Riddick is back.
After 10 long years since we last saw him… well, 9 in real terms but 10 in movie terms, Riddick is back. At least that’s the impression that was given, yet the film also makes it feel like it’s meant to carry straight on after the last one.
Anyway, we know he’s back because it says ‘Riddick’ at the start. And on the poster. No messing about with ‘Chronicles Of’ at the start, it’s just ‘Riddick’.
Also at the start, Riddick is dead. Well, not quite. He’s been left for dead, yet again, this time on an unknown planet. How did he get there when, at the end of ‘Chronicles’, we saw him rise to the top, accidentally, as Lord Marshal? All will be explained in a flashback sequence (created for this film – they’re not recycling old film stock, here, just the ideas) featuring Krone (Andreas Apergis) and, very briefly, Vaako (Karl Urban).
I was wondering, though, when anything real was actually going to happen because there’s almost no dialogue for the first 10 minutes, and the film spends most of the first 30 minutes watching our titular hero teaching a CGI dog-like creature how to beg for treats, I kid you not.
After that, things improve and given that he’s stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do and ‘no way to get off this rock’, he sets off a distress signal which brings not one, but two sets of bounty hunters coming to track him down. These days, any reward is doubled if you bring him back dead. Enter Santana (Jordi Mollà) with his band of unmerry men, and a box to put Riddick’s head in, followed soon after by Johns (Matt Nable), along with his crew including lesbian mercenary Dahl (Katee Sackhoff).
And, yes, there was also a Johns in Pitch Black, so what’s the relevance here? Well, you’ll have to watch and find out… not that there’s much to get excited about regarding that subplot.
Overall, Riddick was basically more of the same, but in a good way. Fans of the series will like it, while anyone new to it might wonder what’s going on in places when they refer back to the previous films. That said, it still didn’t answer the question of how can he have white teeth and perfectly-cut fingernails when he’s been left for dead and buried underground for a while?
There are some good action scenes and, as you’d expect, various characters get offed one by one as they fight against each other or creatures surrounding them. The dark scenes are handled pretty well, but I’ll need to watch it again to see some of them properly as some clips pass by too quickly. However, it does have a disappointing ending. You can imagine a further film happening, but not that it particularly needs to – and probably won’t because apparently Vin Diesel had to remortgage his house to get this third entry made.
Running time: 119 minutes
Released: September 4th 2013
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K)
Director: David Twohy
Producers: Kevin Loader and Henry Normal
Screenplay: Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell (based on a script by David Twohy)
Music: Graeme Revell
Riddick: Vin Diesel
Santana: Jordi Mollà
Johns: Matt Nable
Dahl: Katee Sackhoff
Diaz: Dave Bautista
Moss: Bokeem Woodbine
Lockspur: Raoul Trujillo
Vargas: Conrad Pla
Falco: Danny Blanco Hall
Nunez: Noah Danby
Rubio: Neil Napier
Luna: Nolan Gerard Funk
Vaako: Karl Urban
Krone: Andreas Apergis
Santana’s Prisoner: Keri Lynn Hilson
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.