Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff, and Matt Naples in “Riddick”
Its official the third live action movie in the Furyan franchise is upon us. Like it or not Riddick, an indie film in its own right, is more than worth the wait. Its filmmakers David Twohy whom wrote the film and its earlier entries; alongside actor/producer Vin Diesel fought tooth and nail for it. Diesel has been said to have put up his own house as collateral to get the film made and Twohy claims he received little to no help from distributor Universal. Diesel also negotiated to have the rights to the character instead of a fat paycheck for his cameo in the Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. It’s a small sci-fi venture that isn’t near as big as its predecessor The Chronicles of Riddick, but in fact Riddick brings the franchise back to its Pitch Black origins.
Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) is once again left for dead on an unmanned planet where vicious creatures lurk and look to tear him apart. On this planet he gets to know the land and even raises what is a combination between a dog and a Hyena as his own, its domestication on a dangerous level. Having hitched rides from other planets before Riddick sends out a distress call, which is then answered by two sets of Mercenaries. Riddick sets out to kill them all and leave the planet, but weather forces him to get along with the Mercs that would just as soon collect their due.
For a film that was shot on a 38 million dollar budget it features a decent cast consisting of Jordi Molla, Nolan Gerard Funk, Katee Sackhoff, Bokeem Woodbine, former wrestler Dave Baustista, and Karl urban returns briefly as Vaako. Not to mention they are all fantastic and believable futuristic mercenaries.
Katee Sackhoff is used having the words bad-ass next her name after her run on the sci-fi favorite Battlestar Galactica as “StarBuck” not to mention her new her day job on Longmire as “Vic Moretti”. It’s a perfect fit for Sackhoff who’s Dahl becomes second in command of things once the mercenaries land and realize that such a thing appears to have never happened to other mercs in corresponding galaxies. One would think that this would be an every day event in the world of Riddick where everything and everyone lives on the edge to cut one another’s throat at a moments notice. All of that aside Sackhoff makes herself standout in a room full of testerone men armed to the teeth. This is also Sackhoff’s first feature that’s made its way to the theatres in some time.
Wrestler/entertainer Dave Bautista manages to keep it cool as Diaz, a would be friendly merc that when things go to hell you would like have on your side. Jordi Molla is made out to be a rat like character and winds up providing the humor you can expect from a man named Santana. The same can be said for Bokeem Woodbine’s Moss, but Nolan Gerard Funk whom has managed to make it out of the Television circuit of shows; is a preacher in the wrong line of work. Karl Urban’s Vaako as one would hope adds to the overall plot.
The problem with the film is how it manages to do just enough to keep you entertained with its opening in which we see Riddick come to and adapt the environment surrounding him. It’s important for the character development in the film, but just as easily could have been cut without really missing a beat; we all know Riddick is a stone cold killer. The segment takes up thirty minutes of the film and in which we see Riddick alone trying to survive this harsh environment. Its sci-fi indie filmmaking at its finest, regardless if it will have fans in an uproar or not. Riddick is a fun ride that manages to keep an even balance between all out bad-ass while providing some humor and driving the heart of its story that Furyan fans won’t want to miss!