Monday, June 29, 2015


One funny thing about Riddick (2013) is that it really is a sequel to Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. So why the generic title?

Pitch Black found Riddick (Vin Diesel) a convicted murderer marooned on a deadly planet. It was done in a simple, stripped down style (and very stylishly). Chronicles was much more baroque (although Riddick was again marooned on a deadly planet), with fancy costumes, political intrique, metaphysical weapons, and wild ideologies. Riddick keeps some of that, but mostly goes back to the style of Pitch Black.

Riddick is marooned alone on a deadly planet - because he got soft. So he takes it as a chance to toughen up. He fights some nasty beasts and in the process acquires a pet hyena dingo-dongo. That's Act I. Finally, he finds an abandoned mercenary outpost and sends out a distress call, letting all the bounty hunters in the universe that a guy with a price on his head is looking for a ride. Two sets of bounty hunters show up. This is Act II.

Riddick leaves the mercs a message: Leave one of the ships and you can get off the planet alive. Since there are 10-20 of them and only one of him, armed only with handmade weapons, this is pretty tempting. But then comes Act III, when a planetary catastrophe makes Riddick come out of hiding to try and join forces.

Riddick is a nice combo of the stripped down style of Pitch Black with a touch of the baroque back-story and fancy uniforms of Chronicles. But mostly it is about the hard-assedness of Diesel/Riddick. Especially in Act III, Riddick is put into horrible situations, from which he casually tells people how and when he is going to kill them - and then he does it.

This is really your basic space adventure story, extreme action style. It isn't anything fancy or special, except that there aren't as many of these made as you might think. So, it's pretty silly, and it might be my favorite Riddick yet.

No comments: