Directed by: David Twohy

Written by: David Twohy

Starring: Vin Diesel, Jordi Mollà, Matthew Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista

Rating: [3.5/5]

Even when admired by many, big swings in shifting a franchise don’t always land as intended with the general populace. Something requiring courage by the filmmakers but at times one needs to return to its roots, which we receive with the homecoming of everyone’s favorite badass, Riddick. A film combining elements of its two preceding films even if suffering from not having the best of the blend all in one. 

Betrayed as the leader of the Necromongers, Riddick (Vin Diesel) gets stranded on a dangerous planet where he needs to survive against the elements and the creatures inhabiting it. With the threat of danger on the horizon, Riddick invites mercenaries hoping to kill him to the planet as he tries to find a way out.

You will not find a bigger defends for the Chronicles of Riddick than me with how much I appreciate the big swing Diesel and writer/director David Twohy took with expanding a monster thriller story into this vast epic science-fiction fantasy tale. Sure, it can be expressed as a complete ego project for Vin Diesel but once again they deliver something riveting through its action and demonstrate what makes Riddick a fun character to follow as he goes on these adventures.

The whole first act revolves around Riddick and his time on this planet, which has its many downfalls. Limited water, hot days, and filled with creatures looking to make a meal out of everyone they can, this allows us to see Riddick back in his element, or as he calls his “animal side.” This pays homage to the first film, Pitch Black, in its self-contained setting and narrative. Riddick must fight off various creatures with the ultimate showdown coming from this scorpion-like monster staying near water he must fend off. Quite the adversary for him and it allows the titular character to show off what makes him a captivating watch, but we still need some human interaction and we receive it with the introduction of these mercenaries or “mercs.”

Coming to the planet to take out Riddick comes a group of individuals paid to hunt for a living and they certainly bring their personalities to the table. Elite killers arrive just to be humbled by what Riddick can do on a physical and mental level. The scenes where Riddick hunts them down but we see it occur through the perspective of these mercenaries make for the better moments of this feature. Riddick comes and goes as a ghost, thus making sense of why his name brings trembles to the spine of the individual who dares try to track him down. Even with all of the chips against Riddick he still manages to work his way and it definitely makes for an entertaining experience. 

As much love I have for this character and the passion Vin Diesel and David Twohy have in telling these entertaining science-fiction films, I do not begrudge those who dismiss this as an ego trip for the leading man. Riddick operates as this incredibly confident individual in his abilities and how he always knows more than his enemies by being one step ahead of them. In a sense, this character has no development or arc going back to his first film as he’s completely flawless in everything he does. It means nothing particularly interesting happens with him and the enjoyment comes from everything happening around him and how he manages it all. Several moments truly astound with how the titular character represents the worst in masculinity and how much the narrative indulges in it could cause some to vomit. Nothing exemplifies it more than what transpires with the sole female character, Dahl (Katee Sackhoff). Asinine and certainly does Diesel no favors. 

While having its issues, Riddick remains a very entertaining feature that brings back a fun character to fall back in his element of fighting creatures. The world he inhabits throughout this feature allows for a good one-off adventure as he deals with the aftermath of what occurred with the Necromongers. It works as a blend of its preceding films and brings us back to a world I thoroughly enjoy and I’m glad we got another chance to see how this Furyan kicks some mercenary and monster butt.

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