Director: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Jordi Mallà, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista, Matt Nable & Karl Urban
Richard B. Riddick is not a household name. He’s featured in 2 movies, 1 animated movie, and 2 video games. Vin Diesel however is. Ask someone to describe Diesel and most often they’ll mention his muscles, bald head and deep voice. The perfect person to play a heartless murderer they may also say. Riddick is an escaped convict and a murderer. What sets him apart however is that he’s a Furyan, therefore stronger than most humans, and has had a surgical eyeshine job performed on him so that he can see in the dark. It sounds a bit crazy but it works.
The Riddick universe came into being in 2000 when the sleeper hit Pitch Black came to screens and it instantly got Riddick a cult following. 4 years later a sequel was released, attracting a bigger budget and big names to the franchise: Dame Judy Dench, Thandie Newton, Karl Urban and Colm Feore. The Chronicles of Riddick deals with Diesel becoming the leader of the Necromonger army but, unfortunately, it was a box office flop. This didn’t stop the fans though, who loved Riddick more than ever and banded together to get a new film out. 9 years later and they finally got what they have craved for so long.
The newest film in the line is said to be the first in a trilogy with the next two movies supposedly already in production. As with the previous 2 instalments, David Twohy was in charge of writing the script and directing. Karl Urban is the only actor from the previous films to reprises his role in a cameo performance as Lord Vaako.
Left for dead by his army, the film sees Riddick on a sun-scorched planet and having to activate a beacon to get rescued. The beacon soon attracts bounty hunters from across the galaxy all looking for the prize, and for one revenge. But Riddick has a plan of his own and, when it starts to rain, there’s only one anti-hero that you’d want on your side. Nick Chinlund, the character of Toombs in TCoR, is not in the newest addition but said this was because ‘they are going back to the Pitch Black tone. Grittier’.
Due to them wanting an R rating for the movie it meant that Diesel had to work for scale – the industry’s way of saying he would receive the lowest wage possible deemed by the actor’s unions. It goes to show how passionate Twohy and Diesel are about Riddick that they were willing to go so far to make this movie.
Riddick was released in IMAX on September 6th 2013 in the UK. This is a great movie. There’s action, teases of romance, and even unexpected comedy thanks to Diesel. There’s just so much pointless film included. Let’s start with the plot. For a good 30minutes Diesel is figuring out how to get across a pond (filled with monsters) and growing a dog. Not bad as the monsters come to the forefront later, but it could have been cut down to a 10minute part. The ‘head in a box’ joke never gets old and ends brilliantly. But you watch the film and all that you can think of is Pitch Black.
In Riddick’s first outing he was stuck on a planet with photo-sensitive winged monsters that emerged when it got dark and killed nearly everyone. In his third, the monsters are poisonous, scorpion-like creatures (named ‘Mud Demons’) which come alive when wet (as seen with the pond). During the second act it starts to rain… and it also gets dark. It’s the same plot with a few twists!
The rest of the cast is full of pretty big names: Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Jordi Mollà (Blow), and Dave Bautista (The Man with the Iron Fists). Mallà and Sackhoff rub off great against each other with the non-existent sexual chemistry and violence, and Bautista is a worthy adversary to Diesel, in terms of muscles.
Riddick is a great movie. It’s full of action, has amazing graphics, and Diesel is brilliant returning to his 2nd most known character. The only negative would be that the storyline seems to be recycled from the previous film.