I finally started to work through my immense backlog of material I still have to watch (we`re talking 1100+ hours here of movies, series, anime, documentaries... dating back years in some cases) and yesterday it was the turn for Riddick.
I`m also going to try a new style of review `lay out` starting from this review onwards, to make it all a bit more clearer and overseeable. Maybe I`ll stick to it, maybe I don`t, but I figured what the heck, it`s worth to try...
Going back to it`s roots of dark sci-fi horror like the cult movie Pitch Black was over a decade ago, Riddick finds himself betrayed and abandoned on a ferocious planet inhabited by all kinds of dark and deadly animals. When he wants to get off of the planet as he sees a huge rainstorm, and accompanying Mud Devil beasties, approach, he turns on the emergency beacon at a mercenery post to attract a `taxi service`.
First to arrive is a group of your run of the mill backyard redneck mercenaries, led by a nutjob called Santana, soon followed by a professional outfit led by `Big Johns`, the father of the drug addicted mercenary from Pitch Black.
Soon Riddick starts to take out some of the mercenaries in order to get his hands on one of the ships, but when the storm closes in, he lets himself be caught and tries to strike a deal before all hell breaks lose, but is betrayed and his pet jackhal that he caught and trained on the planet killed by Santana. He vows that whenever he gets freed, he`d kill him within 5 seconds, and does so indeed in a highly spectacular way.
Mud devils open the attacks then, and the movie turns more from an Alien into an Aliens style of flick, but has some entertaining moments, before in the end Big Johns decides Riddick is worth saving and they manage to leave the planet, Riddick returning to the Necromongers to settle a score.
In the theatrical version, the movie ends when the ships take off, but in the DC version, which is 8 minutes longer, we find Riddick back in the Necromonger fleet to settle the score with the commander that betrayed him, and learn that the new Lord Commander apparently has reached Transcendance, leaving our `hero` to stare over a portal to the Underverse and open ending the movie for a possible 4th instalment, though with this ending I fear it might be more of a Chronicles of Riddick style movie... which was bad as in `within the franchise`. Dark and gloomy, that`s the way these movies need to be...
Why should you watch this movie?
* Because Vin Diesel is his own cool self again as the murdering Furyan criminal Riddick.
Did you know, as a this is a bit of his own project, he agreed to make his cameo appearance in The Fast and The Furious 3: Tokyo Drift in exchange for the rights of the character and franchise of Riddick.
* Because there is that certain shower scene where every drooling geek sees Battlestar`s Galactica Starbuck`s errrm, 'blasters'...
* The CGI rendered pet dog and the surroundings are gorgeous. Make sure though you get the BluRay version over the DVD version, like with Pacific Rim, the clearer screens make it all a bit more cohesive then the often darker colours of the poorer DVD quality.
Why shouldn`t you watch the movie?
* If you saw Pitch Black, the sequence of events is rather predictable.
* This is not a cuddly cosey together with your girlfriend kind of movie unless she is of course a die hard sci-fi fan.
* Don`t go looking here for Shakespearian dialogues. Heck, at times, you might wish they just shut up...
My totally personal verdict:
The movie is definintly better then the Chronicles of Riddick, which for me was a nightmarishly bad movie, but suffers from a feel of `having done before`. Now with that, I don`t mean the genre in itself of lots of monsters vs desperate people trying to escape, but even within the franchise with Pitch Black.
It is though an enjoyable flick for 2 hours of no thinking entertainement, and after all, a late night movie is just about blowing of steam and don`t think or worry to much, so on that part the movie delivered for me.
I`m going to be harsh here, and rate it at 3.5 out of 10.
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