HOLLYWOOD—To say that Vin Diesel is an action-star would be an understatement. When you think of action, this guy tends to come to mind. Diesel returns to the franchise in my opinion that made him a household name. Back in 2000, a thriller known as “Pitch Black” hit the big screen that had audiences in a frenzy. Its sequel, “The Chronicles of Riddick” was a complete mess and took a nosedive at the box-office, but “Riddick” hopes to change all of that.
“Riddick” is the third chapter in the ‘Chronicles of Riddick’ franchise that follows our anti-hero Riddick (Vin Diesel) who finds himself once again being hunted by a group of bounty hunters looking to bring the ‘criminal’ to justice. The leader of the bounty hunters is Santana (Jordi Molla) who is a vicious fiend to say the least. Remember when it comes to fighting evil, more hate only makes the situation even worse. It’s difficult to classify the distinct genre for this picture. Its part action, part thriller, part sci-fi and part horror. So I guess I would call it an action sci-fi horror thriller. “Riddick” is quite reminiscent of the original picture “Pitch Black,” but there is a difference.
The first installment presented an ominous tone, it was very suspenseful. This sequel has bits and pieces of that movie, but with a tone that is not as frightening as some would expect. It’s not quite a slasher film; people die in a systematic process, but it’s not to the degree that no one is aware of what is happening around them. Riddick is aware that the planet he inhabits is full of blood thirsty creatures that have a penance for ripping people apart. So it’s more a tale of survival versus defeating the big bad villain.
While Riddick is not a good guy, his ability to save those unaware of the situation around them makes the spectator want to root for him. Diesel embodies the character and makes watching him on the screen enjoyable. The scenic backdrop for the picture is quite fascinating to say the least; we really have no idea what the outer galaxy truly looks like so to see writer and director David Twohy tackle the job with precision to foundation, lighting and life forms is sensational.
I would argue “Riddick” is a decent sequel; the biggest problem is the lack of character development. There are not characters to really root for beyond Riddick himself; the villain or villains are so over the top the dislike for them is so immediate removal from the picture is appreciated. Vin Diesel is indeed the star of the movie and if you’re looking for a great escape from the busy work week or hectic schedule “Riddick” is the perfect treat.
By LaDale Anderson