David Twohy's RIDDICK
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
If you want to see a tough guy with glowing eyes kick ass from dawn to dusk, this is the movie to see.
I’m a Riddick fan. I greatly enjoyed both Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick. Seeing this most recent entry was highly entertaining. While Riddick lacks the clever planetary mechanics of Pitch Black and the visual grandeur of the second film, it does reward us with a steady dose of Riddick himself as ably performed by Vin Diesel.
The set up is pretty standard fare: Reddick has been left for dead in some godforsaken desert planet replete with nasty beasts and hostile weather. Responding to his emergency signal are two teams of bountyhunters that use all manners of technology to capture him but who are — of course — no match for The Riddick.
Mayhem ensues. First, Riddick starts picking off the bountyhunters. Then the remnants of the teams join Riddick to battle a particularly lethal life form awaken by a massive rain storm.
One thing that keeps the film from devolving into just another CGI heavy slugfest is the cast of characters. Imagine the range of stereotypes you can apply to the two warring bounty hunter groups; we get them all here: the cruel and I’m trustworthy boss, the butch female mercenary, the callow young recruit eager to please, the dumb guard who you know will be one of the first to go, the boss with Riddick backstory connections, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. We’ve seen them all before. Seeing them again gives the action a sort of comforting familiarity even as Riddick, the elements, and the nasty creatures explode around them.
We even have a MacGuffin in the pursuit of locked away “nodes” that are required to get at least one spaceship off this foul planet. It’s all supremely hokey but it all fits the recipe and is the perfect movie to watch with a friend and a six pack of fine craft brew.
Finally, I have to say that the visual design of the film the CGI is just stunning. The planet itself is gorgeously visualized. Displayed in “HDX” mode from Vudu on a nice plasma TV the image is at times breathtaking. The creatures themselves are also amazing with particular praise deserved by the dog creature that Riddick adopts as a companion.
Definitely recommended for the action fan.
Review copyright © 2014 by Dennis D. McDonald