Monday, September 9, 2013

Hey, We Saw a Movie! - Riddick (AKA Vin Diesel's Love in Space 3... possibly 4 if you count the cartoon)

I thought I would start a new segment where Jonny and I review a movie we just saw in theaters for the benefit of the deranged lunatics and drug addled bohemians who I imagine make up most of our viewers. This weeks review is of the character and franchise that Vin Diesel will never let die... Riddick.

So I am splitting this into two sections. The first is my review. The other is... (shudder)... Jonny Prophet's review.

Warning: Contains mild spoilers. 

Toaster's Contribution: My initial thought upon first seeing the trailer of Riddick was that it was Pitch Black all over again. In some ways that's not far from the truth, but the plot does differ in ways. In this one, Dick Riddick (his first name is Richard!) starts out on the hostile alien world. We learn how he ended up there (and in the process why he isn't hanging out with the Necromongers from Chronicles of Riddick). Riddick figures out how to survive there and even takes a native cat creature as a pet (whom I called Paul Walker!). After discovering that a massive storm is coming, bringing with it some unpleasantness, Riddick decides to press an emergency beacon in an old abandoned outpost. Who comes to rescue him? Bounty hunters who are looking to bring back Riddicks head for a huge payday.

The biggest problem I ever have when watching a Riddick movie is that I can't help but feel like its all just a vehicle for Vin Diesel's ego. Riddick is the biggest bad ass in space and everyone fears him, even the bounty hunters that come after him. Regardless the odds, Riddick can always survive and probably get laid or something. It's like watching an antihero space version of John McClane from the Die Hard series. The action is good, the story is passable, but I find I have to turn off that part of my brain that wants to point out how ridiculous (or shall I say Riddick-ulous? No, no I shouldn't) what I am watching is. Hence why Jonny and I use the "Vin Diesel's Love" analogy for both this and those Fast & Furious movies.

Now I will say there are positives to this film too. The special effects are really good. I thought that the alien creatures were pretty imaginative. The Riddick character himself is interesting on some levels. He may be a wanted murderer, but everything he does is about survival. Above all, Riddick's a survivor. He had those cool eyes installed because he anticipated being locked away in a dark prison for the rest of his days so that he would have an advantage. This idea of survival is a dominant theme throughout all the Riddick movies. That's actually what I find most intriguing about the Riddick-verse. Star Trek makes space out to be this neat adventure taken in a nice cushy space-ship. Pitch Black showed us right from the start that this version of space travel was far more gritty and dangerous when a small meteor ripped through their ship and caused them to crash on a foreign world full of creatures that wanted to kill the survivors. The movie Riddick is no less violent or dangerous than its predecessors.

I enjoyed this movie on a guilty pleasure level, but I already knew what to expect. Simply put, if you enjoyed Chronicles of Riddick or more importantly Pitch Black, then you will like this one too. If you didn't like those movies, stay the hell away from Riddick because it's really just more of the same.

Jonny Prophet's Contribution: Not enough Karl Urban.

Thanks Jon.

Until the next flick... Stay Strange

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