12th Jan2014

‘Riddick’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine | Written and Directed by David Twohy


If you know your movie trivia (or read IMDB like me) you’ll know that Vin Diesel agreed to the cameo in The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift so that he could take control of the Riddick franchise and become the producer, meaning that he could make a film based on the character independently.  What we ended up with when Riddick was finally made was a film that resembled Pitch Black in many ways, and anybody who has seen that know that this comparison is not a bad thing.

In Riddick the titular character once again finds himself on a barren planet with the impending doom of something coming on the horizon, but this time a storm.  Letting off a distress signal he brings two mercenary ships to the planet with the view of escaping on at least one of them.  As the mercenaries try to capture him dead or alive they soon find that they are part of a game Riddick has set up, one that he is very much in control of.

Riddick is a confusing film for me because I like it, but it’s easy to see its flaws, with the main one being that there are too many similarities to Pitch Black.  Riddick, again played by Vin Diesel though is a different man, he is the one we saw at the end of Pitch Black who has morality and is in fact misunderstood by the very people who hunt him.  Although it also has it also has to be said that Riddick has not softened on people who are trying to kill him, he’s quick to kill and shows no mercy.  For the people who show goodness though he is more lenient as he shows with Katee Sackhoff’s character Dahl.

Sackhoff is obviously another star that will catch people attention because of her role as Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica and her role in this is very much like that character.  She’s a badass and in many ways is one of the few characters to actually be able to injure Riddick and get away with it.  His flirting with her shows a cheeky testing of her boundaries and there is obvious chemistry between the characters, but I like how her mind is always on the job, no matter how much ribbing Riddick gives to her.

What will surprise people the most with Riddick is the way it does not seem to be just another popcorn movie.  For the first act Riddick is becoming acclimatised to his new home and even makes a friend in the form of an alien dog, or as the mercenaries call them “dingo-dongos”.  The building of this friendship is not rushed and as the viewer I found myself actually beginning to like this friendship.  In taking time to build up the relationship between Riddick and the dog it’s actually revealed what type of movie this is.

Riddick is a movie that is not over populated by characters, like Pitch Black it has just the right amount and each of these characters is given the time to actually be a part of the story.  Some may just be cannon fodder for the death scenes, but even then we tend to have known they existed.  For wrestling fans keep an eye out for Batista, he’s not hard to notice and his performance is actually quite good, especially for the no brain character he is meant to be playing.

When I think about Riddick I’m left with the feeling that yes it’s flawed and some may not like it, but I can’t ignore the fact that personally it worked for me.  There is more of a cerebral edge to most of the movie and the character of Riddick shows just what makes him so dangerous.  He’s smarter than the people who hunt him down and he is always in control of the situations that he has been placed in, and for the most part this is what can be said about the movie itself.  A smart action movie, Riddick is worth a watch just for the fact it doesn’t play by the action rules and tells the story that it wants to be told.

Riddick is released in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD from January 13th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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