Craig's First Take: "Riddick"

Photo Credit: © 2013 - Universal Pictures

It looks like that draught of decent action movies is going to last at least another week. This new “Riddick” is basically the same as the old Riddick, which to me was diverting, forgettable entertainment, with the one major difference that sequels to a movie that hardly had a plot to begin with now only make the minimalism stand out more.

David Twohy, who’s been there from the beginning of this three film series, is at his suspenseful best in the early going as he sets his film on some no-name desert planet where rocky terrain, hyena-dog hybrids, and some even deadlier monsters inhabit. Riddick (Vin Diesel), a lone wolf with some freaky eye sight, used to fending for himself, has been betrayed and marooned on the planet.

But it would be a short movie if it just starred one guy and so two ships full of bounty hunters (carrying familiar faces like Jordi Molla, Bokeem Woodbine, and Katee Sackhoff) land in the hopes of finding Riddick, one crew hoping to kill him while the other has some questions regarding a character’s death from “Pitch Black”.

From there it’s a game of hide and seek with Riddick mostly off screen waiting to pounce on his new guests. Unfortunately none of these other actors has the charisma to hold the screen, all of them might as well have the word victim on their foreheads, and the movie spends way to long just following them around as they do nothing but to a lot of in-fighting between the two factions and a lot of boring tough guy posturing. Efficiency is thrown out the window as these guys draw the bare-bones film out to an unbelievable 2 hours.

By the time we get some action in the last third, it’s all typically big, bloody death sequences. The dialogue is pretty bad throughout, and the effects pretty much on par with anything else on the Sci-fi network but that low-budget feel was also part of the appeal of this series, but the question is, did the “Riddick” movies ever have enough to constitute a series to begin with?

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