After The Chronicles of Riddick I wasn’t sure if we would be seeing Riddick on the big screen again, but you’ve got to admire Vin Diesel’s love of the character. Apparently he went back to the Fast and Furious franchise just so he could make another Riddick film. But do we have another Pitch Black on our hands or a dud like The Chronicles of Riddick?
Following on from the events of Chronicles, Riddick has been betrayed by the Necromancers and left for dead on a desolate planet. First Riddick has to survive in his new environment and then evade capture from two teams of mercenaries, one team that want his head (literally) and another that has a more personal reason to track him down. However the mercenaries soon realise they have more than Riddick to worry about.
Ok so Riddick is no Pitch Black, which is a modern classic sci-fi action thriller, however it is closer in spirit to Pitch Black then The Chronicles of Riddick. The film strips back the fantasy/prophecy elements that dragged down the second movie and concentrates back on the more thriller aspects of the first film.
After making Riddick almost invincible in the second film, Riddick wisely allows our (anti)hero to be vulnerable, while still being the badass we all know. The first part of the film shows Riddick recovering psychically from his betrayal and spiritually going back to his ‘animal’ self from the first film.
Riddick is not as subversive as Pitch Black (I still remember how shocking it was that the ‘villain’ lived over some of the characters who traditionally survive this kind of film), its plot is more standard, and some may argue that it’s too similar to Pitch Black in places. The mercenaries are played by a mixed bunch, the best being Katee Sackhoff and Matthew Nobles as part of the more professional team of mercs. The other group is more stereotypical ‘baddies’, although they have one token good teammate (although why he would be on the same ship as these horrible, immoral mercs is a mystery). But although there aren’t too many subversions the actions sequences are held well and there are some superbly gory deaths which should please those who felt short-changed by the action in Chronicles.
All in all its a return to form and fun to watch, which after the mis-step of the previous film is a welcome surprise.
Rating- 3.5/5-Riddick is back to what he does best, so in future no more necromancers please!