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Riddick: Sci-Fi Thriller Falls Short Despite Good Intentions

  • Jordi MollàKarl Urban...
  • Action & AdventureScience Fiction...
  • David Twohy
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Riddick: Sci-Fi Thriller Falls Short Despite Good Intentions

Back in 2000, Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) made his first appearance on the silver screen in the surprisingly engaging sci-fi thriller, Pitch Black, before remerging in disappointing 2004 sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick.

Now, nine years later, Vin Diesel reunites with director and writer, David Twohy, for the third instalment to The Chronicles of Riddick.

Following up on the events in The Chronicles of Riddick, everyone’s favourite antihero, Richard B. Riddick, abandons his Necromonger Lord Marshall throne in order to seek out his home world of Furya. However, his departure doesn’t sit well with his followers and he soon finds himself betrayed and dumped on an unknown and desolate planet. Here, he’s left to fight for his life against malevolent, predatory alien creatures.

The first act follows Riddick on his quest for survival; healing a broken leg, fighting off scorpion-headed serpents and battling against a pack of neo-hyena. Naturally, Riddick manages to evade the danger and successfully arrives at a long abandoned outpost where he activates a distress signal from its homing beacon.

Unfortunately for him, his actions draw the attention of a number of bounty hunters who are hoping to cash in on his capture. Now, not only does Riddick have to dodge ferocious alien monsters to stay alive, but he will also need to avoid the greedy hands of his pursuers.

Diesel appears both comfortable and confident in the role of the ferocious Riddick; the actor looks to be on fine form and when he’s on screen, Riddick delivers. Generally speaking, his abilities as an actor are somewhat limited, but his trademark cranky tone and occasional witty, tough-guy one-liners are put to good use here. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast stumble along a road of clichés and Twohy fails to bring any intrigue or real value to the supporting characters. The film’s limited budget is evident throughout, with cheap special effects and questionable CGI tainting the visual experience expected with any sci-fi film.

Riddick is a step-up from its predecessor, and pays homage to its roots of Pitch Black. Moody and intense, the first half an hour of the film is both gripping and thoroughly engaging; this is by no means the sci-fi thriller of the year, but it’s likely that most viewers will find at least a few moments of joy.

Like This? Try

Pitch Black (2000), The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), The Descent (2005)

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Production on the film was in jeopardy when there was a delay in financing; Vin Diesel funded the film himself until the bank loan came through.

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