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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 09.06.13] scifi action adventure



Early on in David Twohy's return to the Riddick universe, our titular character is reminiscing about the events that landed him on the nearly barren planet that is not-Furya. Eventually Riddick concludes that it was complacency, he simply became too comfortable in his new role as leader of the Necromongers and when he saw the opportunity to leave behind the responsibility and return to his home world, he took it, unceremoniously finding himself stranded on a nearly uninhabitable planet with nothing but the beasts for company.

That monologue perfectly encapsulates the reality of The Chronicles of Riddick. That movie, though a good bit of fun and a great growing of the Riddick universe, was bloated and far too comfortable, a studio project that showed signs of tinkering from outside sources not invested in the project in the way Twohy and Vin Diesel were, and it showed. Riddick flies completely in the face of that, a far smaller and intimate affair, aptly titled in that it is the story of Riddick returning himself, to the finely tuned, resourceful and self reliant man we first met in Pitch Black.

The opening of Riddick is ballsy. Few movies would dare drop their star in the middle of a deserted planet, much less an action movie, but Twohy does just that and we first see Riddick on not-Furya dealing with a broken leg, no food or water and creatures that want nothing more than to kill him for dinner. For the next forty minutes we see Riddick rediscover himself, building his strength and honing his skills before re-emerging as the hero we know and love.



After a cheer inducing escape into the vastness of the rest of the planet, we meet the rest of the cast, two rival bounty hunter ships that come to answer Riddick's distress call. We all know Riddick doesn't send out distress calls - he has a plan of escape, one that he outlines for the crews upon their arrival but alas, they haven't yet figured out that though he might be a killer, Riddick doesn't lie and the rest of the movie unfolds in the manner we expect: our anti hero first takes out a bunch of these big headed guys before a far larger danger appears and everyone is forced to work together in order to survive.

Sanatana (Jordi Mollà) and his crew are the first to arrive on the scene and their ragtag crew look like bums compared to Boss Johns' (Matt Nable) clean cut, matching uniformed crew. They may both work in the same business but they're two sides of the same coin and there's a lot of head butting and quite a bit of banter between the two before Riddick ever appears to add yet another layer of double entendres and cheesy one liners (including a line taken directly from Furious 6). Its aplomb and unstuffy; the actors all know it's a little cheesy and the performances are perfectly pitched to the dialogue. Everyone is on the ball but I was particularly impressed by Katee Sackhoff who more than stands her own as the sole kick-ass woman of the group and wrestler Dave Bautista who may well be the next Dwayne Johnson. The guy is built like a brick house which makes him perfect for this sort of enforcer role but he also has excellent comedic timing and if there's a "discovery" in this cast, he's most certainly it.

Riddick is impressive. It's a movie very clearly made from the heart, from a group of people who love this universe and these characters and who are creating something they want to see. It shows in every frame and every line of dialogue and thankfully, the movie they want to see is also the movie the fans want to see. There are laughs, there are great action sequences, there are interesting aliens and great effects that look like they cost far more than the movie's very modest $38 million dollar budget. It's exactly the movie I wanted to see with a few great surprises.

Riddick is a very fine return to form, one that aptly fits into the universe and which leaves the door wide open for more adventures of Riddick, adventures that I really hope we have the chance to see.

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Missphitts (5 years ago) Reply

Good to hear. Been a fan since day one and am excited for this. Now about them making more? People seem to generally be ho hum about Riddick in that I meet. Hope they can generate some good word of mouth for this or it may be our last outing with him.

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agentorange (5 years ago) Reply

Seeing it this weekend!

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Umberto (5 years ago) Reply

Yesterday saw its world premiere in Rome :-)
A good movie, you will return to the atmosphere of Pitch Black and that's good.
Riddick is a lonely character,like Clint Eastwood in a wester movie and needs some things to be credible on the screen:
1 - to be alone against all
2 - must be always on the run
3 - must always be pissed!
and so on ... a sort of brother of Jena Plissken for inted! :-)

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wa5 (5 years ago) Reply

Its Brick Shithouse.

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Michael Allen (5 years ago) Reply

I am one of they few fans of The Chronicles of Riddick, apparently. I thought #2 was a great action film set on a prison planet. I just watched it again and I think it is a decent film.

I just saw Riddick this weekend and I thought it was good, but not as bold or as ambitious as the second film. Hopefully, there will be more films in the future.

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agentorange (5 years ago) Reply

I'm a fan of the second one :)


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