The sci-fi action film reunites Diesel with director David Twohy (The Fugitive), who wrote and directed the first 2 installments, Pitch Black (2000) and the disappointing The Chronicles of Riddick (2004).
Almost a decade since its last chapter, Riddick’s tricked and abandoned onto a scorched planet when he struck a deal with Commander Vaako (Karl Urban), to bring him back to his home planet Furya in exchange for surrendering his Lord Marshall throne to Vaako.
Left stranded, Riddick emerges from the rubble in the opening scene and begins to adapt to the new harsh terrain.
The highly skilled survivalist then discovers a grassland in the distance and is set on getting there, even if it means facing the scorpions-like creatures that live in the muddy pool that stands in the way of reaching his destination.
Riddick spends time building his immunity to the arachnids’ venom by injecting himself with little doses each time, while raising an orphaned canine beast pup, which grew to be his pet companion.
Soon, he kills off the fearsome creatures in the pool with his hand-made weapons and reaches the other side. Riddick locates an empty mercenary station and in order to leave the planet, he sends off an emergency beacon, transmitting his identity to lure mercenaries onto the planet in search of bounty for his head.
2 ships answer to the call of the beacon, 1 carrying a team of rugged mercenaries led by Santana (Jordi Molla) to obtain the convict’s head; the other, boasts a sleeker and better equipped team captained by a man from Riddick’s past, Boss Johns (Matt Nable), in search of answers.
In the face of his enemies, the hunted Riddick gets the perfect chance to do exactly what he’s build for: killing stealthily in the dark and slaughtering fearlessly with intelligence.
Yay or Nay?
With a mix of robust combat weapons and high-tech guns, fans of the franchise will be treated to plenty of shooting and slashing, and getting a ringside seat of the master of darkness and stealth at work again.
The film picks up towards the end, when a climactic storm approaches and changes the whole ballgame. The showers threaten to raise the water levels, bringing out more scorpion-like creatures to emerge and endangering the lives of the mercenaries and Riddick himself.
On top of the dark humor and dashes of vulgarities, the film hasn’t failed to deliver the gritty action of Riddick and adrenaline-pumping fight scenes towards its climatic end.
Compared to its failed predecessor, this third installment kept it to the basics. No large army of Necromongers, no CGIs of a massive empire, no battleships in space. Just 1 skilled killer-convict, 2 mercenary teams with diverse personalities on 1 scorched terrain (not forgetting the alien creatures who inhabit the planet, of course). With the earlier distractions removed, the audience can better focus on Riddick and develop a closer connection to his character.
Amid the overpowering testosterone, Katee Sackhoff, best known for her Saturn Award-winning role of Captain Kara “Starbuck” Thrace in TV series Battlestar Galactica, plays a robust female, Dahl, in John’s sleek mercenary team. Despite being cast in a tough and almost man-like character, the only rose among the thorns does reveal her feminine charm from time to time.
A Singer In ‘Riddick’…?
Grammy-nominated R&B singer Keri Hilson actually auditioned for the role of Dahl! While she failed to nail it, Diesel, also producer of the film, apparently was so impressed with her performance that he created a minor character for Hilson. We won’t get to see Ms Keri Baby sing on screen, but seeing the singer make her mark in the sci-fi world is definitely something fresh, even though if it’s only for a few minutes of screen time.
Release Date: Sep 12
Runtime: 119 mins
Censorship Rating: M18
Genre: Action / Science Fiction / Adventure
Director: David Twohy
Main Actors: Vin Diesel, Jordi Molla, Katee Sackhoff