“Sooner or later we all have to head home.”
After the 2004 flop “The Chronicles of Riddick,” many question the viability of a new treatise on “keeping what we kill”. But Hollywood insiders estimate that “Riddick” will be for the Fall Box Office what “Fast & Furious” was for the Summer Box Office. And with good reason.
Our loveable anti-hero Riddick returns after his rise to power in the Necromonger nation. He has been left for dead on some barren planet. He’s alone, wounded, broken and bloodied. But with this franchise that doesn’t mean he’s truly alone.
Immediately we find him in hot water, literally, and fighting against the elements. There are monsters and then monsters worse than those monsters. It’s amazing.
The character work, the environment, the struggle, the triumph is all engaging. When he finds relief we find relief with him. It is truly “a legendary bad day.” We feel an intense hope, wanting him to survive it.
But the attraction to “Riddick” is that, though it is a true sequel to “The Chronicles of Riddick,” the narrative structure is more similar to the fun that started it all in “Pitch Black”. We’ve got Riddick on a deserted planet with a bunch of bounty hunters who soon discover the glowing-eyed Furyan is not their biggest threat.
Another win for the movie is its appropriate use of effects. There are some creative, dynamic kill scenes that are able to be fully enjoyed because they’ve gone easy on the CGI, gone a little old school with puppetry to make the visuals natural. Because special effects don’t get in the way, the images invite us in.
“Riddick” comes with a variety of characters. You’ve got shot callers, the muscle, big hearted baby-faced boys, and one lone beauty. Then there’s Riddick himself who surprisingly enough is nuanced and layered. He connects. He longs for home. He’s become human.
And if that isn’t enough, Twohy and Diesel (who still looks sensational, by the way) hit us with some intriguing surprises. They’re not afraid to be gross either. I’m talking slime everywhere.
There’s humor, suspense, drama, and even some sentimental moments working on the heart strings. This is storytelling done right.
Does that mean it’s perfect? Well, it’s not “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. It has its flaws like the way Dahl’s (Katee Sackhoff) sexuality is handled, but there’s not much to sneeze at. It will slaughter them at the box office.
This is a fun, energetic picture that will garner new fans, delight Diesel lovers, and even satisfy old-school action enthusiasts.
If this is your genre, this is your film.