SYNOPSIS: In Diesel’s fourth outing as the mercenary-turned-enforcer, he has been double-crossed and left for dead. I don’t know how many times I’ve been crossed off the list,” he mumbles in voiceover, but this ain’t nothing new. He spends his days battling predatory aliens until not one, but two teams of bounty hunters land on the planet.
Riddick movie has one weird ass approach to sexuality that makes little to no sense—if you can decipher it, more power to you—but that leaves a lingering bad taste in your mouth. But even with this side, it isn’t bad as a middle of the road sci-fi flick. The action is solid, even pretty great at times, and though it could stand to be cut down by 20 or 30 minutes—119 minutes is way too much Riddick, Chronicles proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt—we’re talking about a reasonably good time. Twohy and Diesel have already come out and said that if Riddick is a financial success we can expect more installments in the future.
Eschewing the scale of The Chronicles of Riddick, the movie finds Riddick and the crews of two ships locked in combat on the surface of a planet, discovering that the elements are against them – and the monsters hiding therein. The movie is acutely aware of how tightly it’s mirroring Pitch Black. At one point, before an alien onslaught begins, one co-star asks how many survivors emerged from the crash at the start of Pitch Black. As many as are in this room,” Riddick replies, underscoring the similarities.
Here is one place where Riddick comes off the rails. For a huge chunk of time in the middle of the picture, the main character fades into the background. Instead of being the focus, he becomes some other, some thing looming, often literally, on the periphery. Then the movie chooses to tell the story of flat boring characters with no personalities that you don’t give two shits about. They’re stock types who exist solely as Riddick fodder, and the script wastes a lot of time and sacrifices momentum trying to spark any interest in them.
Since the Necromongers cant kill Riddick and become chief, they dump him on a hellhole in the hope someone does it for them. Also it brings the character back to its strengths too. But…. Diesel is missing a trick with the wider underverse of Riddick though. There is a very good TV series waiting to be made of out of that world, with the necromongers and the elementals at its core. The potential for a Keri Hilson/Katee Sackhoff cat fight only sweetens the pot. That is all.