Riddick: Rated “R” (1 hr. 59.)
Starring: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Dave Bautista, Katee Sackhoff, Nolan Gerard Funk
Directed by: David Twohy
When last we saw Riddick (Diesel) he had just taken over authority of the Necromancers (having just killed their leader, and by rights of combat now entitled to everything he “owned.” However, that life apparently proved not only too sedentary, but too dangerous even for Riddick. After having spent some time amongst a clan of peoples who would just as soon kill you as follow you, was not quite what Riddick had signed up for, so he set off to find his home world of Furya, only to find himself betrayed by the Necromancers and left for dead on a barren hell-hole. Fighting off the very nasty indigenous live forms Riddick makes his way to a Mercenary outpost and sets off a beacon to call for help. Only “help” arrives in the form of other Mercs who are more interested in the bounty on his head than in rescuing him.
Now, having been betrayed and left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick must fight for his survival against the deadly alien predators that exist in this barren land. As well as two teams of mercenaries from around the galaxy who are determined to bring him home as their bounty. Needless to say, this is what Riddick does best, fights for his own survival against alien predators, becoming more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Soon the bounty hunters who have descend upon this hellish rock discover that they aren’t so much hunting Riddick as he is hunting them. Soon enough they realize that they are mere pawns in his greater scheme for revenge. With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a series of increasingly vicious attacks of vengeance against them as he attempts to secure one of their ships in order to return to his home planet of Furya in order to save it from destruction.
With this third incarnation, Riddick returns to his dangerous roots. The nameless planet upon which he finds him trapped is very similar in nature to the one where we first discovered him in Near Dark. The film also resets itself to an “R” rating, amping up both the violence and sexual content. Still, this film is every bit as engaging as were both the previous, while setting a new bar for the next installment (please, you know that there is going to be a follow-up to this film). The stark bleakness of the world, the twisted evolved nastiness of the creatures that inhabit it, as well as the hard-core seriousness of the mercs themselves make this film a treat to watch as Riddick shows them all who is in charge. Yeah, we so totally want to see the next Riddick film.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.