2013 / Director. David Twohy.
RIDDICK has left me with mixed emotions and too many negatives to consider. Right off the bat the title pisses me off. The first film in the series was aptly titled PITCH BLACK and the second was stupidly titled THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK... oh and then PITCH BLACK was later retitled THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: PITCH BLACK as though to blend into an ongoing franchise... and lets not ignore the cool anime chapter titled THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK FURY, which bridged the first two stories. So a third live-action movie comes along and the "Chronicles" moniker has been ditched in favour of RIDDICK. Retarded! But I digress. I loved PITCH BLACK and also thought that the second instalment was underrated (it's a grower and took a few viewings to appreciate). Riddick is such a well conceived character and naturally the promise of a third movie was exciting. In the years between films director David Twohy explained that he wanted to return the franchise to it's modest, low budget, independent roots. Fans were told to expect something closer to PITCH BLACK and we were itching with anticipation. So the film was delivered and as far as my own expectations go, I feel let down. The story itself is good. Riddick finds himself abandoned on a desolate planet (not unlike the planet from the original) and he spends months devising an elaborate and daring escape. Using a beacon call, he sends out a distress signal which catches the attention of two head-hunter crews who set out to capture him. Riddick has other plans and uses the foreboding landscape and all of its native wildlife (monsters) to his advantage. The premise is great but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. If Twohy had kept his promise and filmed RIDDICK as a low budget indie flick then he would have pulled off something truly awesome. Instead we're insulted with TERRIBLE digital FX and poorly executed chromakey, sound-stage landscapes. Generally I love an artificial set design and often defend films that are shot inside studios rather than on locations... but with RIDDICK the difference matters. PITCH BLACK was filmed in the remote township of Coober Pedy in South Australia and offered one of the most unique and original sci-fi landscapes that we've ever seen. In this new film the planet aesthetic is cartoon-like and unnecessarily complex. Too much concentration and emphasis is put into the alien-monster creatures, including Riddick's weird dog companion. It's difficult to invest ourselves in the story when the director and its star/producer seem intent on saying "hey look at this" and "see what we've done here?". Another thing that bothered me was the misogynistic attitude of the movie. I'm rarely one to fuss over such things but I thought that identifying the only woman character as a "lesbo" and baring her breasts to the audience was piggish and insulting. Anyhow... I will watch the film again sometime soon and hopefully cast aside all of these negatives. Will I be able to look past all of that shit and focus on what should be an awesome character and exciting sci-fi franchise? It remains to be seen. Damn you David Twohy!! Richard B Riddick is your creation. He's your baby. Love him right!