movie film review | chris tookey


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  Riddick Review
Tookey's Rating
4 /10
Average Rating
5.17 /10
Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Molla
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Directed by: David Twohy
Written by: David Twohy

Released: 2013
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 118

Not a monster hit.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The first and finest of this sci-fi action series, Pitch Black (2000), established the title character as a vicious serial-killer whose survival instincts were so enviably strong that he managed to stand up to everything a hostile planet could throw at him.

The second, The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), was an overblown, incomprehensible epic that deservedly flopped. David Twohy’s belated sequel is a low-budget return to basics.

The first third shows Riddick learning to survive on a yellow planet despite a damaged leg, horrible wolf-like jackals and vile scorpion-like monsters that come crawling out of the water at you. It works, although Riddick’s powers of recuperation do seem miraculously quick. With a couple of metal screws and a couple of rocks, he cures the kind of leg ailments that would leave an Arsenal player unavailable for most of the season.

In the second segment, eleven bounty hunters arrive on the planet, in two rival teams. At first, they think they are too many. By the end of the third, incredibly bloody action segment they know they were not enough.

This is the role for which Diesel will be remembered. Still gruff, monosyllabic and uncompromisingly brutal, he has mellowed enough to train a dog, one of those wolf-like jackals, like an unfeasibly muscular Barbara Woodhouse.

Less endearingly, he makes lumbering, sexist advances to the one female bounty-hunter, who says she’s a lesbian then obligingly disrobes for the camera in order to be ogled. I kept wishing lovely, straight-talking Clare Balding would arrive on the planet and sort them all out.

Not as impressive as Pitch Black but far superior to Chronicles, Riddick is a competent if extremely violent B-picture, with above-average special effects.

I’ve never been able to warm to Riddick as a person, but I did like those nasty, scorpion creatures. However often they were mutilated or killed, they just kept coming. You have to admire their persistence. Heaven knows what they did for entertainment before Riddick was around.

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