If the rest of the RIDDICK franchise is as abysmal as the third installment in the series, I’m glad I never made the choice to catch up with the previous two efforts. Maybe there is some benefit of the doubt to be given, as clearly someone enjoyed PITCH BLACK and CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK enough for Vin Diesel to push to make #3… but after suffering through an incredibly lifeless RIDDICK for two hours, I wouldn’t even know where to begin looking for such generosity. RIDDICK is a pointless exercise in… well, I don’t even know what. There’s really not even the slightest bit of effort made in cobbling together some type of sensible story. The characters, outside of Riddick, are so poorly drawn from the most generic of tropes that you spend most of the movie trying to figure out where you remember where you’ve seen that character type done better recently. The dialogue is bad enough to make you cringe, and, as for the action, which is really why I’d imagine you’d sign up to see RIDDICK in the first place… it’s shot by director David Twohy in such a frantic and visually indecipherable way that makes it difficult to see what the hell is happening on screen that I found myself wondering why no one seems capable of showing me action with any sort of clarity any more. After enjoying a nice dinner and a few beers with friends before taking in RIDDICK, which left with a hearty buzz prior to the film, I found myself sobering up rather quickly as the film progressed, unable to keep my good mood going, as such an unexciting film transpired before me. I only wish I had broken the seal before settling in, because at least getting up constantly to go to the bathroom during the film would have given me something fun to do over the span of those two hours. RIDDICK not only robbed me of a continued enjoyable time that day, but it stole time from me that I’m never getting back.

In doing my research as to what I may have missed in the prior two films, RIDDICK picks up with Diesel’s title character left for dead on some unknown planet, battered, beaten, scarred-up, bleeding and broken. Having been betrayed by the Necromongers, Riddick has his mind set on revenge, but he’s going to have to find a way out of this place in order to do anything about it. After what feels like an endless sequence for him to become friends with a native dog and then pass some scorpion-like creatures in order to get up some stairs (it has to be at least a half-hour, made only worse by the decision to have the whole set-up accompanied by a drab monotone Vin Diesel voiceover), Riddick fires up an emergency beacon that will have a group of bounty hunters descending upon the planet in no time, looking to collect on the price that’s been placed on Riddick’s head, which is actually doubled if he’s brought back dead. This ragtag group of misfits is made up of the obnoxious leader (Jordi Molla), the tough woman (Katee Sackhoff), the big enforcer (Dave Bautista) and then a handful of guys who are clearly fodder for Riddick to show how lethal he can be when he wants someone dead. We also get a military contigent who appears looking for answers to past events from Riddick, which may matter to the die-hards ready to eat up every last detail this series is willing to provide, but, when wedged into this film, gives off the impression that Twohy needed as much material as possible to stretch this thing to a length longer than 45 minutes. Why else would we get all that time I mentioned become good pals with that dog?

Vin Diesel

Once everyone’s boots are on the ground, that’s when the cat and mouse game is supposed to start, but those are typically of a quick pace, with some sort of frenetic energy to them. RIDDICK has none of that, plodding along miserably, going through the motions, feeling as dead as something can be before the defibrillators are needed. They want to catch him. He wants to get off this planet. There are some deadly alien creatures standing in the way of what both parites want. Who really cares? The only bit of concern I felt throughout my time with Riddick was for the five-year-old girl behind me whose parents dragged her this flick, most likely unwilling or unable to find a babysitter, who then had to sit through the expletives, nudity and violence that is clearly not appropriate for her age range. Girl whose mind becomes warped due to some ill-advised childhood movie-going experience, and the downward spiral her life because of such a life-altering moment, resulting in a violent relationship with her parents… Hmmm… that sounds like a much more compelling watch than anything RIDDICK was trying to put forth, and I almost wish I would have put the couple hours RIDDICK tried putting me to sleep to better use, writing such a tale of irresponsible parenting and the consequences that result.

There’s a running gag of Katee Sackhoff’s Dahl (yes, it sounds exactly like “doll,” which isn’t sexist at all) having sex with Riddick at every possible moment they can find to squeeze it in, which isn’t funny the first time and grows more and more rapey each new time it bubbles back up to the surface, which speaks volumes about the kind of things that are supposed to be cool within RIDDICK that never quite are. Take Bautista’s Diaz squaring off in a fight with Diesel’s Riddick. A former WWE Champion versus Vin Diesel should be cool, right? Except you know what isn’t, when it’s displayed in nothing but close-up shaky cam through a rainy atmosphere…? Glad I didn’t need to spell it out. It’s a shame both Sackhoff and Bautista are wasted, as they provide RIDDICK with the film’s only glimpses at anything resembling personality. However, they’re given much too less to do for Riddick to hammer out his issues with a pair of other rather uninteresting characters that such decisions only prevent RIDDICK from ever elevating into a watchable action flick.

RIDDICK lacks the energy to make it anywhere near fun, and, without that, there’s not much else to provide any sort of enjoyment in Twohy’s sequel. I never felt like I needed to have seen the previous two pictures in the series to get what was going on, but had I seen them, it might have tipped me off that there was no way sitting through the third chapter was going to end well at all for me. If only I had been even more tipsy on that night, I might have wandered into a completely different movie than RIDDICK, something better and came out feeling like a winner. Instead RIDDICK became a vicious buzz killer and… well, I’m never getting back those two hours. All in all, no good came from RIDDICK.

