Personally I wouldn’t have cared less if the Riddick franchise had stayed dead. The first two movies were so-so, entertaining but not brilliant. The games were OK but it wasn’t like they were really memorable. Yet, we have got ourselves a third Riddick movie. To my surprise it was quite good… for a pop-corn action movie that is. It is certainly not brilliant though it does have its moments. Riddick is perhaps a little bit maligned by a few scenes that either don’t make sense or are too familiar, such as those scenes where one of the bounty hunters does something stupid. It is a flaw that is definitely worth mentioning in the opening paragraph of this review.
The Riddick franchise is of course Vin Diesel’s turf. He is Riddick, always has been and he probably will never be anyone else in a movie. I guess that is the primary reason we have got ourselves another Riddick movie, because the studio couldn’t squeeze him into a new franchise. The third Riddick movie pretty much continues where The Chronicles of Riddick stopped. Riddick has become the new Lord Marshall of the Necromongers. He uses his new-found power to try and find Furia, his lost home world. However, he is betrayed and left for dead on an unknown inhospitable planet by his second in command Vaako (Karl Urban). On this planet he quickly encounters a dangerous hunter alien species that seems to procreate during the planets rare monsoon period. It just so happens there is going to be one. Riddick deliberately sends out a distress signal from an old surface station which he knows will attract bounty hunters. When two groups arrive Riddick manages to use their mutual antipathy to kill three of them. Quickly the two groups decide to work together to bring Riddick down. Boss Johns (Matt Nable), head of the one of the bounty hunter groups doesn’t seem to be drawn to Riddick because of the reward, instead he seems to be following his own code. His accomplice Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) is the teams sniper whose duty also include regularly beating up Santana (Jordi Molla), the leader of the other group of bounty hunters.
After trials and tribulations Riddick is eventually captured, he warns them of the oncoming storm that will bring with it the aliens but no listens. Boss Johns reveals vengeance for his son’s death as the motivation for wanting to kill Riddick. Just as Santana tries to kill Riddick the aliens attack the station. The bounty hunters are quickly decimated. The race is then on to try and restart the two spaceship. The group has to try and find parts that Riddick has managed to bury. As more bounty get killed so does the antipathy towards Riddick. In the end Boss Johns forgives Riddick for his son’s death, though he does abandon Riddick. Just as Riddick seems to lose the battle against the aliens Boss Johns returns with his spaceship and blows away the hordes of aliens. Dahl rescues Riddick by lowering herself down from a winch. As the two spaceships leave the planet Riddick and Johns have one last conversation, Riddick praises him for being a better man than his son.
Riddick drags a little bit near the end. It then almost starts to feel like a western whereby the cowboys hold of Indians instead Aliens where colonial marines hold of aliens. The jokes and action keep it alive until the rather ambiguous end. Riddick frequently refers to Dahl as his next sexual interest though the movie refers to her character as being lesbian. Those scenes designed to breed controversy. It’s s shame Katee Sackhoff’s role isn’t bigger. In fact none of the secondary characters are really fleshed out well.
Riddick has plenty of good one liners and jokes, though the dead pan faces of the characters are perhaps too much. The first half hour of the movie is just about Riddick and is very effective in re-establishing his character. I am not certain if Riddick will return for a fourth outing, but so far the box-office returns have not been bad (though less than expected).
Katee Sackhoff. Yes, for about one second viewers are exposed (hmmm) to one rather nice tit as Katee Sackhoff takes a completely unnecessary shower. Well, at least she earned that paycheck. Speaking of money, why don’t I just save you folks a movie ticket…
Riddick’s dog, he should get his own TV show.
Santana, he should get one as well.
Some scenes have rushed special effects shots.
Santana’s death is fun, but also highly scripted.
Score; 7 / 10. Better than I thought it would be, but not worth a second viewing. Not as memorable as Pitch Black because of weak secondary characters.