Movie Review: ‘Riddick’ was more than a popcorn action movie

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Before walking into the theater to watch the third installment in the ‘Chronicles of Riddick’ series, I had a conversation via text about Riddick. He stated that he didn’t think the movie was going to be any more than a “popcorn action movie”. I agreed with him. I really didn’t have the highest expectations for the film.

I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong. There were definitely some faults with the film and I’ll get to those. Overall, this was a pretty good film that put to rest some of my more critical concerns about the third installment.

Riddick-2013-Movie-French-Poster-600x800The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty. The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won’t leave the planet without Riddick’s head as their trophy.

[SPOILERS] The synopsis makes the film seem rather standard in the Riddick universe, and I had a huge concern about how this film was going to fit into the series (I’m huge with continuity). I’m happy to say that this film does an admirable job explaining how Riddick ends up marooned on another desolate planet when he was the ruler of the Necromongers in the previous film. Riddick is betrayed by the Necromongers and left to die on an insanely inhospitable planet, where it’s not the night or the sun that is the risk. It is the rain or water.

In the line of typical Vin Diesel/Riddick films, there’s a lot of tough guy posturing. Riddick gets to spout off a lot of one liners and he has to deal with wounds that would kill a normal human. At the beginning of the movie, there were some parts that really started to stretch reality to a ridiculous degree, but once we made it past that, the film came together to become an enjoyable viewing experience.

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I personally enjoyed the mercs. There were two different bands that came after Riddick and watching them work against each other was comical. Once again, we had a gigantic amount of tough guy/tough girl talk, but it felt a little bit more natural. You had two different bands: one who were after the bounty exclusively and the other band who was led by the father of Johns, the merc from Pitch Black. It added a little bit more of a serious, moral tone to the film (something that I wasn’t expecting). The performances by Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable, Dave Bautista, and Katee Sackhoff were very entertaining and highly enjoyable.

The creatures/natives of the planet were different from anything we’ve seen in the last films. They are more closely related to creatures we may know, but they have grown to gigantic proportions. Plus, they like to snack on humans and all living creatures. Riddick also falls in with a hyena/dog critter that turns out to be an awesome companion.

I’ve already read some reviews and heard complaints, but I think this move set out to be exactly what it is. A fun, action-filled flick that knows exactly where it’s going. Might there be room for another sequel? Well, let’s just say that it isn’t Riddick’s head that ends up in the box.

Overall, I’m going to give Riddick a 7 out of 10. I loved Riddick’s dog, the action of the film, and the overall feel to the planet.

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