People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different. In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all. Read on!
Pitch Black, the original film in Vin Diesel and David Twohy’s Riddick trilogy(?), was a blast, a gritty little bit of low-budget sci-fi action that caught everyone off guard. Twohy has been in a bit of sci-fi-squandered-career-jail since the sequel, The Chronicles Of Riddick, and this the sort-of forced upon third film has a lot to do to reset the expectations of the fan base. Will it do so? I just don’t know.
Between You’re Next, The Conjuring, Insidious 2 and Riddick – 2013 is looking to be the year of the low budget genre feature. Riddick, using every single nickel of it’s seemingly low budget, is a fucking blast. I can’t say the film strays terribly far from the original film, but Twohy seems to revel in taking the film back to its ass-kicking roots. Diesel returns as the titular Riddick, a convict-turned-king-turned-convict stranded on another alien-infested planet, pursued by morally-jaded mercenaries. Vin Diesel, God bless his bald head, is the same un-emotive lump as always, but it’s exactly what the character needs, a toothy smile, a dangerous laugh and the ability to ably convince the audience that he can, and will, kick your ass, insult your family, and then kill you laughing. Twohy does an admirable job fleshing out the motley crew of mercs hunting Riddick, giving each a quickly painted sketch of character, just enough to make sure that as the death count steadily increases it doesn’t feel like cardboard cut-outs falling to the sword. Yes, the budget on this film is micro and a handful of the shots/CG look to be pulled from Twohy’s personal VHS collection and yes, the Katee Sackhoff’s Dahl character seems to only exist in the film to act as a possible love interest and show off her boobs, but a few small qualms aside (and a pretty solid ability to overlook plot holes), Riddick is a great time.
Trust Vin Diesel and David Twohy. They have the best in mind for you.