A quick story before I dive in, if you will indulge me. I have seen all three Riddick films in the theater. When getting prepped for this one, I was reminded of something very strange about my theatrical "Riddick" experiences. When I saw "Pitch Black", the sound went out, and was generally wonky the entire film. When I saw "Chronicles of Riddick", they had the wrong lens on the camera, making every character seem really tall and skinny. I had come to the conclusion, that the "Riddick" films were cursed... So honestly, going into this one, I was half expecting the camera to catch on fire or something... But this time, the "Riddick Curse" seemed to have taken pity on me, and allowed me to see a film uninterrupted by malfunction.
Either I have done a horrible job of watching the previous movies, or something... because I was honestly shocked when they revealed that Riddick's first name was "Richard". Richard B. Riddick, sounds like a name from a bad comic book character, just saying. The character is a fun cinematic anti-hero. He is not in any way shape or form a "good guy". Honestly, he is about one or two needless killings away form being a straight up villain. But somehow these movies come out, and somehow turn him over the course of the film, into a vaguely, almost, kinda, sorta, bordering on sympathetic character. ...But only after proving that he is a bad-ass to end all bad-asses.
This movie, has some great references to the previous two films. Directly bringing characters from the second film into this one, and nicely bridging where Chronicles ended and where "Riddick" begins. It later goes on to bring up events from the first movie in the form of a character tie that is revealed well into the middle of the movie... Not mentioning who, or why.... just thought it was nice that they make the events of the previous two films matter, while still making this an almost stand-alone piece.
The dialogue in the film can be rather daft at points, and it feels a little forced, and similarly, there are a few characters that are honestly thrown in there for no purpose whatsoever. In fact, there is one character that, other than a few lines here and there, could have been completely removed from the story without having any impact whatsoever on the movie as a whole. When the primary cast is this small, a completely useless character stands out, and honestly standing out like that detracts from the entire movie.
This movie takes Riddick along down the middle line between a human-esque character, and a vicious cold-blooded killer. In one scene he is seen playing with his pet dog, in another, he is seen killing a guy without blinking an eye... Well, he might of blinked an eye, it is hard to tell with those goggles of his. It is hard to tell what motivates this character, and this is simultaneously intriguing, and frustrating. There are points where I can't tell if the writers want the audience to cheer for Riddick, or if they are trying to make him so loathsome that we can't help but turn ou heads away in disgust.
At the end of the day, none of those intellectual quandaries mean a damn thing. This is not "Citizen Kane" this is a violent action film. There is no need to dissect, and analyze. In the end, the questions that must be answered are as follows:
- Was the action good?
- Was the action justified?
- Did the action make sense within the context of the film?
- Did you get to see Katee Sakhoff's boob?
I honestly think that the answer to all 4 of those questions is a resounding "Yes". As such, I have to count this movie as a success, and a worthy addition to the Riddick franchise. I can't wait until "The Fast and the Furyans: Crematoria Drift".
RECOMMENDATION: Did you like Pitch Black? Did you like "Chronicles of Riddick"? If you answered yes to both of these questions, this movie is for you. If you answered, "I liked 'Pitch Black' much more than Chronicles" than again this movie is for you. Plain and simple. If you didn't like either movie, this movie will hold little of value to you... except for perhaps Katee Sakhoff....
IS IT THEATER WORTHY?: Despite my run of bad luck with Riddick-based movies, this film was definitely worth seeing on the big screen. The occasionally larger-than-life action scenes will play a lot better on the big screen than they will on the much more compact home theater.
FINAL THOUGHTS: In the end, when I watch a movie, the number one question I need to ask, was "Did I enjoy myself". And in this instance, I most certainly did. There are parts where things drag a bit, but all in all, it is a fairly solid action flick. The sci-fi elements add a nice fantastical feel to some things, and when all is said and done, this is a movie that I could easily watch a second time.
FINAL SCORE: 8.25 out of 10
Riddick Motion Comic below!