Friday, September 6, 2013

Riddick Movie Review

Vin Diesel is Riddick

Riddick: He Plays for Blood

'Just because you've seen it before, doesn't make it a bad thing,' observes Vin Diesel in David Twohy's Riddick. Diesel should know, as this marks his third go as the perpetually hunted, bright-eyed Furyan outlaw. Truth be told, he couldn't be more right. Riddick is the quintessential summer popcorn blast that you enjoy sitting through; yet struggle to recall the next day. In other words... the perfect recipe to digest after a long day of doing nothing (what other people like to call work.) What more do you want for 12 bucks?

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Riddick, the latest chapter of the groundbreaking saga that began with 2000's hit sci-fi film Pitch Black and 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick reunites writer/director David Twohy (A Perfect Getaway, The Fugitive) and star Vin Diesel (the Fast and Furious franchise, xXx). Diesel reprises his role as the antihero Riddick, a dangerous, escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy. The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he's encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty. The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of MERC, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won't leave the planet without Riddick's head as their trophy.

What’s Best: The more I see (and hear) of Diesel, the more I like him. Riddick is the perfect vehicle for the deep-toned New Yorker... a man of few words who's supremely comfortable in his own skin. Diesel is one of those rare action stars who doesn't try to look cool... he just is. Whether he's being hunted, or the one doing the hunting, Riddick goes about it without so much as a shrug... just another day at the interplanetary office.

Kudos as well, to Twohy for giving his audience what they expect (plenty of action, sarcasm & violence) and something they don't. Twohy's decision to focus first on Riddick, then the two teams pursuing him is quite clever. All of a sudden, you have a vested interest in everybody... just in time for the alien creatures to appear, and cause trouble.

What’s Not: 'There are bad days, and then there are legendary bad days,' notes Riddick. Although original (to a fault) Riddick's personal 2001: A Space Odyssey runs a bit long in the tooth: It takes half an hour before our star encounters another human; and by then, I'd already dozed off for a few minutes. Speaking of time, Twohy's third installment runs 20-30 minutes too long. Get off the planet already!

Best Line: Vin dispenses his fair share of one-liners and promises; but the real fun comes from Jordi MollĂ  (Blow, Colombiana) who spends most of his time trying to put Riddick's head in a box. Most of it is cartoonish at best, 'Where did you get that theory? A unicorn's ass?' but his 'No more holes please' to former WWE star Batista (DC's own Dave Batista) during a shootout is priceless.

Overall: Take Diesel out of it, and Riddick would be just another late night movie on Cinemax or Encore. With him, Riddick is a load of fun to watch at times: Well shot, with an Aliens feel (minus Sigourney Weaver) you could do a lot worse this weekend (assuming you're not an NFL fan.) Thank Heaven for mid-week, early screenings!