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Riddick (2013) – Review

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star

Vin Diesel – Riddick (The Iron Giant, The Fast and the Furious)
Katee Sackhoff – Dahl (Battlestar Galactica, Nip/Tuck)
Dave Bautista – Diaz (WWE, The Man with the Iron Fists)
Bokeem Woodbine – Moss (The Rock, Devil, Black Dynamite) (Moss Garcia?!?!)
Jordi Molla – Santana (Colombiana, Bad Boys 2)

basics

After the events in The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick is abandoned on a planet full of some of the worst creatures imaginable.

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movie

I thought Pitch Black was a great movie and immediately loved the character of Riddick, as did many others. He was one of the best anti-heroes to come along in quite some time. They expanded on the character with The Chronicles of Riddick which, while still having Riddick’s mean streak, did play more like a space opera than the sci-fi horror of the first film. This upset some people, but I thought it was grand.

Now, with Riddick, they are getting back to the character’s roots and reminding us just how much of a threat he is by himself.

The film takes place a while after Chronicles. Riddick has become complacent, but after being abandoned on a desolate planet, he is forced to rediscover his primal side.

A nice chunk of the film takes place with just Riddick by himself, which was excellent. I enjoyed seeing how he adapted to his environment, and it showed how strong his character was. Most characters are paper-thin these days, so having about 15-20 minutes of Riddick solo showed how interesting he is.

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cast

Vin Diesel once again shined as Riddick. He was an intelligent smart-ass who completely dominated every scene. Even though, technically, he is the “bad guy,” he always shows more honor and has a code that rivals the “good guys.” However, he still does bad things to get the job done, and he is vicious when he needs to be. This is the role Diesel was born to play.

Katee Sackoff was outstanding as Dahl. She was more than just the token tough chick. She took no shit from the rival team of bounty hunters and frequently held her own when she needed to. I really hope she returns in future installments of the series.

directing

David Twohy nailed it again. How does this guy not get more work? He has yet to direct a bad film in my book. He managed to incorporate all the elements of this story in an exciting way, and even though there were some slower parts, the film never felt boring.

So sad that he only pops up to direct a film every 3 years or so. The guy deserves so much better. He wrote almost everything he has directed, and each film has its own unique flair. In a perfect world, Twohy would be making more films, and Bay would be back doing music videos.

behind

After The Chronicles of Riddick underperformed at the box office, Paramount shelved the franchise. In 2006, Vin Diesel agreed to do the cameo in Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift to acquire the rights to the character of Riddick. He spent the next seven years working towards getting this film made.

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overall

I thought this was a great return to a very underrated franchise. While I do like the Fast and Furious movies, I would much rather be on the 7th installment of Riddick than Fast and Furious 7.

While I did like the more grandious sci-fi elements of Chronicles, having the series return to the more dark and violent aspects of Pitch Black was the shot in the arm they needed. This movie wore its R rating proudly and I applaud them for not backing down to a lesser rating to try and appeal to a bigger audience. Good to know some films are still being made for adults!

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The movie is currently getting a beating from the critics, which baffles me. This was everything I had hoped for in a Riddick sequel.

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19 Responses to “Riddick (2013) – Review”

  • Cristiona:

    I thought Pitch Black was one of the best movies made recently. It was far more intelligent than it had any right to be, and it was amazingly well done. It’s the first movie I paid full price to see more than once. I enjoyed Chronicles, but it was certainly a solid genre shift. It was the Aliens to Pitch Black’s Alien.

    Haven’t had a chance to see this new one yet, but it’s on my list. The complaints seem to be on it being a Big Dumb Action Movie (yeah, and?) and there’s been a lot of cries about sexism. But maybe that’s just because Tumblr.

    • Cecil:

      When Pitch Black came out it caught everyone off guard because I think they were expecting an Alien ripoff but instead it was a smart film that focused on the characters and how their were going to survive their ordeal. In the process, the character of Riddick really came out strong and captured the interest of the audience. Definitely one of the most interesting characters to come along in quite some time.

      I give major kudos to Chronicles for expanding the scope of this universe Riddick inhabited. Although I’m going to repeat something I saw elsewhere, that Chronicles was the third movie in a trilogy that happened to be released in the 2nd spot. I’m glad Riddick was back to basics but I would love for this to lead up to a big final showdown with him and the Necromongers.

