To hear the name Vin Diesel, is to immediately think of two distinct characters the actor is known for. The first is Dominic Toretto from the Fast & Furious franchise, a movie series that continues to dominate and gross millions to date. The second is Richard B. Riddick, a vision-enhanced killer on the run from the law and bounty hunters in a sci-fi future. Both characters have been the actor's bread-and-butter since he first played them over a decade ago, but the latter still hasn't found as much success as the first.
Directed by David Twohy, Riddick was first introduced in the low-budgeted (around $23 million) Pitch Black back in 2001 and proved to be a small sleeper success when it grossed $40 million domestically and garnered even more of a reputation on home video. Sensing a franchise potential, Universal Pictures ushered in a sequel with a massive boost in budget of $100 million+ in 2004 with The Chronicles Of Riddick.
Unfortunately the bloated sequel didn't fare as well and generated only $57 million domestically, lending to the notion that audiences may never see another Riddick film. But after nine years, the character is back again this weekend with his third movie, simply called Riddick this time out.
Scaled back with a $38 million budget and once again directed by David Twohy, Riddick finds the titular character left for dead on a desolate planet by the people he once ruled and targeted by not only a team of bounty hunters but also resident alien predators. Using his vicious skills for survival, Riddick unleashes his fury upon those in his way to escape and save his home world of Furya before it can be destroyed.
With summer season essentially over at the box-office, can the sci-fi action adventure strike a chord with audiences enough to consider it a success on a September 6th release date? Fans will find out with a supporting cast of familiar faces doing their part to make this instalment rise above the similarities to its predecessors, featuring Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Dave Bautista (The Man With The Iron Fists), and Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) who returns from The Chronicles Of Riddick as Vaako.
Coming off the current high of Fast & Furious 6, can Vin Diesel's star power and built-in audience for his characters prove to be Riddick's saving grace this weekend?
Riddick is rated 14A for coarse language, disturbing content and graphic violence and will be playing at Cineplex Odeon First Markham Place Cinemas for local Markham residents.