Director: David Twohy
Studio: Radar Pictures / One Race Films
Stars: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff
Resurrecting the breakout antihero from 2000’s Alien clone Pitch Black and rebounding from the pretentious bloat and slog of the 2004 follow-up flop, The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick marks Vin Diesel’s homecoming or, more to the point, his redo of the first flick.
Stripped bare, Riddick is basically a sensibly budgeted, straight-ahead R-rated intergalactic action bone-cruncher, a vanity project for the gravelly voiced, brutish blank slate that is Diesel. In the opening scenes, our deadpan ex-con hero gets triple-crossed and left for dead on a hostile, unspecified sun-baked planet infected by hostile jackals and mud demons and soul-crushing voiceover narration. The middle of the movie has Riddick all healthy again and fit to do battle with two separate packs of mercenaries and bounty hunters, played by a number of up-for-fun actors that include Jordi Mollà, Katee Sackhoff and Matt Nable, whom he, mostly, tracks, hunts and slaughters one by one. Up next is a succession of gory, gooey, blood-spattering kill-or-be-killed sequences that ought to have action fans fist-pumping and jumping out of their seats.
The David Twohy–directed and written Riddick is no game changer, but it’s an efficient, lean entertainer that proves that there’s still fuel left both in Diesel’s tank and also in the franchise. Odds are Diesel and Twohy will be back.