Riddick: It's simply Riddickulous

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comSeptember 5, 2013 

Film Review Riddick

This film image released by Universal Pictures shows Vin Diesel in a scene from "Riddick." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures)


The first thought on Riddick is impossible to resist and a very bad play on words. Riddickulous.

Bad, I know. Very bad. From here, the review might get better, but the movie falls even farther downhill.

Vin Diesel takes his most famous character, Riddick, on a third spin around the cinematic block. A slight majority of critics -- not me -- liked the original film Pitch Black. Released in 2000, Diesel got raves for his performance as the anti-hero that the Internet Movie Database identifies as Richard B. Riddick.

The name is laughable. Not as laughable as the third movie in a series so bad that the second film, like the first, tanked at the box office. It did manage to attract some notice and gained cult status via video.

Gratefully, the second film wasn't screened for most critics and I managed to miss it. My luck ran out with movie number three.

Riddick -- as fans of the series will remember -- was double-crossed by supposed allies in the last movie where he was made king of some planet. He has been left for dead on a world packed with dangerous beasts that can't wait to make him their next meal. Seeing the writing on the wall, Riddick finds a communication station and sends a beacon asking for rescue.

As the most wanted man in the known universe, Riddick's interstellar plea attracts two ships of bounty hunters. Group one is led by Santana, who wants him dead because the bounty is double if his head is delivered in a box. Boss John's group wants him alive because Riddick possesses information that John wants.

Riddick, knowing he's going to be hunted and possibly killed, stays out of sight, hoping he can eventually get a ship and leave. He picks off his pursuers one at a time. Speaking of time, it's a premium. On the horizon is rain. And rain brings the planet's most dangerous predators; creatures none of the bounty hunters or Riddick want to face.

Those possessing 17 brain cells or less will find Riddick riveting. The rest of us, having seen this same movie done a hundred times and in much better ways, are bored out of our planetary minds. Writer/director David Twohy did the first two and returns to write and direct this one. His film is packed with predictable characters and even more predictable plot lines. The special effects are decent but add nothing to the overwrought sequel.

The only thing interesting in the flick is a canine pal that Riddick picks up early in the movie. Twohy misses an opportunity to have some fun with their relationship. That also gets to the heart of why none of the films in what is now being called The Chronicles of Riddick is very good. They're not fun.

Riddick, however, is at least somewhat funny, even if it is unintentional.

Director: David Twohy

Stars: Vin Diesel, Katee Sarkhoff, Bookeem Woodbine, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable

Mr. Movie rating: 1 star

Rated R for violence, gore, nudity and mature themes. It is playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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