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    September 14, 2013


    “Riddick” is the third instalment and probably the last in The Chronicle of Riddick franchise. But the franchise never had a proper opening that dealt with the origin of this character Riddick. Back in the 2000’s “Pitch Black”, we knew that Riddick was an escaped prisoner whose charges include murder while the 2004’s sequel revealed that he was a Furyan, a race thought to be extinct from the universe. For those who are unfamiliar with this Riddick chronology, they should stay away from this movie and go back to the two earlier films to get some back-story checked. This instalment is all too similar with “Pitch Black”, a smart and stylish guilty pleasure movie that probably has reached a cult status by now. By returning to the first movie, we should expect a grittier Riddick as he returns to vanquish the bounty hunters and lethal creatures in an exotic planet that shall not be named.

    Genre: Action/Adventure/Science Fiction
    Classification: 18
    Release Date: 5 September 2013
    Running Time: 116 minutes
    Distributor: Universal Pictures (via Nusantara Edaran Filem)
    Director: David Twohy
    Screenplay: David Twohy
    Starring: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Matt Nable, Jordi Mollà, Bokeem Woodbine

    Plot: Riddick, the latest chapter of the groundbreaking saga that began with 2000's hit sci-fi film Pitch Black and 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick reunites writer/director David Twohy (A Perfect Getaway, The Fugitive) and star Vin Diesel (the Fast and Furious franchise, xXx). Diesel reprises his role as the antihero Riddick, a dangerous, escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy. The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he's encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty. The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won't leave the planet without Riddick's head as their trophy.
    The movie opens with Riddick is stranded alone in a planet where creatures that resemble dingo, eel and some two-legged creatures from Silent Hill ruled. Soon, we learned that Riddick was betrayed by the Necromongers he led from the second instalment and left for dead on the planet. When he purportedly activates a distress beacon from an abandoned human outpost, two groups of bounty hunters arrived to claim on Riddick’s head. While the two groups set up a plan to capture Riddick for his past crimes, it turns out Riddick also has a plan to take them out one by one.

    Watching “Riddick” is like watching three separate movies. The first act is all about Riddick been alone, wandering the hot-scorched planet, kills the two-legged creature and pets a dingo – Animal Planet anyone? The second act is quite interesting as when more human characters are introduced, we see the shift of the movie heading towards a Western-Spaghetti format. But it is also interesting to see all these characters are nothing more than the stereotypical bunch of hunters which will always include a tough leader, annoying, sexy lady, black and Hispanic members who will virtually die first and so on. Then comes the third act which by all mean it becomes an alien movie, where all the remaining human characters fighting off the swarming two-legged creatures.

    As a whole, “Riddick” is a silly movie but is literally a disappointing one with regards of the directions and consequences. Director David Twohy delivers some of the best moments for the movie by integrating tension and comedic that unfortunately comes too sparse and too little. Ultimately, these elements are not able to offset other problems about “Riddick”. The pacing is slow and the movie is basically devoid of any proper and clear purposes, but if you did pay attention to the predecessor movies, you will probably appreciate the flow of this movie more. With three different elements brought into the mix, the mission for Riddick to get back to Furya is not clear and all we see are the complete picture of how to deal with the situation in “Not Furya”. The ending sort of opens up the possibility of another sequel but that, for this movie, it is too abrupt and underwhelming dissatisfactory.

    Most of the time, “Riddick” just have a bad scripting day when Twohy ensures every character has the opportunity to spew out cheesy and rubbish dialogues all along. As aptly entitled, “Riddick” is all about Riddick. Vin Diesel, riding high following that Fast and Furious 6, single-handedly anchors the movie but is definitely unable to make up for the fact that there is no other interesting characters we cared about. To make the matter worse, the movie spends no time to give some background details about Boss Johns (Matt Nable), Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) and the annoying Santana (Jordi Molla).

    In the end, “Riddick” is an under-average science fiction sequel made to resemble “Pitch Black” in various angles, but the plot is derivative, filled with cheesy and lousy dialogues as well as side characters that do not offer any shimmering interest to rival the titular character.

    If you are unsure about Riddick, watch the full length trailer here and get the early picture:

    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 3.5
    Effects: 3.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 11.8/20.0
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