In Riddick, Vin Diesel returns for his third outing as Richard B. Riddick, the guy who can see in the dark. And seeing in the dark isn’t Riddick’s only power – this guy can survive eating all kinds of raw meat, holes being drilled into his broken leg as well as stomaching small doses of venom to combat lethal predators. The story is short and simple: betrayed by the Necromongers and left to die, Riddick fights his way through deadly alien predators and mercenaries on a sun-scorched desolate planet.
Frankly, Riddick is not the stuff legendary classics are made of. The third in director David Twohy’s sci-fi saga, that began with 2000’s Pitch Black and continued with 2004’s The Chronicles Of Riddick, the film furthers the tale of an ex-convict who’s wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy. It’s not a fast paced action movie, not a wisecrack comedy, or an innovative sci-fi drama. And it’s definitely not an eyes-half-shut horror epic. In short, the film isn’t something you’d see twice; Riddick is somewhat dull, lacklustre, repetitive and too fantastical.
But then again, the film does cater to a niche and faithful fan-base – just like like Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner did – that’ll end up making the series into a cult classic. Riddick is dark, violent, gory, and sinister, a tad slow paced and non-innovative; despite its shortcomings, there’s no denying some might find it entertaining.
As a character, Riddick delights, appeals, engages and absorbs the audience with his master survival skills, which make the task of sitting through the movie realistically bearable. By the time the movie drags its unique blend of sci-fi-horror-action to an end, another sequel doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
BY JOSEPH RANA
Riddick hits cinemas on Thursday September 12.