Movie Review: RIDDICK (2013)
Director: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Karl Urban
Riddick, the sequel to ‘The Chronicles of Riddick; (2004) and ‘Pitch Black’ (2000), is an absolute mess of a movie. I was initially going to write an absolutely scathing review, but then softened a little. I though to myself ‘Surely this movie had some redeeming feature that you can write something positive about.’ Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
The blurb on the back of the DVD case mentioned something about Riddick being the ‘most hunted man in the universe’, being stranded on a hostile planet, and being forced to call in the mercenaries who are hunting him to rescue him from some type of native monster. This couldn’t be more misleading.
The movie opens with Riddick trapped under some rubble. He escapes, but appears to have a compound fracture in his lower leg. Never one to let a minor injury like this slow him down, Riddick fights off a random monster (yes, kicking was included). He then swaps his leg guard around, screws in some screws, presumably into the bones themselves, and the leg never bothers him again. He then fights off another random monster, adopts of puppy (true story), then fights off a large, two legged water scorpion thing, which, apparently had him trapped and wouldn’t let him use the set of stairs to freedom.
The ‘story’ goes on from there – Riddick spends a lot of time sqautting in light that reflects off his crazy eyes to the best effect for the camera. A lot of time. An awful lot of time. I might be remembering incorrectly, but I recall his eyes are ultra sensitive to light, but he chooses to not wear his special glasses most of the time, despite the fact he is on a sun burned planet.
Anyway, he finds a mercenary/bounty hunter base, sees a storm coming, decides he needs backup and calls the mercenaries. Riddick then disappears from the screen for about 30 minutes while we meet the mercenaries. They are a thoroughly unlikeable lot. You pretty much don’t care when they die.
Riddick decides he needs to make friends with these guys to escape the storm, so, logically, he kills a few of them, presumably to show how much he cares. Well,the ploy works, and the mercenaries and Riddick team up to fight the storm, or some shit like that. Turns out, the two legged scorpion thing from earlier in the movie had some friends who were mighty pissed Riddick killed off their buddy. And, it just so happens, they like the rain. So they attack, kill some people, Riddick and the dad of some bloke from Pitch Black have to go and retrieve some power cells Riddick stole when he was trying to make friends, blah, blah, blah, then end. Oh, and I think the lesbian chick, who went to a lot of effort to tell everyone she likes girls, is turned straight at the end by Riddick’s intense staring. Hmm, I guess that would do it…
Oh, how could I forget? I mentioned Karl Urban was in this film, didn’t I? I like Karl. He was great in Dredd. He was better in Star Trek. In this film? His total screen time was, about 45 seconds. Total. No more. He is in some scene at the beginning telling Riddick he wants Riddick’s crown of ’emperor of the universe’ or some such crap. Then, that’s it. No more do we see him. It’s a story line that starts, then goes absolutely nowhere.
Acting – average at best. Bautista shows glimpses of the charisma he will show in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. The rest, no much. Vin Diesel attempts to break the world record for ‘how not to do a menacing stare as many times as possible.’
The effects were not great – particularly the speeder bike scenes. Moving at high speed should have show effect on your hair. The monsters are pretty crap ‘homages’ to the xenomorph from Alien. The dog looked so fake it wasn’t funny.
If this movie had been played intentionally as a ‘B’ grade horror/scifi romp, perhaps, just perhaps, it may have worked. As it stands, it is pretty awful. One of the worst I have seen this year. And, to put that in perspective, I have seen Sharkando…
RATING: 3 out of 10 – and only because there were three naked hot chicks at the start of the movie (yeah, being shallow was the only way I could find a redeeming feature). The only plus to this movie is that I hired it and can feel good that I returned it on time!