As a fan of The Chronicles of Riddick, I was ecstatic to find out that they were going to make another sequel in the “Riddick” series. The first movie, Pitch Black, was a surprise hit in 2000. The Chronicles of Riddick came out in 2004 and the third installment was released September 2013. Since I was busy reviewing for my board exams, I missed it when it was in theaters but was able to watch it just last night (thank you torrents). Here is what I think of it (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD).
I was disappointed to find that Alexa Davalos (aka Kyra aka Jack) was NOT going to reprise her role in the third movie. A large part of my desire to see Riddick was to find out what happened to her. Is she really dead? Would she magically come back to life? How is Riddick going to avenge her death? Sadly, her story line was not mentioned AT ALL in Riddick.
Another thing I did not like about the movie was that it had less Chronicles and more Pitch Black. That is, there was very little “story” in the whole movie. Basically, Riddick is stranded on a planet (again) where everything is trying to kill him. He lures mercs using an emergency beacon so he can steal their ship and escape “Not-Furya”. The reason I loved Chronicles so much was the mythology around it. Hell, it even had two settings. In Riddick, we watch Vin Diesel outsmart the baddies and escape into the not-sunset.
The thing I did appreciate, was the movie’s nods to its predecessors. First, the beginning quickly explains how Riddick went from Grand Marshall of the Necromongers into scorpion-bait. Second, we are introduced to Johns’ dad. Next, Riddick somehow gets the baddies to make a deal with him that ultimately gets him to kill them and escape. As another reviewer said, Riddick is the real sequel to Pitch Black.
Another thing I noticed about the movie was the clever way it did a twist to the whole alien-boogey-man scenario. We see a lot of movies where a human ship crashes/gets invaded by the scary alien and we spend the whole time watching people get killed one-by-one. Riddick does follow the same pattern but instead of having an unknown alien fighting in the dark, the creature ghosting the silly humans is Riddick himself.
Also, Batista (the pro wrestler) is awesome as Diaz. To all Awkward fans, Collin (Nolan Gerard Funk) also has a part in the movie as the bible-thumping Luna, though his acting should go and ask Batista’s acting for some tips.
I did also love the visuals in this movie. Vin Diesel was great as the stoic Riddick, surviving against all odds. Though I did find the first few minutes quite self-indulgent (we get it, he’s badass), it does well to introduce the character to Riddick rookies. It’s that type of film where you don’t need to watch the sequels to understand or enjoy it, although you will miss the little nods here and there.
In the end, I’m not certain whether I like this movie or not; or if I’d recommend it as a must-watch film. It’s an OK film for sci-fi buffs and Riddick fans. It’s a good popcorn movie. Props for everything I mentioned above but it does leave me wanting more of the Riddick universe. Maybe a Riddick 4?