Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Vin Diesel

Rated: R for strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: September 8, 2013 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

Most in its fan-base would consider Riddick an upgrade over its sweeping overblown, Byzantine shadings from nearly a decade ago which featured the murderous titular character in a war between the Hellions and the Necromongers (that featured notable thespians like Judi Dench, Thandie Newton, and Colm Feore). The Necromonger, "under-verse" nonsense is put into its expository place for this threequel which has Vin Diesel in dominant laconic mode trying to keep his head on literally with the special eyes that help him in the dark.
Diesel is back with co-scenarist, helmer David Twohy having humans at each other's throats as well as battling alien creatures in this viscerally digestible if hackneyed sci-fi horror show with folks like religious fanatics and cocky thuggish mountain men. Liaisons and betrayals are to occur with the latter happening early to a relocated Riddick (Not Furyan) from Vaako (Karl Urban, for those fans of The Chronicles of Riddick) as a survival/slasher/siege triptych of sorts is set in motion.
Riddick gets to domesticate a wild dingo and uses an emergency beacon to get two bounty-hunter battalions after him (with a double reward for his death) so he can borrow their transportation. Spanish actor Jordi Molla and Matt Nable are the disparate rival captains (Santana, Johns) but don't lend much beyond the psychotic and steely, respectively, as the anti-hero does much stalking and Rambo-like stuff to the interlopers before the remaining hunters acquiesce to his terms.
A testosterone-fueled enterprise has as Johns' right-hand woman the lesbian Dahl, a game Katee Sackhoff, to provide some kickass eye candy in the more risible, randy interludes as slimy, slithering creatures take a twisty, protracted eviscerating transition from Predator to Aliens mode. Essentially the last act can be considered a true remake of the stylish edgy original Pitch Black which still was hard to follow for some in its bleak, nocturnal explosiveness. Amphibious two-legged scorpions are among the digital creatures on a dull arid planet with a topography that some may compare to the ill-fated John Carter.
If Twohy and Diesel have finally put the gravelly-intoned character to rest in a teeming nocturnal finale it could be a good thing as studio executives know their star is really moonlighting between its more profitable gigs opposite Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson. Still, even around the cartoonish CGI when it comes to malevolent forces and setting they might be able to even more modestly come up with a cool world and better scenario for the roguish resilient night crawl like Riddick to really flourish.

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Riddick        C                     C 

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