No Responses

  1. James Simms

    I was a fan of the previous two, knowing full well they were far from great films. As a kid in grade 7 or 8 when the first came out, it appealed greatly to me. I loved the gruff voice, the silent bad-ass convict among citizens on a planet destined for eternal night. I loved the one liners and the atmosphere. Even at that age, I was the only one of my group of friends that thought it a fun, albeit stupid film.

    I remember little from the chronicles of Riddick but own the dvd so I must have thought it worth my time. Only moment to stand out is Riddick dealing with an inmate in a prison with a tea-cup.

    Having seen the trailers for this and felt nothing, I realised the target audience was likely still for the 12 yr old boy who cared more action and goofy one liners than I did an interesting story and characterization. This may be where the problem lies with this film.

    So a query: would you say 12 year olds would enjoy this film?

    • exbagboy

      Yes, I think you would like this one. I really liked Pitch Black, didn’t care for Chronicles. Riddick had some good and memorable death scenes. It also has a small connection to Pitch Black (relates to the bounty hunter Johns that had Riddick in custody)

      • James Simms

        gonna check it out then I think. Thanks for the response mate!

    • James Simms

      as a fan I have to say that seeing the first two isn’t necessary to get the nuances of the movies. It may enhance it for fanboys like me, but the film should also stand on its own. After-all part of the purpose of a sequel is to attract new viewers and expand the audience base. If it can’t operate effectively as both a continuation and its own film then I would argue it has failed.

      Having said that, I would like to see a second opinion from a reviewer who has seen the first two, regardless of their feelings about them.

  2. adamfox

    Pitch Black is fantastic and absolutely worth watching. Much more intense, scary, funny, sharply executed. Having done so, there is much more of a sense of guilty pleasure watching this film, although it still pails in comparison. Do yourself a favor Billy, watch Pitch Black, it’s night and day.

  3. Thomas R Clark

    This is one of those “Franchises that should have remained ONE movie” deals. The Exorcist. Highlander. The Prophecy. Pitch Black. Grease, even!

  4. Deceptively Calm Scientist

    Pitch Black was okay-ish but the second movie should have been smothered in the crib the moment someone actually said what the bad guys are called.
    “They’re called Necromongers and..”
    “Get the FUCK out of my office.”

  5. TonyStark

    You either get Riiddick or you don’t. I don’t get football or beer. You don’t get Riddick. No biggie.

    • Ebert_&_MJs_Cold_Pale_Corpses

      You don’t get pussy either….just dick….and lots of it. I should of figured a tool like you would hang out on the Kidds whack-ass site.

      Lol, how sad. A Kidd apologist

      PS fuck you Billy, your reviews suck and you are not missed. You Jack Sparrow lookin’ piece of shit

      • Pizza the Hut

        I will see it sooner or later. From what I can see the film appears to be a copy of the first film in certain parts. The first film was fun b movie trash. BBTW BIlly I finally got banned at AICN for sticking up for you, talking about the other new site and calling harry out left and right.

      • exbagboy

        I enjoyed the action and it has some memorable death scene. If you liked Pitch Black you would enjoy this one.

      • Eberts_Bloated_Pale_Corpse

        It took me awhile to figure it out when you were on AICN, but I know why all of your reviews were negative now…..you hate movies…..all of them

      • Eberts_Bloated_Pale_Corpse

        Hmmmm….more like trolling his reviews. Don’t worry, I just stopped by to give him a proper fuck you since he was so quickly cut from the AICN roster. So eat shit and come find me on AICN when you’re ready for the big leagues chump. We’re done here

      • Brain Stew

        Goodbye, fair commenter! Alas, you leave behind only this tiny turd to remember you by but it shall be a monument to our brief but shitty time together.

      • Memphis Reigns

        Whoa whoa whoa, back up a second. Did you just say you don’t ‘get beer?’

      • Rare English Rose

        I’m shedding a tear and clinging to the hope that one day he will return… In the meantime, treasure the memories…

      • Eberts_Bloated_Pale_Corpse

        “Trodden” …..you meant eaten….out of your mother’s bunghole after it’s been impacted with my sperm.

        Come find me on AICN if you want to continue this beatdown. I can’t be seen on this faggot site….it’s bad for my image. Later twerp

      • TonyStark

        I wrote a nice respectful comment to you. Why don’t you try learning the golden rule, you little shit.

      • Mr X

        Whoa, Hold on mate, I didn’t read that as rude comment to you. I think you misread his tone. Are you still having panic attacks after the whole Avengers thing?

  6. Lord Elric

    I must respectfully disagree. Even though my cold/plague kicked in again during it, I thoroughly enjoyed RIDDICK, and thought Twohy made the most of the under 40 million dollar budget. It did what most of the Summer films, with budgets 3-5 times larger, did not. And that was being consistently entertaining while not talking down to it’s fans.
    Granted, one’s mileage varies depending on one’s liking for the character and Diesel.

  7. Sten

    Your critics are as dull and hollow as ever. Kudos to your own opinion, but I never liked your writing. I personally get the issues one can have with your tone. It’s hard to describe. Sorry. Won’t come back. Good luck.


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