      I think a large part of Riddick’s (the 3rd movie) problem with audiences is some folks just don’t pay attention. I work with a guy who saw it this past weekend and he didn’t like it because he thought they didn’t explain certain things. Not going to spoil it here but lets just say that an hour later after I explained the whole movie to him, he basically overlooked huge chunks of the film where they clearly explained things. Not saying this is everyone but this does seem to be a trend I notice whenever a movie comes out and is bashed for not making sense.

  • Cristiona:

    Oh, and you’re spot on about Twohy. The man’s a freaking genius. I watched A Perfect Getaway on your recomendation and his name, and it’s one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever seen. Below and The Arrival are also pretty darn underrated.

    The man really needs to get more work.

    • Cecil:

      Awesome, so glad to hear. Twohy is great and its a shame he isn’t bigger, he deserves it. Check out Timescape (aka The Grand Tour). It’s his first movie and even though you can tell they were really stretching the lower budget, the story and just about everything else is rock solid.

      • Martin:

        Wow, someone besides me who likes Timescape. No one I know has even heard of it. Timescape for me is proof that it’s always a good idea to search through the DVD bargain bin at your local supermarket. Great opening, rock solid central performance, interesting story – I think the movie suffered a little bit from the silly costumes of the tourists; I like them, but they’re very outlandish…
        Never have seen any other movie by Twohy, but now I definitely gonna check them all out.
        I found your site two weeks ago and have now seen all of your episodes. Great work. So many movies I never heard about and now want to see, thanks for that. (Last weekend I watched all three “Ninja” movies. Twas fun.)

        • Cecil:

          Timescape blew me away when I first saw it because it had just come out on VHS and I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away by how fresh and original it was. A few extra bucks could have helped with the outfits but overall the story and acting was strong enough to overcome any nitpicky things. (for me at least)

          Oh you have to check out other Twohy films, they are all something special. You should start with The Arrival and move on up the list.

          Thanks! Glad you found the site and are enjoying the episodes. If you like 80s Ninja movies you should see if you can track down Pray for Death with the awesome Sho Kasugi. It’s one of my favorites.

  • john:

    I thought Pitch Black was OK and Chronicles is underrated. Good action, characters, villain and story that tried to do something different in a big sci-fi universe film that didn’t tried to be different from Star Wars.

    Riddick was OK I went in expecting a standard action flick similar to Pitch Black fighting CGI monsters but with mercenaries. Glad it was only near the end that they teamed up so it was actually better than I was expecting.

    Hugely disappointing was the fight between Riddick and Diaz.

    I was going to see You’re Next on your previous review recommendation but my local cinema only shows it twice late at night while they still screen junk like Grown Ups 2 although they did get rid of The Lone Ranger pretty fast.

    • john:

      Screwed that comment up.

      Good action, characters, villain and story that tried to do something different in a big sci-fi universe film that tried to be different from Star Wars.

    • Cecil:

      I think Chronicles showed that you could have a dark and gritty sci-fi space opera, which the reboot of Battlestar Gallactica went on to further prove.

      I liked Riddick because it wasn’t your typical sci-fi film. The character of Riddick is just so damn interesting, we don’t get that much anymore. Most times it is the spectacle the actor is stuck in but here, I just want to see what the character does.

      A shame You’re Next floundered at the box office, it deserves better. Definitely check it on DVD.

  • mogens:

    why whas a badass actor like vin diesel doing in a kids film like the iron giant?

  • MVandi:

    I loved this movie very much. I definitely hope for another sequel because Riddick is just a joy to watch.

    • Cecil:

      I think at this point it is on the fence. While it was #1 at the box office it wasn’t a huge opening. Granted it didn’t cost a ton so that will help. Its probably up in the air now, although since Vin Diesel owns the rights he could always just do a few more Disney films and then produce the next one himself again.

  • Steve:

    Pitch Black was awesome – Chronicles was…ok. Really want to see this. To me the best things Riddick so far are the video games. Escape From Butcher Bay and Assault on Dark Athena were incredible.

  • I absolutely loved Riddick. But hell, I admired Chronicles for trying to build a universe around what was a pretty isolated story in Pitch Black.

    Riddick feels like a back to basics film that still acknowledges the larger universe set up in Chronicles. There’s more out there, but we don’t need to hear about it right now because we’re focused on Riddick and a gang of mercs.

  • as was the animated short film The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury by Aeon Flux director Peter Chung .

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