Friday, September 06, 2013

Moviegoers Looking For Fun Should Rid Themselves Of The Desire To See RIDDICK

Now playing at a multiplex near you:

RIDDICK (Dir. David Twohy, 2013)

About a month ago, I was unaware of the Riddick series, starring Vin Diesel, which began in 2000 with the sci-fi action thriller PITCH BLACK, continued with 2004’s THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, and now, nine years later concludes with the simply titled RIDDICK.

I say “concludes” as wishful thinking, because this third installment is a forgettable entry in one of the most forgettable sci-fi franchises ever.

Diesel, who co-produced, reprises his role as the indestructible intergalactic bad-ass ex-con who we catch up with here stranded on a yellow-tinted planet full of CGI-ed creatures running amok, including evil prehistoric-ish predators that resemble a blend of scorpions and lizards, and much more agreeable dog-like animals that look like a mix of zebras and hyenas. Diesel befriends one of the dog-like whatevers, who seemingly understands every word he says because, you know, it’s that kind of movie.

Thinking he’s had enough (a sentiment the audience is sure to share), Diesel’s Riddick activates a beacon that brings two groups of bounty hunters to hunt down the bald space thug. Not long after landing, the crews - one led by a sleazy Jordi Moll√† who aims to “bring back Riddick's head in a box,” the other led by Mark Nable, the father of one of the characters in PITCH BLACK who has an obvious vendetta – find a message written in blood on the wall of one of their spacecraft: “Leave one ship and go or die here.”

The tough blonde Katee Sackhoff as one of Nable’s “mercs” is on hand to make us wish this was an episode of Battlestar Gallactica, and be the target of some homophobia as her character is gay.

Blood is splattered via a bunch of gory deaths, with the thin as sliced cheese narrative completely dwelling on Diesel’s ability to outsmart everybody and everything that tries to take him down.

Diesel wears black welder’s googles, but he removes them dramatically every now and then do we can see his silver corneas – a characteristic that gives him “night vision,” which I guess is an effect that comes off better in the multiple video games Riddick has appeared in over the years.

The sluggish pace, dreadful dialogue, and lack of a single interesting story element makes this one of the most boring movies of the year. When watching one of the supposed to be climatic battles involving Riddick fighting off attacking slimy serpents atop a sharp cragged desert rock in the drizzle I wondered: 'why on Earth am I supposed to be rooting for this guy?'

Whether blindingly sun-drenched or bathed in shadowy darkness, the imagery is as bland and unimaginative as the rest of it. It was a good idea to get MAD MAX cinematographer David Eggby, who also shot PITCH BLACK, on board, but Twohy, Oliver Butcher, and Stephen Cornwell's screenplay seriously didn’t give the man much to work with.

At least RIDDICK is on par with how awful the preceding chapters were. I mean there can’t be somebody out there who has expectations for a sci-fi action masterpiece here, right? Only Vin Diesel fans, extreme gamers, or folks who get off on crappy sci-fi flicks will be entertained. Everyone else, especially moviegoers looking for a fun time at the multiplex, should rid themselves of the desire to see RIDDICK.

More later...

1 comment:

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