The Chronicles of Riddick

Review Date:
Director: David Twohy
Writer: David Twohy
Producers: Vin Diesel, Scott Kroopf
Vin Diesel
Colm Feore
Thandie Newton
It’s five years after the events that took place in PITCH BLACK and the psycho-killer with a heart of gold and eyes of steel named Riddick, is still being chased by the bad guys. Once again, the man is underestimated by many, as he kills, maims and delivers pile-drivers upon the race of the Necromongers, a breed of peeps geared up on taking over…not just the world…the goddamn universe! Riddick…kicking…ass…ensues!
In order to delve into the main reason why this sci-fi action extravaganza kicks almighty ass, I would refer back to my review of this film’s predecessor, the small sci-fi-cult-flick-that-could called PITCH BLACK in which I began my critique with these very succinct words: “Vin Diesel rocks!” After seeing that movie, I was taken by both the actor and character of Riddick, in a way that I could only describe as “rocking” over and over again. Now as much as writer/director David Twohy has drawn out an even cooler, darker, more futuristic, all-involving epic motion picture here-at the end of the day, the film really draws its fire and energy from both the lead actor, Diesel, and character of Riddick, who simply, well…rock!! As soon as this guy shows up on the screen, as soon as he utters his first few deeply-voiced and undecipherable words, as soon as he punches the first Necro-asshole in the face, Riddick, his charm and his all-out anti-hero self had me tied to his ass (what the fuck?) and riding the whole way along! He’s the ultimate badass with the ultimate chip on his shoulder and I couldn’t get enough of him. In fact, I would actually have liked to have seen more of him, since the film wanders into Trekkie-like exposition every now and again, only to be wrestled back to the man with the ultimate plan: Riddick!!! I’m writing about him so much because I truly believe that if you’re not a fan of this hard nut with the soft inners, the man with the icy-metallic eyes, the man who can kill another man with a friggin’ tea cup (!!)…I’m not sure if you’ll enjoy this ride as much as I did. I’m buying my own pair of goggles tonight!

But Riddick aside, I’d also like to tip my cap to the filmmakers for creating an ultimate new world society in which neither Vancouver, Prague or a Hollywood backlot were to be found, but sprawling universes, gorgeous skies and vistas, brilliant production designs and believable CGI (except for the computerized rat-dogs) blanketed the story and Riddick with enough credibility for us to tag along. We’re also presented with a decent story that surprisingly touches upon quite a bit from its predecessor (yes, it would help if you watched PITCH BLACK before seeing this one), but also develops a whole new arena of fun and planetary bar-hopping that takes us along a species who want nothing more than to recruit everyone to their side (or to kill them all), a murky, feverish planet designed to incarcerate only the worst of the worst underground, mercenaries, a bounty hunter doing his best impression of Ron Perlman, Necro-jerks, a little political back-stabbing and thankfully: a friggin’ hottie! God bless the casting department for tossing the very gorgeous Thandie Newton into this male-based cock-run. Her moments on-screen were a delight, and along with Alexa Davalos, as the believable partner-in-crime for our man Riddick, a nice balance to all of the testosterone running amuck. On the downside, there’s no reason for Judi Dench to have been in this film, and I don’t mean from the point of view of the “actress”, so much as her character, who simply didn’t bring much extra to the story (or maybe most of her scenes were cut?)

That said, the film moves at a nice clip, the action is kinetic and well dispersed throughout the movie, but a little too “fast” for my taste at times. I wanted to see Riddick actually sticking his knife into the baddie’s guts, but could barely make out the moves. Slow it down, guys…what’s the rush? In that same vein, there was an obvious lack of gore, over-the-top violence or swearing in the movie, all three of which I personally believe would have made the film even more badass, but I understand why they were likely cut in order to get the film down to a PG-13 rating. A few odd scenes or pieces of dialogue also rang “corny”, but that’s to be expected from these epic sci-fi flicks. Forgiven. Those smaller quirks aside, you really can’t afford to miss this great summer popcorn ride, particularly if you consider yourself either a fan of PITCH BLACK, Vin Diesel or sci-fi flicks in general. It moves fast, it packs a punch and a half, delivers a cohesive enough of a storyline that you needn’t explain every little detail to your girlfriend as she gets lost in Diesel’s pecs (as you get lost in Newton’s heaving bosom) and a lead character that is about as charismatic as they come in terms of badasses. Thank you, Mr. Diesel, for returning to your peak form here, and thank you Mr. Twohy for delivering a very cool, all-encompassing sci-fi feature that will hopefully generate more slick follow-ups (word on the street is that this is part of a trilogy) One piece of advice though: don’t “pull a Wachowki bros” and give us a complex story-line that only you and a few Manga computer buddies can understand after a night of smoking shit. Stick to the basics: action, Riddick, chicks, planetary intermingling, baddies, even worse baddies, kickass effects, a couple of creatures…lather, rinse, repeat. PS: Great ending…bring on RIDDICK 2!!!

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Viewer Ratings (0 reviews)

Add your rating