Rating: Given its scaled down cinematography and an amusingly horny script, the fun flowing from this film is likely to surprise you.
What possible excuse could I use for going to see Riddick? Yes, I did insist that Thamer, my Saudi foreign exchange student, accompany me for moral support, but that’s not likely to cause any of you to forgive me. Let me just say that with Sylvester Stallone looking profoundly surgically altered and Arnold Schwarzenegger losing any admiration after having sex with his housekeeper, we’ve got to keep Vin Diesel relevant, don’t we?
Regardless, my real embarrassment flows from the fact that I not only liked this year’s Fast and Furious 27 (or whatever sequel number was attached), but Riddick was also enjoyable in a totally unexplainable way. What has happened to me? Is some type of unknown mutation taking place where I soon will become an advocate of the National Tea Party? What if I vote Republican in the next Presidential election, for God’s sake?
On the other hand, whining will get me nowhere. So let me just say that Riddick turned out to be a perverse pleasure. Left for dead on an all-but-barren planet, Riddick has to initially fight for his life as giant scorpions try to make him their next meal. Given that he is also hunted by incredibly large hyena-type dogs, death appears to await with each sunset.
Just when you start to lose your self-respect as a movie patron, good old Riddick comes to the aid of a small hyena puppy, eventually adopting him as his companion. Riddick damn near becomes a softie, and you end up developing the same bond for them as they do for each other.
What happens next is an obvious struggle for his life, as two separate ships land seeking his destruction. One is filled with bounty hunters who simply want to bring him back dead, while the other involves a team of pursuers from the prior Riddick films. They dislike each other as much as Riddick, and the battle is on.
Set aside your ridicule and embrace the fact that this film has a bit of emotion as well as humor. What happens to his pet will nearly bring tears to your eyes, which you soon are able to gratefully overcome given some convincing performances from our group of supporting actors.
While the crews of both vessels deserve mention, most are actors who are largely unrecognizable. However, what serves to galvanize the film is the performance of Katee Sackhoff, fittingly known as Dahl. The only woman of any significance in this film, she also earned Riddick its R rating. Beyond being sexy as hell, she is also as mean and powerful as a poisonous snake.
Foul mouthed and brutal, she also doesn’t hide the fact that she is gay. For example, when the leader of the bounty hunters tries to seduce her, she responds, “I don’t f – – k men, I only kill them.”;
Furthermore, when this same idiot attacks her when she was leaving a shower stall, he leaps on her, pinning her to the ground. When he looks at her and sarcastically says, “We have a lot in common. I don’t f – – k men either,” she proceeds to grab him by the throat and beat him senseless. Simply stated, Dahl was no “doll”.
As you may have already inferred from the previews, rain is not a good thing on this desolate planet. Riddick and his pursuers are forced to join forces when a downpour awakens scorpions-type monsters peacefully at rest underground. To put it another way, imagine 18 foot long cicadas with a bad attitude coming to life in your yard every 18 years.
The question is, who is going to survive? I’d put my money on Riddick.