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Riddick – Courtney Says

Riddick takes our titular anti-hero back to his monster fighting, merc-killing roots. The film opens with Riddick left-for-dead and stranded on an inhospitable planet. A large chunk of the film follows Riddick on a personal quest to not just survive, but thrive in the barren world on which he was marooned. It’s surprisingly entertaining given it’s just Vin Diesel and some CG animals, for the most part. Some flashbacks are interspersed, which fill in the gaps between this film and the end of Chronicles of Riddick. These cut scenes feel like little more than an afterthought, something the screenwriter added to stop the audience from asking pesky questions. They had to get all that Necromonger stuff out of the way because Riddick is essentially Pitch Black 2, as opposed to being a follow up to Chronicles of Riddick. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Riddick lives up to neither of its predecessors. It lacks the intelligence and intensity of Pitch Black and it lacks the imagination and scope of Chronicles.

And yet… I still enjoyed it.

On the one hand, Riddick is chock full of cringe worthy moments, some of which are intentional, but most of which are the regrettable result of poor writing. The entire final 5-10 minutes of the film were borderline unforgivable. This installment also casts our anti-hero in an uncharacteristically heroic light, which feels forced. In general, the writing was very lazy.

On the other hand, if you can forgive these trespasses, Riddick can be quite a bit of fun. If you enjoy the character of Riddick, you’ll get plenty of classic moments. If you enjoy watching Vin Diesel be a bad-ass, there’s plenty of that as well. The film also boasts pretty good graphics and Katee Sackhoff’s in good form. There’s too much gore for my taste, but, if that’s your cup of tea, you won’t be disappointed.

Riddick is, in the end, a dumb but serviceable popcorn flick. B-


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