Riddick (2013)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 9/8/13
Director: David Twohy
Music: Graeme Revell
Cast: Vin Diesel, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista, cameo by Karl Urban

David Twohy and Vin Diesel team up again to bring Richard B. Riddick to the big screen a third time. Breaking free from the Necromongers, Riddick (Vin Diesel) finds himself left for dead on a scorched and deadly planet. Mustering up all of his survival skills, he reverts to his animal instincts and eventually becomes a master of the environment. But a storm is coming, along with a plague of monsters, and Riddick needs to get offworld as quickly as possible. Stumbling upon an abandoned bounty hunter outpost, he signals for help and catches the attention of some unscrupulous bounty hunters led by Jordi Molla and a mercenary unit led by a man with connections to "Pitch Black" (Matt Nable). While everyone wants Riddick's head, they realize all too late that they're doomed unless they deal with him on his terms.

It's a straight forward, by the numbers, sci-fi/action/horror film that's pretty much a remake of the original. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, it seems to lack originality and freshness as a result. Ironically, "The Chronicles Of Riddick" suffered from the opposite problem, as it strayed too far from the character and the established formula. It's definitely a testosterone fueled film, full of muscle-bound lunkheads and misogynistic undertones. Basically, just a bunch of unpleasant people doing unpleasant things. Katee Sackhoff is the sole female in the cast as Matt Nable's second in command, and while she is a tough bitch who can handle herself quite nicely, her character isn't given much respect. Jordi Molla and his team are as despicable as you would imagine, and provide a nice foil for Nable's equally unpleasant, but more disciplined team. The acting is serviceable, but Nable's conflicted performance stands out above the rest. He gives more than the film probably deserves, and the film benefits immensely from it. Additionally, Dave Bautista is quite endearing and adds a certain amount of charm to the film. The visual effects are quite good and the film is loaded with them. It's also exceedingly gory and violent, but that shouldn't come as any surprise. It's not a bad film by any stretch, but your enjoyment will be solely based on how much investment you have in Riddick's character.