Monday, 16 September 2013

Film Review: "Riddick" (2013).




" Don't know how many times I've been crossed off the list and left for dead. Guess when it first happens the day you were born, you're gonna lose count. So this, this ain't nothing new.” Which is what is happening this time round in Riddick. This science-fiction action thriller is the third installment in the The Chronicles of Riddick film series. Written and directed by David Twohy, who previously wrote and directed the first two installments. Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Until activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick's past.

For those who are not familiar with the series, here is a brief overview: The first installment of the franchise, Pitch Black (2000), was a lower budget production. The story involved Riddick being transported to prison on the Hunter Gratzner, a commercial cargo ship. When the spaceship is damaged in the wake of a comet and makes an emergency crash landing on an isolated desert planet, Riddick escapes. However, when flying creatures begin attacking all the survivors, Riddick joins forces with the others to escape the planet. It received mixed reviews. But it is now considered a cult film. The second feature film in the series, The Chronicles of Riddick was a bigger budget production and was more action oriented than its predecessor. It takes place five years after Pitch Black and involved Riddick's meeting with Jack and Imam, his escape from the prison planet Crematoria, and his battle with the Necromonger fleet, which ended with the defeat of the Lord Marshall. Riddick kept the way of the Necromonger (You keep what you kill) as success of him killing the Lord Marshall. It received mostly negative reviews.

The film stars Vin Diesel as the title character, Jordi MollĂ , Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista and Karl Urban. The performances in this film were 'hard-core' and impressive. There were only a few familiar faces, the rest were unknowns. Diesel was impressive as ever as he reprises his famous role, Riddick. Sackhoff was 'badass' and fantastic as the tough, feisty female soldier, Dahl. Her performance reminded me of the character of Private Jenette Vasquez from Aliens (1986), minus the Latan-American background. Lastly, Urban gave a chilling performance though his role, Vaako, was rather a small role for this film.

As an action movie, Riddick offers some thrills, but as the true sequel to Pitch Black, it's not really a major improvement. However, the movie is so jaunty, so limber, and so visually self-assured that art peeks through where crap has traditionally made its home. Like the first film, It works because it's strong on fundamentals: fear of the dark, fear of helplessness, fear of the unknown, and fear of unpredictable human behavior.

Simon says Riddick receives:


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