Riddick (2013)

Riddick

Pitch Black is hands down one of my favorite modern sci-fi movies. And by modern, I mean released within the last twenty years. It was a refreshingly unique tale of the true horrors of survival, including having to not only survive the enemies outside, but the enemies within. That being said I jumped at the chance to see the follow up film – The Chronicles of Riddick, and was left wanting. It didn’t feel as gritty or thought provoking as the original. But luckily, this year’s Riddick? Makes up for it.

2013’s Riddick returns to the roots of the anti-hero we’ve all grown to enjoy – our modern day space Rambo by the name of Richard B. Riddick in all his ass kicking glory. A good portion of the film actually focuses solely on him . . . well, him and his space mutt. But we’ll get to that later.  The movie begins with Riddick left for dead on some unknown planet. Leg broken, buried in rubble – obviously some shit went down between Riddick being crowned the leader of the Necromongers and well . . . this point. And the movie gets to that, but not before some great monologue on how he faltered by getting soft in his quasi-leader position . . . but also how he planned to amend that.

You see, all Riddick wanted to do was get home to Furya – wherever that was.  And the only man alive who knew where Furya was betrayed him. Although I’m surprised Riddick managed to trust a Necromonger – it was what it was. After some amazing take downs by Riddick, he is bested and left to rot on this planet to die alone. Well not necessarily alone – he’s accompanied by wild space dogs and pond dwelling beastly sized scorpions. Like, a whole lot of them.

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While stranded on the planet, he manages to make the most of it – like slowly building up a tolerance to the scorpion venom and rescuing an abandoned space mutt-pup, who he eventually trains and befriends. It’s kind of like the sci-fi version of I am Legend. Except less vampires and more extraterrestrial monstrosities. Oh, and a severe lack of Will Smith. But then things change – namely the weather. And with the rain comes the awakening of more scorpions hibernating beneath the planet’s sandy surface. And so Riddick sets up a rescue beacon, knowing it will bring bounty hunters still aiming for the handsome sum upon his head – but anything has to be better than a sea of stabby land arachnids.

The beacon goes off and two teams of hunters come for him. One set for his head and the other? For answers. One of the teams is led by Boss Johns. To Pitch Black fans this name may ring a bell. And for the sake of withholding too many spoilers I won’t go much further, but it’s a great homage and plays seamlessly into the ending of this first trilogy.

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Riddick provides a no holds barred violent, witty, and gritty creature movie that I just felt was a perfect complement to the original. The actors, including Vin Diesel himself, nailed their characters, their lines, and their synergy. A special nod has to go to Katee Sackoff, who not only brought her Starbuck sass back, but did it so well that I didn’t once think of calling her by her call sign in the movie. Okay, maybe I did. Once.

Regardless, no film is without its down falls. As a friend of mine pointed out – Katee’s character, who is portrayed as not interested in men, sure seems to make a switch in preference near the end of the film. And another mentioned they didn’t enjoy the choppiness of the flashbacks and would have preferred it if the movie been slightly more chronological. Despite those few blemishes, I couldn’t have been happier upon first viewing – and definitely will catch this one again before it leaves theaters.

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About Meg

Blond, bold and brainy. Already scared aren’tcha? When Meg’s not book learnin’ or arguing the anatomy of zombies – shes probably in the ocean, watching star trek, or forcing everyone around her to endure horror moviethons. Bruce Campbell? Her personal demi-God. Costuming, comics, charity work, college and a kidlet take up most of her time. But seriously, who needs sleep when you’re training the future generation of nerd? With great power comes great responsibility…..or something.