Riddick is the sequel to Pitch Black and opens with Riddick in pieces on a scorching planet after finding himself on the losing end of a deal gone wrong with the Necromongers. Slowly, he puts himself back together, fighting tooth and nail against the planet’s not very friendly native species, building up his strength and resistance against what he senses is a larger battle to come. He sees his ticket off the rock by activating a homing beacon he finds in an old outpost, and 2 ships arrive to hunt him, both with very different agendas.
Hardcore fans of Pitch Black will no doubt like Riddick more than they did Chronicles of Riddick, as it’s much closer to the original storyline. The director doesn’t rush through the beginning, and takes his time showing Riddick’s slow recovery from near death. During his recovery, Riddick captures and domesticates a native wild animal, sort of a cross between a Doberman and a heyena, done entirely in CGI. Though not a very original plot element, it’s done pretty well. With Riddicks’ activation of the homing beacon and the arrival of the two ships, we are introduced to a whole slew of new characters, some more annoying than others, and the main plot of the film kicks in. Very similar to Pitch Black, it appears Riddick is the one in the compromising position until a storm brings the REAL monsters, and the remaining characters are all fighting for their lives against an onslaught of countless creatures, which are brought on by rain in this film, instead of the darkness. As expected, the herd is slowly thinned and the main characters are forced to make hard choices about who to trust, and whether working together can improve their chances of survival. Having two different groups with two very different agendas answer the homing beacon adds some complexity and interest to the conflict, plot, and character relationships, but the story overall is pretty standard “mercenaries/special ops fighting for survival against countless alien creatures on a scary planet” type film.
At 118 minutes, it’s fairly lengthy, and fans of the franchise won’t be disappointed as the focus of the film is solely on Riddick, and his character hasn’t really changed much with Vin Diesel delivering every line with the familiar gravelly voice. But, I did find his habit of saying “This is how it’s going to go…” and laying out the scenario of how his current adversary was going to die a little tiresome and overused. The remaining cast is good, most notably Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as the only female who effectively adds a good jolt of sexual friction to the dialogue.
Overall, Riddick is not the most original sequel, but it is entertaining enough and should have plenty of appeal to the die-hard fans of Pitch Black.
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::: Renowned For Sound Technical Director and Film Reviewer ::: Robert is an IT geek, movie fan and part-time movie reviewer/editor. Robert also looks after the ‘behind the scenes’ technical elements of Renowned For Sound.