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Riddick Review: Nonsense Sprinkled With Gory Violence

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Vin Diesel’s latest run as Riddick is upon us, and while it offers a few brilliantly gory deaths, its overall contribution to the waning summer of 2013 movie lineup is forgettable.

Riddick opens on a desolate planet as a pterodactyl-like creature begins to chew on an exposed hand in the dirt, which just so happens to be Riddick’s. Betrayed by his people, the white pupil having convict has been left to die on this planet that seems lifeless at first, but as Riddick begins to regain his strength, he quickly learns that he’s not alone. The only way to get revenge on those who have wronged him is to activate a beacon that effectively lets the galaxy’s mercenaries know where its most infamous bounty contract has been hiding. Within seconds of activation a band of mercs arrive to claim Riddick’s head as their prize, but the arrival of another merc ship, plus the threat of an indigenous alien species quickly puts Riddick in a position of power.

On paper this plot may sound interesting, and it should be, but that’s not the case with Riddick. After a solid opening and character setup, Riddick quickly turns into a B-movie affair that features more nonsense than edge of your seat action. At first this movie makes it seem like the entire plot will be centered around Riddick terrorizing the two merc teams trying to capture him, which would have been entertaining considering Riddick’s ability to cause fear in his enemies, but it curiously turns into an homage to the Alien franchise.

Riddick readies himself for an attack
Riddick readies himself for an attack

More than halfway through the two hour runtime the tone of this movie changes from a semi-gory manhunt to an alien survival horror movie, but the scares never happen. Not once did the alien threat actually feel like a threat. Quite frankly the whole introduction of the alien horde felt generic and slightly out of place. Riddick would have been a much more thrilling tale if it stuck to the human part of the script and left the aliens for a cheap kill here or there. Crowbarring aliens into the script didn’t allow for the mercs to be fully developed, which made them all feel like throw away characters, therefore removing any sense of attachment to them. Outside of a Katie Sackhoff boob shot, and a fantastic gruesome death for one of the main mercs, these secondary characters could all have been absent from the film due to the way the plot curiously played out.

It also didn’t help that Dave Bautista, a former WWE wrestler, is one of the better actors. The entire cast felt robotic. It’s as if each actor took cues from Diesel’s drab and sloth-like acting skills. Every line felt as if it were being read, none of the characters felt authentic outside of Riddick, but don’t expect Vin to bring much more to the role. He still speaks slow, looks slightly chubby, and feels like a poor man’s Dwayne Johnson. Riddick is supposed to be an imposing badass, but Diesel’s limited range just makes him feel like a robot in human skin.

The forgettable supporting cast of Riddick
The forgettable supporting cast of Riddick

Riddick’s R-rating makes it semi-worth seeing since those types of movies don’t get made too often in our world of political correctness and cash hungry studio execs, but it’s nothing to write home about. There are a few gruesome scenes that carry your attention span to the end of the movie, but they’re too few and far between to even make them worth the price of admission. Unless you’re a die hard Riddick or Vin Diesel fan, there’s no need to see Riddick 2013 in theaters. Its thin plot and cardboard characters are forgettable, and the fact that it turns into an alien horror movie more than halfway in stalls any interest in the human element.

[schema type=”review” name=”Riddick | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: One headshot, One head face slice kill | The Not so Awesome: Generic plot, Cardboard characters, Confused about what type of movie it wanted to be” rev_name=”Riddick” rev_body=”Riddick 2013 may have looked like a solid science fiction movie full of gore and brutality, but in reality it’s just another movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be. The characters are paper thin, and the plot is forgettable. Diesel struggles to convince his prowess, and the supporting cast isn’t much better. There’s no need to see Riddick in theaters, so add it to the old Netflix cue and save it for a day when you’re hungover and need a brainless movie to watch.” author=”Matt Heywood” pubdate=”2013-09-08″ user_review=”5″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]

The reviewer paid for a ticket to see this film for review purposes.

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Tags : Movie ReviewRiddick
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he's not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB's Star Wars Time podcast show.