Vin Diesel has had quite the comeback. Before “Fast & Furious” resurrected his career, his brand was hardly on anyone’s radar. Thankfully, he started revisiting the roles that made him the star he is again. Though he’s been most loyal to Riddick, he let Dominic Toretto get him the clout he needed to bring his favorite role back to the big screen.
Diesel once again stars as the lead in “Riddick.” Following the events of the previous film (“Chronicles of Riddick”), Riddick is now in a position to actually locate his home planet of Furya. However, he is betrayed and left stranded on an unfamiliar planet. Content to live out the remainder of his days in a barbaric manner, Riddick relaxes into the role of loner. But when a dangerous storm puts him in serious danger, Riddick sends out an emergency signal. With bounty hunters thirsty for the money Riddick’s body brings in, Riddick finds himself having to contend with the danger on its way and those just hungry for blood and riches.
Before discussing the film at any length, it should be noted that this film is much more in line with the mythology and story structure of the first film. Though this film stands on its own, those familiar with the previous stories will be rewarded with cameos and mentions of events that affect this third story.
“Riddick” is a solid action movie that rests a bit too much on familiarity. The plot is almost too similar to “Pitch Black” despite its differences. And the runtime feels 20 minutes to long. A story this stark and basic shouldn’t escape the 90-minute mark anymore than it has to. Diesel does his best to deepen the Riddick character, but any growth comes to late and lacks sincerity. At its worst, it is still a marked improvement of “Chronicles” even though it pales before the original “Pitch Black.” Fans will enjoy it, but the rest of the audience won’t get a lot out of it. 3 out of 5 stars.
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