Character chemistry clashes in ‘Riddick’

reddickThirteen years ago, a newcomer to the entertainment industry named Vin Diesel showed viewers exactly why you should fear the dark.

After surviving attacks from both the humans and the monsters in “Pitch Black,” he found himself in a war with an undead emperor in “The Chronicles of Riddick.”

He survived and even assumed what was once claimed by the man he killed. Now, after being left for dead on a god-forsaken planet, Riddick must fight for his life, once again, against vicious, life-sucking beasts and an even worse plague.

In the film, Riddick has been betrayed by the menacing Vaako and thought to be dead on a lifeless and sun-scorched planet. Fighting for his life against countless alien predators, he soon activates an emergency beacon to escape the planet. There’s only one catch – the beacon will bring mercenaries to his aid. These mercenaries want Riddick’s head as a trophy and with time running out and a storm on the horizon, Riddick must survive even if he has to kill every last thing he sees.

First off, Vin Diesel is a beast. I had to say it. This film, more than anything, plays to his strengths as a muscular man. Besides his somewhat interesting narration throughout the film, Diesel is beaten to a pulp and then left to defend himself with very little aid. In these types of situations, Diesel excels. As most of us have come to love the “Riddick” series, this film will be labeled as the least favorite in the series. It serves as a great sci-fi and action movie, but there are only so many alien kills a film can handle.

The movie may fall short, but Vin Diesel does not, he succeeds once again as Riddick. We truly get to see the inner warrior in this man. By inner warrior, I mean we get to see him hurt and bleed – true action. The film also stars wrestler and upcoming star Dave Bautista, Katee Sackhoff of “Battlestar Galactica,” Jordi Molla and a small appearance by Karl Urban as Vaako. The film’s characters are, sad to say it, but what you would expect from a cheesy sci-fi flick. They are interesting characters, definitely diverse, but they constantly clash. You hope to see them live and prosper, but truly wonder to yourself which one is going to be claimed under the title “most epic kill of the film.” There is no good meshing of these characters.

It is a very rare thing for a director to stay with a film series throughout its entirety. Director David Twohy, thank you so much for coming back. This is very much a blessing to the film. Where the film kind of falls in dialogue, as tongue and very much cheek dialogue as it may be, it triumphs with visual effects. With such amazing shots as Riddick fighting the monsters on a huge, towering cliff, only visible as lightning strikes behind them to a winged predator soaring around the desolate mountains, this film was captured with some great cameras and attention to detail.


Story by John Gruccio, Contributing Writer