REVIEW: 'Riddick' has good action, little character development
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 23:09
“Riddick” takes place after the events of “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick.” At the end of the second movie, the main character Riddick (Vin Diesel) becomes the leader of a race of evil beings, known as Necromongers, who destroy worlds. The way to rise in power as a Necromonger is to simply kill the person in charge, which is what some of them try to do. They take Riddick to a deserted planet and leave him there, thinking they killed him.
The movie starts out with him on this planet trying to survive. He ends up finding an area where he can always find water and other resources essential to him. When he decides to leave the planet, he sends out a signal from an abandoned base for some mercenaries to come get him. The rest of the movie is about the mercenaries trying to catch him while he continually outsmarts them and escapes.
For the most part, I came out of this movie satisfied. There is plenty of action throughout to keep it entertaining, and there are some intense situations involving some of the characters. Part of this comes from the fact that there are two different groups of mercenaries that are looking for Riddick. They do not get along, and there is some interesting conflict that comes from that.
Compared to the first two movies, the acting and dialogue are better. There are still cheesy one-liners, but the lines do not seem as noticeably awkward as they do in the film’s predecessors. The acting also improved to a point where it is not distractingly bad. All of the actors playing the mercenaries were convincing in their roles.
The worst actors in the film were either in expendable roles or Vin Diesel as the title character. I feel he can get away with not being a good actor in these movies because I imagine Riddick to be emotionless anyway. He is supposed to be a tough man who is calm and cool in every situation. In a way, Vin Diesel nails it as Riddick.
This brings me to my complaint about the Riddick movies. There is very little character development on the part of the main character. In “Pitch Black” and “Riddick,” the characters that we as an audience get to know are the mercenaries — or in the case of “Pitch Black,” the crew members. The stories seem to focus on the mercenaries’ points of view more than that of Riddick.
This does create a lot of cool scenes where Riddick baffles the mercenaries without them — or the audience — knowing how he did it. However, I still come out of this not knowing who Riddick is.
The only thing we know after watching all three movies is that he is a convict who has special eyes that can see in the dark. We also know that he is part of a race from the planet Furya that was wiped out by the Necromongers when he was young. Besides that, who is he?
We know he killed people to become a convict, but why did he do it? Was he wrongly accused? Was it self-defense? Are we even supposed to root for this guy? He is the title character of two movies in an entire trilogy centered around him, but after watching all of the films, I come out with few reasons to like him.