The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Riddick | Vin Diesel, Jordi Molla, Bokeem Woodbine, Matt Nable, Dave Bautista, Katee Sackhoff | Review

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1sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is STINKER Judy Thorburn

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1lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is STINKER



In a voiceover at the beginning, the title character says, “There are bad days and there are legendary bad days. This was one of those.”  Let me revise that. There are bad movies and there are legendary bad movies.  Sadly, Riddick fits into the latter.

Riddick is the third installment of the sci fi action/adventure series starring Vin Diesel beginning with 2000's Pitch Black followed by 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick, that bombed at the box office. You'd think that would have been the end of it, but no, after the studios refused, Diesel felt so invested in the character and the franchise, that the actor took it upon himself to produce yet another chapter in which he reunites with director and writer David Twohy ("The Fugitive"/"Waterworld"). Sorry, Vin, but your money could have been spent more wisely because, to put it mildly,  Riddick is a dud.

The story follows Riddick (Diesel) left for dead and stranded on an alien planet inhabited by deadly carnivorous creatures.  In a struggle to survive, Riddick must fight off a mud dwelling, venomous serpent that looks like a cross between the creature from Alien and a scorpion, and a pack of vicious zebra/hyena/dog like beasts that are referred to as dingo dongos. An extended and fierce battle sequence between Riddick and those alien creatures takes place shortly after the opening and is actually the most intense and visually impressive sequence in the film.

Too bad it goes downhill from there. Considered a dangerous, escaped convict with a bounty on his head, the only way off this G-d forsaken planet is for Riddick to make his way to an abandoned outpost and activate the homing beacon in order to alert bounty hunters to his whereabouts.  Riddick's plan is to steal one of their spacecrafts and fly away. In no short order, two rival teams called “Mercs” arrive, each determined to find and capture their target, who is wanted dead or alive, although the reward is double if he’s brought back in a body bag.

The first team of intergalactic bounty hunters to descend on the terrain is led by the sadistic Santana (Spanish actor, Jordi Molla) who wants to cut off Riddick's head and bring it back in a box.  The other is led by Boss Johns (Matt Nable) whose motive to find Riddick is a more personal one. He isn't interested in the money and wants Riddick alive. Along with with a couple of Latinos, the rest of the cliched cast of characters includes a black dude (Bokeem Woodbine),  a dim witted big lug (wrestler Dave Bautista), a young religious white hunk prone to reciting bribe verses during life threatening moments (The Canyon's Nolan Gerard Funk), the lone female, a tough as nails, kick ass lesbian (Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff) who announces,  “I don’t f--k guys. Occasionally, I f--k them up if they need it.” As an insult to both straight and gay women, her character is on board strictly for men to leer at and to prove that the super manly Riddick could possibly transform her into a heterosexual.

There is no question as to who will be the victor in what essentially is a game of cat and mouse where the tables are turned and one by one the bounty hunters are killed off.  The bounty hunters may be equipped with weapons but they don't have the night vision, super strength, resourcefulness or obvious invincibility of their prey.

There is nothing new or groundbreaking here.  In fact, the film is so bad as to be laughable. The characters are one dimensional, the acting is bad, and the dialogue is lame.    It is pretty sad when the only character with any personality and worth caring about is the computer generated dingo dongo that Riddick saves early on in the film and becomes his loyal companion.

Other than that, the special effects are visually impressive, but not worthy enough to redeem this awful film  featuring continuous droppings of the f-bomb, gore, insufferable macho posturing, and gratuitous, unnecessary female nudity.

Diesel has said he was encouraged and inspired by his fans to bring Riddick back. That may be true, but what we have here proves that some things should NOT be revived.   

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