Riddick returns to the gritty R rated roots of Pitch Black. After the lackluster response to The Chronicles of Riddick, Vin Diesel obtained full ownership of the character in exchange for a cameo in Tokyo Drift. Diesel and series director David Twohy worked tirelessly to get back to the basics. Riddick feels like the best of both installments, but it still depends on how much you tolerate someone like Richard B. Riddick. I definitely prefer the first act over the rest of the pitch black creature feature.
Riddick’s role as Necromonger leader is addressed in the opening. Karl Urban returns as Vaako to abandon Riddick on another bright desert planet. The R rating is quickly confirmed by its infrequent F bombs, graphic dismemberment, and very naked women. The first act is better since it follows Riddick alone trying to survive on a planet that wants to kill him. I was especially fond of the relationship he develops with a CGI dog hyena alien creature. Since an entire movie can’t support a premise like that, the second and third acts bring in another group of disposable mercenaries.
Most of them are unlikable, but some stand out thanks to their actors. Katee Sackhoff is the tough female merc Dahl and Matthew Nable plays the father of Johns from the first movie seeking closure for his son’s death. Dave Batista is also present in a bit of ironic foreshadowing. The action is very similar to Pitch Black, except that everyone has weapons to fight the monsters. The most stand out scene this time involves Riddick, once again chained up, but killing a man by kicking a machete at his head. Riddick very much delivers on familiar thrills.
Preceded by: The Chronicles of Riddick