As a big fan of both Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick, it’s been a long 9 year wait for this 3rd installment of our beloved Furyan warrior. But let me tell you, it was worth the wait.
Rather than continuing on the galaxy-spanning plot of Chronicles of Riddick, they stripped Riddick back to his essentials. Having been betrayed by the Necromongers, he is stranded and left for dead on a sun-scorched planet. The only way off is to activate an emergency beacon at an abandoned outpost, bringing 2 mercenary groups to collect a bounty on his head.
For about the first half-hour, the film makes a bold move in having Diesel the only character you see for the most part. And it pays off, proving Diesel does have a wonderful watchable charisma to him. The point where the film lost a bit of interest from me was surprisingly when the mercenaries came in. Normally this would up the ante a bit plot-wise, and it did to a certain extent. But the problem I had was during this we see less of Riddick doing his Furyan thing that he does best. If the first 30 minutes of the film prove anything, it’s that these films are at their best when Riddick is the center of attention.
I also had a problem with the notion that not even Lesbians can resist Riddick’s charms. The banter between Riddick and Dahl(Katee Sackhoff), the lesbian sniper of one of the merc teams tried to be charming and funny, but ultimately came off as misogynist and careless. The film really could have done without that awkward distracting dynamic between the two.
It’s been great to see Diesel return to the role of Riddick, it’s a role he completely owns. The rest of the cast is suitable enough for the plot at hand. Jordi Molla plays the same type of Latin Goon that we saw him play in Bad Boys 2, but he plays it well. His fate is without a doubt one of the most gratifying and distilled-Riddick moments of the film. Karl Urban even reprises his role as Vaako in a far-too-brief cameo, but it was still great to see him again.
Despite it’s problems, this is still what I, and many fans of the character wanted to see out of this film: Riddick going back to his roots with a hard-R rating. Diesel and Writer/Director Twohy have expressed their intentions to make 2 more Riddick films, and I sincerely hope this film makes enough money to allow them to do that as I feel we still have a lot more adventures left with this character and this universe.