddick one exciting movie to watch (and re-watch).
Somewhat disappointingly, we don’t learn much more about Riddick’s past or even his future, but this lack of continuity does have some benefit for the movie: I doubt anyone would be at a loss for not having seen any of the previous Riddick movies. The best thing this somewhat obscure franchise needed was to appeal to new audiences, and that it most certainly will do.
Much of the suspense I felt during the movie was a not-so-irrational fear that this may be an attempt to kill either the franchise, or the Riddick character, or both—if the latest round of sci-fi remakes and sequels are anything to judge by! So even though Riddick is invincible, he felt, looked, and behaved as if he were fighting just to have another chance at appearing on the big screen.
This artificial but plausible fear made me absolutely enjoy Riddick, and I consider it to be the best Riddick movie I’ve seen to date. This could so easily have been another one of those resurgence movies where all superheroes seem to go to die these days, but it is not. Riddick is a classic sci-fi manhunt movie involving a truly captivating character that shows no sign of losing his cool or his skill, and Riddick delivered everything I expected from a movie that has Vin Diesel wandering about its sets.
Riddick may have the plot of a b-rated sci-fi movie, but Vin Diesel’s character and performance keeps the movie thrilling even if it wanders through familiar wastelands. Nonetheless, Riddick is an authentic Riddick movie and shows him soul searching to find his that inner savage he had lost in his courtship with civility. For Riddick fans, this movie will either impress or utterly disappoint—as there is practically no fence to sit on (Riddick tore it down).
I can definitely recommend this movie to anyone who craves an old-school sci-fi movie that dispenses with the saving of worlds, races, and mankind’s sense of morality. It’s just bad weather, bad nature, a couple of bad asses, and, of course, Riddick—and that, strangely (as I usually detest simplistic, template movies), is all this movie needs to get my thumbs up!
Definitely go and see Riddick—your popcorn and slushie will go down much easier for it.
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