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Face-Off: Dominic Toretto vs. Riddick

05.23.2013by: Paul Huffman
In last weeks Face-Off, we put together a match between two of the top directors in the game today in J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon. Whedon ultimately took the article's verdict with our readers following suit. Abrams had his fair share of loyal followers that feel he should have taken the victory. Well, you know what they say about opinions.

This week, with the release of Fast & Furious 6 speeding around the corner we've decided to dedicate this weeks Face-Off to the two characters that have essentially dominated Vin Diesel's career (no complaints here) in Dominic Toretto and Richard B. Riddick. Now I have a feeling some may say this particular match up is contest in favor of Riddick, but when I was treated to a Dom Toretto cameo at the end of the mess that was Tokyo Drift, and damn near went full on cheerleader...I am going to have to respectfully disagree. These are both characters that Vin has loved to portray and it shows, both are full of machismo and it's been great to see them brought to life over the years...but we all know the drill, there can only be one winner. Time to dissect.
Bigger Badass
What's funny is that Riddick is the sci-fi fare, and what Dom does in the Fast and Furious sequels has defied logic way more than anything Riddick ever pulled. In the first film I got a kick out of someone pissing Dom off enough that you end up on your back getting the life beat out of you before you knew it. Playing chicken with a train is also something the lot of us wish we had the balls to do...let alone successfully. The stunts in the sequels have been a bit larger than life and ridiculous (in a fun way)...but then we get sprinkles of Dom jumping into a fight with a man like Luke Hobbs without a moments hesitation that leave his badassery in a more realistic way that suits my sensibilities.
Super badass aliens who always seem to be hungry? Riddick's got this! Every mercenary on his side of the galaxy? A cake walk! Ruthless warriors with the power to teleport themselves nonstop in a fight? Riddick asks where is the fucking challenge? No matter what this man comes up against he takes on with no fear and sometimes with a smile on his face. Not only does he have the muscle mass and the skill set, he is also pretty damn resourceful. In Chronicles of Riddick he was very methodical about the shit he did and I dug the mans intelligence to go with his strength.
Values
It's all about family to Dominic Toretto. Family, family, family it's especially been hammered into our heads since Vin's return to the franchise in Fast 4. He's made it clear that he'll do anything, especially death defying shit to protect the people that he's chosen to love, and with that scene in the fifth film that paints a pretty picture of the man Dom's father was...you can tell why Dom's family values are as strong as they are. You also get a sense of the sort of man Dom is when he decided not to bash Hobbs' brain in with that wrench. You could argue it was because Dom knew he and his gang would be gunned down immediately after, but I prefer the noble approach that Dom is a good judge of character and he saw something in Hobbs that made him earn Dom's respect. Yeah.
Riddick is an interesting beast when it comes to his morality. We go from Riddick killing Johns in part because of a brutal proposal to use little "Jack" as bait, to Riddick being perfectly ready to leave three remaining survivors on that planet to fend for themselves...including the child he was supposedly growing a bit fond of. His mind was only changed because Fry was being a pest and intrigued him a bit further. He was indeed changed by the end of the first film and devised a plan to get caught just so he could save Kyra. He found himself to care for the two he saved from that planet, and if you were lucky enough to land your way into Riddick's heart...he busted his ass to make sure you were safe.
Best Quotes
"You almost had me? You never had me, you never had your car."

"Ask any racer, any real racer. It don't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning's winning."

"You can have any brew you want, as long as it's a Corona."

"I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those ten seconds or less, I'm free."

"You break her heart, I'll break your neck."

"You don't turn your back on family, even when they do."

"Pussy."

"I got nothin' but time."

"You're not afraid of the dark are you?"

"Did *not* know who he was fuckin' with."

"Richard B. Riddick. Escaped convict. Murderer."

"I truly don't know what's gonna happen when the lights go out, Carolyn, but I do know, once the dying starts, this little psycho fuck family of ours is gonna rip itself apart."

"Think someone could spend half their life in a slam with a horse bit in their mouth and not believe? Think he could start out in some liquor store trash bin with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and not believe? Got it all wrong, holy man. I absolutely believe in God... And I absolutely hate the fucker."

"Where the hell's your God now?"

"Told you to ghost me."
Overall
The first Fast and the Furious came out when I was in 8th grade, I remember Dominic Toretto being a cat my friends and me wished we could be for various reasons. I got caught up in how effortlessly kick ass the guy was, and his taking a few select peeps into his life and calling them family is something I could relate to even then, and even more now. I remember the reaction of shit just got real when Dom made his cameo in Tokyo Drift, and the subsequent films have given birth to a running gag between me and my brother that Dom is just superior to everyone around him. He definitely gives off that aura of being a leader amongst men. It's a role that was tailor made for Vin and I'd love to know someone like Dominic Toretto really existed.
Riddick is a character that I would love to see way more of, I would go as far as to say that I don't think I could ever get tired of the way Vin portrays him. It's the character that is definitely nearest to his heart and I have a feeling we might be seeing Riddick at his best in the upcoming film. Everything about Riddick in Pitch Black was perfection, you just didn't know what the guy was going to do next and he kept you guessing as to what his motives were. Even with Chronicles of Riddick was said and done, they still maintained a bit of an aura of mystery surrounding the character and I'm a big fan of that aspect there's so much to explore with this character and I hope we haven't seen the last of him after this next film. Who wouldn't be afraid of the dark when Riddick is around?
Riddick
There you have it folks. I am such a big fan of both of these characters but Riddick just has to win out here for me. I think maybe it is because there isn't an overabundance of the character, it's a treat when we see him. When you think of characters like Jack Sparrow and maybe even Dominic Toretto now the novelty has worn off a bit with them. It also helps that the character is written so damn well. Strength, mystery, a bit of vulnerability sprinkled here and there. Richard B. Riddick is the complete damn package. What say you? Time to strike back.

If you have an idea that you'd like to see in a future FACE OFF column, feel free to shoot an email to me at paulhuffman@joblo.com with your ideas and some ideas for the critique to base your ideas off. Thank you and in the meantime...

Which Vin Diesel character is your favorite?
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