Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Riddick’ Review: A Diesel Packed Cheesy Sci-Fi Flick

The third installment to the Riddick film franchise features a few good action sequences where Vin Diesel gets to kick some alien butt and some human butt, too. It’s also overlong with a slow middle that’s filled with greasy bad guys and cheesy puns. Maybe these movies are just geared towards guys, but I have to say I was not that impressed with Riddick.

Besides Vin Diesel being a badass as usual and the scenes that feature him and his dog playing around, there’s not that much that happens in Riddick.

The film opens with Riddick (Vin Diesel) getting thrown off of his throne (literally) by a few bad guys in need of major plastic surgery to their faces. Riddick survives and spends what seems like forever limping around the planet, beating up some alien creatures here and there. When Riddick finds an emergency house in the middle of the dessert, he signals for a ship to come, knowing that the ship who arrives will try to kill him for the bounty on his head.

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We’re not sure where Riddick wants to go, if he even wants to get revenge on the guys that took his kingdom or why he doesn’t just jump on the spaceship right away and get the heck out of dodge. Riddick seems like a transitional movie from the sequel to the upcoming fourth film of the franchise, which I’m assuming will be green-lit in the next few years.

I will say Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Gallactica) was the one saving factor for me while watching this two-hour flick. It’s fun to see her continuously punch the guys and she certainly had some of the better one-liners in the film. She’s also just freakin cool.

Riddick is a step up from the sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, so at least this film is a step up from there. Director/writer David Twohy, who wrote and directed the first film Pitch Black and the sequel, fills the film with lots of brooding, slaying and some pretty sweet gruesome scenes. It also features your typical, fun don’t-mess-with-me performance by Vin Diesel. All in all, maybe it’s a guy’s dream trip to the movie theatre, just not for me!

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