So, yesterday, we went to the release of the brand new Riddick movie. I probably should have watched the previous movies as I can’t really remember them that much and I feel that a little more context about the world would help me understand a little more. Otherwise you can drop in without to much worry. Speaking of dropping in, we start of the movie finding Riddick (Vin Diesel) abandoned on a desolate planet and that is really it. We watch him try and survive for the majority of time until until he needs to escape from impending doom of the planets ecological cycle. Eventually some bounty hunters come and try to catch Riddick, the inevitable fighting ensues and we see the obvious outcome. It’s simple, right? Too simple for my tastes.
The question is, where to start? The movie didn’t really do much for me and didn’t infuse me with excitement, it was linear and didn’t delve into the complexity of living on a hostile planet, on your own. As it is a franchise, it could have been beneficial to have some sort of character development that showed a chink in Riddick’s Armour. You do also sit there predicting the next move, it even hands you these moments on a plate if you were that stupid not to fathom that it would happen.
Visually, the movie is pretty bad. I’m not sure whether it is trying to keep the bad CGI as a trend from the previous ones or that they just turned out poorly. Most of the CGI was vivid, it forced its presence on the screen and screams green screen in many scenes. The set pieces were lacking and looked fake alongside the terrible background CGI which showed the tiny space that they worked with during the filming process. Some of the effects were good, but these were more practical than vast areas and monsters. Firstly, you have the dog that he trains from a pup and ends up becoming his pet. This animal was well done and at points looked real to the touch but upon his predictable death, it loses it. A scene depicts a man being beheaded – de-brained if you will – and they draw out the shot enough for you to watch the top half of his head slide off into a box and see the innards of his skull. A few other bits are much like this and can cause the whole cinema to yelp in disbelief at how grim certain parts are.
Finally, one of the most imperative parts of this movie is the acting. There is a couple of noticeable faces, obviously Vin Diesel, but you also have WWE’s Batista and Jordi Molla. These were the faces that I recognized, even if I did have to Google Batista’s character when I got home. Beginning with the main man, you do wonder why he keeps doing this. Then I look back at the other things he has done and realize that he isn’t a great actor in general and it’s reflected in this piece. He doesn’t take me as the big, violent ruler that he is trying to portray. Tom Hardy’s abilities and portrayal of Bane would have been a far more beneficial for such a character. As a person, Vin is a badass and grateful for his fame, but when he talks about his acting, I find it a little unbearable. As I don’t watch WWE, Batista is unknown to me, but for the big hulk of a bloke, he played his merc role quite well and fitted his character perfectly. Jordi Molla is an actor I enjoy. He can play the snarling, wicked man with ease. He looks the part of the sly deceitful man and plays the bounty hunter leader brilliantly. A funny man – a little simple at times but brutal in the end. The rest of the players were alright, a little weird at points and the women are comfortable going nude in a 15+ movie.
Overall, I wasn’t best pleased with Riddick. I was expecting a lot more violence and action from him, he isn’t even armed with his notorious weapons and the story just added up against it. Moments came when I found myself going “Oh, really? Why?” on several occasions and the humour didn’t really help those situations. It was a cluster of bad visuals, bad script, terrible plot and lack lustre action. I can’t see myself getting this on DVD even if it’s 0.01p on Amazon next year. This time around, I find myself agreeing with the general consensus on Rotten Tomato, so my overall score is 5/10.