Riddick, featuring Vin Diesel.

Riddick is a critically bad but surprisingly entertaining movie. This chapter shrugs off some of the absurd concepts from the previous film and reconnects to the Pitch Black roots of Vin Diesel’s anti-hero.

Riddick begins shortly after the events of ‘Chronicles’ and finds the titular character unsatisfied with new his role as Lord-Marshall of the Necromongers. Searching for his long forgotten home-world, he is ultimately betrayed and left for dead by his necromonger crew. Riddick is stranded on his latest prison: a hostile world with a brutally harsh environment and dangerous wildlife.

Realizing that conditions on this world are rapidly changing and will soon be swarming with deadly creatures; Riddick activates an emergency beacon in an abandoned mercenary outpost alerting bounty hunters who soon arrive to collect the dead-or-alive bounty on Richard B. Riddick (the reward is doubled if for dead.)
I didn’t have high expectations for Riddick, because the previous film was absurd.

The Chronicles of Riddick was saddled with absurdly literal naming conventions that feel as if they belong in some low-budget B-movie from the 1950s. It wouldn’t be out of place during some late-night black and white movie marathon to hear an intrepid space captain regale his crew with tales of Amazonia, the planet of exotic warrior women or Crematoria, the prison planet of fire and despair.

Thankfully Riddick’s opening monologue is the last mention of necromongers and other nonsense from from Chronicles. The film quickly begins to move forward when two squads of mercenaries arrive to claim the bounty on Riddick’s head.

First to arrive is a rough and tough team of bounty hunters followed shortly by a more professional para-military group. It’s not long before Riddick begins picking them off one by one, but the two teams do eventually manage to work together and succeeded in capturing Riddick. Unfortunately for all of them, subduing Riddick is only the beginning of their problems.

From this point on Riddick begins to feel a lot more like Pitch Back and that’s not by accident. The captain of one mercenary ship has a personal reason for hunting Riddick related to events of the first film. If you haven’t seen it, you won’t be lost. There’s dialog to explain events in the past. Similarly If you didn’t seen the second film, you won’t have missed anything important.

Originally Published 10 September 2013

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