The way I see it, there are three types of people who will want to see ‘Riddick’ this weekend: 1) those who enjoy the established character and want to see more, 2) those who like Vin Diesel and his ‘Fast and Furious’ movies, and 3) the pervy ‘Battlestar Galactica’ geeks who want to see the rumored Katee Sackhoff topless scene. I’m here to tell you that no matter which of the three groups you may belong to, you’ll be disappointed by the movie. Let me explain.
If you fall into the first category (you like the character, ‘Pitch Black‘ and ‘The Chronicles of Riddick‘), you’ll be disappointed that ‘Riddick’ doesn’t pick up where ‘Chronicles’ left off. For those who don’t remember, ‘Chronicles’ ended with Riddick becoming the god of the Necromongers – or something like that. That ending offered an endless world of possibilities, but, as the poor visual effects in the new ‘Riddick’ reveal, the budget of this third film was exceptionally limited and wouldn’t allow for a proper follow-up. I presume that this was due to the fact that ‘Chronicles’ flopped. A brief voiceover flashback sequence in the first 30 minutes gives a flimsy explanation as to why we’re not seeing that movie instead.
The biggest disappointment of ‘Riddick’ is that the plot is basically a rehash of ‘Pitch Black’. We open with a meandering sequence that shows Riddick acting like Survivorman on yet another extremely deadly and overexposed planet. Unlike the planet from ‘After Earth’, this world actually feels like everything on it has evolved to kill humans. After Riddick tames a wild beast and kills several others (which takes half an hour), he finds a mercenary outpost. At this point, the remainder of the movie pans out exactly like ‘Pitch Black’. Riddick and an unlikely group of ding-dongs fight to survive each other and the unpredictable environment. As they get picked off one by one, you can’t help but notice how much this all feels familiar.
If you fall into the second category (you’re a V.D. fan because of the ‘Fast and Furious’ movies), then you haven’t noticed that Diesel has the acting range of golf driver in my hands, which is about 12 yards. The ‘Fast and Furious’ fans who walk into ‘Riddick’ expecting the same sort of entertainment won’t make that same mistake again. That is, if the heavens open and a fourth Riddick movie gets produced.
And if you fall into the final category (you want to see Starbuck topless), you’ll find her nude scene brief and utterly pointless. Pun intended. Sorry, pervs. She hardly shows any skin.
At this point, I can’t see anyone funding another Riddick movie. I’m sure that Vin Diesel doesn’t want to go down as an actor known only for one car-chase franchise, so he’s trying to resurrect his only other hope. Sadly, it’s a wasted effort. In every way, from screenplay to acting, directing, VFX, etc., ‘Riddick’ is sub-par and not worth your time or money.