Riddick (2013)

After being meekly bartered, this modestly budgeted and redundant series finale should be left alone in the dark once and for all!

RiddickUniversal Pictures in association with Entertainment One, One Race Films and Radar Pictures present…

“Don’t know how many times I have been crossed off the list and left for dead. Guess when it first happened on the day that you were born you’re going to lose count. So this, this ain’t nothing new!” After being hunted down for years, then by avenging his race and becoming Lord Marshall of the Necromongers he is abandoned in a desolated planet. So, let’s see if there is something worth viewing for the “Chronicles of Riddick” film series finale!

Directed by David Twohy (The Perfect Getaway) who also wrote and directed its prequels. With after so many years of planning, a respectable series like this one should have been given more value in terms of content and story. I even thought that the sequel “The Chronicles of Riddick” was a sleeper hit considering that it gained more than a 100 million in the box-office. It was grander and more importantly has a story to tell and a purpose to serve its intended premise. But it seems that the think tank tandem of David and Vin has gone without remorse, empty and dry which left a huge fan base scratching their heads and without any idea where this franchise is going. By the way, who names an alien Richard? Riddick was actually fine!

Speaking of the devil, Vin Diesel (Man Apart) has been doing pretty well in the box-office with his “Fast and the Furious” films and with another tent-pole blockbuster offered by Marvel Studios looming in the horizon! Vin carries Riddick’s character with much conviction considering his is known as a anti-hero, a former soldier turned hunter and now being hunted for his crimes, although not being well-received in the industry he still made a huge following from fans around the globe. Vin even produced his films through One Race Productions which allows him more control on the project while collaborating with his Director. I had hope that they would be able to ante-up the plot considering that they have made a bigger production in terms of SFX / VFX courtesy of Method Studios which handled the creature animation and design, the digital terrain, weaponry effects and lighting plus with a measly pool of talent to only plummet in the box-office returns! Even Karl Urban (Dredd) returned as Lord Vaako only to be cast for a cameo role does not prove anything to make it more lucrative!

Known by many names “Leviathan”, “Khan” and “The Animal” Dave Bautista (The Man with the Iron Fists) a former Wrestler for the World Wrestling Federation, having the luxury to strike the iron while it is hot, Dave plays a bounty hunter named Diaz who works for Jordi Mollà (Bad Boys II) as Santana the leader of the pack who seem to have a penchant for violence and being a lunatic. Maybe it was a good deal that he gets more exposure with these types of films seeing that his next major project will be set for the next year’s most anticipated part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe “Guardians of the Galaxy”!

Sci-Fi fan favorite Katee Sackhoff (White Noise: The Light) is sharp shooting Dahl under the command of Boss Johns portrayed by Matthew Nable (Killer Elite) who has a deeper role to play against the best hunter of the cosmos plus given the acting he does a better job than the rest put together. The more technologically and tactically equipped of the two groups, Dahl plays her role the way she needs to be since being stucked with a dozen guys, she asserts her dominance be being the “point man” in this mission while she kicks the lights out of Santana as the film progresses. Not much acting to see here except for better screentime and dialogue!

So, as the main star said in his opening narrative this is not something new! Riddick only needed was a space cab to get off this too crowded alien infested rock but unfortunately more cannon fodder were interested to die for no cause. The premise was shallow, let alone for the first 20 minutes showing how a survivor conquers all odds just to get to the other side of the planet. While giving it an “Alien” and “Predator” scenario that lets them deal with creatures that actually infests water laden territories!

Director David and his main actor has been planning this last film 5 years ago, surprisingly Universal Pictures was able to give them the backbone to distribute their film in exchange for Vin Diesel’s cameo appearance for the “The Fast and the Furious 2: Tokyo Drift” but it seems with the given amount of time and to market another potential blockbuster for the character and its fan based audience, it was left dead cold in the murky potholes infested by these “mud demons”!

There are films that can still pull through with this abysmally set-up crew and cast and for that matter just to prove my point; Riddick’s Dingo-Dog had more character than any of those characters who were just sent to that planet to die since that was all part of the stringent and constricted screenplay!

At least the level of action and fan service gave way in the latter part. With all the hype and mediocre ticket sales for the combined effort of the foreign and international screenings, Riddick did give itself a huge favor in opening with not much competition for viewership! Overall, it was still watchable considering the one liners and the once again overused CGI without a viable storytelling, these films will really put you in the dark literally even if you were a member of the Alpha Furyan species! Do yourself a favor Riddick, just head home!

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