Monday, September 9, 2013

RIDDICK (2013)

Directed by: David Twohy

Cast: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Bokeem Woodbine, Dave Bautista, Conrad Pla, Raoul Trujillo,Nolan Funk, Keri Hilson
Review by James Colt Harrison 

Vin Diesel is a hot commodity at the moment because of his world-wide hit in the Fast and Furious series. The new Riddick film from Universal is a continuation of a series about the renegade criminal that first saw life in Pitch Black (2000), followed by The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), and the current Riddick (2013) as well as in a series of video games (2004-2009) for which Diesel did the voices. 

Director David Twohy directed Pitch Black and has been involved in all three films, both directing and writing them (along with Diesel’s pen), so the films have his imprint all over them, good or bad. Twohy hasn’t been a major director by any means, but he seems to have lucked out in his association with pal Diesel. The two men seem to have an affinity for each other, and Twohy understands Diesel’s strong assets and uses them to advantage to impact the screen. 

With a name like Diesel (nee Mark Sinclair), you are bound to be considered powerful, dominant and just plain in charge. Diesel has a voice deeper than the Marianna Trench, which automatically commands the audience’s attention as well as every creature that’s on the screen. Nobody can mistake this mellifluent voice for Mickey Mouse’s squeak. Even the wild creatures sit up and take notice. 

Diesel’s character has been abandoned on an alien and seemingly parched planet. The sun beats down and makes life miserable. When there is water, there is too much, and it awakens the most hideous creatures ever devised by Universal’s creature shop. Frankenstein is a pussycat compared to these vicious, scorpion-like snapping monsters. Does Riddick have to encounter and deal with them? Of course, or there would be no picture! 

Having been left for dead, Riddick’s only course of action is to attract mercenaries to come and rescue him. Two sets of tough guys respond and descend on the planet to get Riddick and reap the reward money for killing this murderous and vicious criminal. One ship is captained by a man who has more personal reasons for wanting Riddick dead. The other ship is determined to bring back Riddick’s head in a plastic box for all to see. Charming. The space-age mercenaries are tougher and more mean than all the guys in Machete put together, and that’s ugly and scary. 

The director has alternated mystery, action and humor throughout the film, but not a great deal of any one element. But Diesel’s charisma is such that the audiences eye’s (not “Shined” like Riddick’s that glow in the dark for night vision capabilities) cannot leave him when he appears. That is the meaning of a star.
Most of the appeal of the film will probably be to twenty-something guys who love action and the thought that a tough token lesbian mercenary (Katee Sackhoff) has more bullets in her gun than they do. We can’t say it’s a comedy, but there are some welcome laughs in the picture and plenty of spine-tingling action and thrills.

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Anonymous said...

Good review. A little too slow at times, but still kept me interested in its own odd way.

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