Top positive review
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"There are bad days and then there are legendary bad days. This was to be one of those. Whole d@mn planet wanted a piece of me."
on 26 January 2015
I didn't expect much from this film, after the huge disappointment that was "Chronicles of Riddick", but I was VERY pleasantly surprised! Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS.
PRECISION: this is the review of 122 minutes long extended version of the film, 8 minutes longer than the cinema version; those additional scenes are quite welcome, but they are not really essential for the story.
Twelve years after the events of "Pitch Black", Riddick (Vim Diesel) finds himself again stranded at a hostile planet - but this time he is alone and also badly wounded. This film tells the story of his struggle to survive and ultimately escape from this anonymous planet (which we know only as "not Furya"). The escape will be made ultimately possible by arrival on this planet of two ships - but it will be also a difficult thing, as the tough and experienced crews of those spacecrafts have terminally hostile intentions... I will not say more about the story.
This is a very honest SF/adventure film, not as good as "Pitch Black", but still a well done thing. There are many treasures in "Riddick", not the least of which is the very limited place accorded to this whole "Necromongers" nonsense, which completely destroyed the second film in the series. There are two moments showing Riddick in his functions as Necromongers Lord Marshall (and allow Karl Urban to appear in a cameo), but they are mercifully short and all the rest of the story takes place on "not Furya" planet.
This planet is a very hostile place, every bit as dangerous as desert planet in "Pitch Black" - albeit not really as lethal as Crematoria from "Chronicles of Riddick" (incidentally the only thing worth watching in this latter film). Riddick's adventures in its deadly wilderness are shown very, very well indeed.
People who come to the planet looking for Riddick are tough and unpleasant, albeit one of them, the youngest of all, seems to be in the wrong line of work... Amongst those unpleasant bounty hunters there is a sadistic, machete wielding thug named Santana (Jordi Molla), a middle aged, highly professional and deadly serious guy named "Boss" Johns (Matthew Nable), who has a personal score to settle with Riddick and also, last but not least, a very athletic and very lesbian amazon/sniper named Dahl (Katee Sackhoff). Their interactions amongst them and with Riddick are actually better shown than in most action movies - although some opportunities for better dialogs, more drama and better jokes were wasted, there was still a clear effort on the level of scenario here.
This film actually reminded me of some old westerns as indeed we have here three groups of very different people (Santana's crew, Johns' crew and Riddick who is a kind of one man army) in an abandoned "town" (OK, a couple of barracks) in the middle of a deadly wilderness - and we know that the Apaches (here known as Mud Demons) are never far and will ultimately show themselves...
There are some developments in this film, centred around character of Dahl, which are soooo deliciously not-politically correct, that I howled with admiration...))) It begins with giving to an athletic amazon/sniper lesbian character the name which is pronounced as "doll"...))) But it actually gets even better and I think that any feminist and especially a lesbian feminist who would dare watch this film would probably get a heart attack towards the end...))) So a friendly warning ladies, stay away from "Riddick" - in every posible sense of these words...)))
It is worth noticing also that if two first films seemed indicate that Islam is the dominant religion in space civilization of future, in this one we finally have a devout Christian - although the director couldn't resist the temptation to give him the name Luna (like in "lunatic"). Incidentally, the existence of this character gives Riddick an occasion to place a killer one-liner, one of the best in the whole film...)))
In this film we also have one more time the confirmation that deep inside all men, even the most macho, are little boys at heart - and it is well known that a boy should have a puppy to play with...))) Another thing we learn in this film is that in space "everybody has a box"...))) I am not explaining that one - you will have to watch the film...
Even if I liked "Riddick" much, much more than I expected, I still cannot rate it five stars as some moments are weak and the drama initially build into the confrontation between Riddick and "Boss" Johns ultimately doesn't deliver. Still, a nicely done thing. I think I will keep my DVD for another viewing in the future. ENJOY!