Baddie – Potentially Vin Diesel’s ego.
Lesson – Sometimes, 2 hours is too long.
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Ah, yes, Riddick. Who doesn’t love Vin Diesel? I literally just walked out of the theater, and there is a cat currently trying her best to dissuade my typing, but, more on that later.
So, I went to this movie by myself, and, honestly, with kind of low expectations. I think everyone is kind of kidding themselves if they expected a spectacular Riddick movie, and, unfortunately, that seems to ring true. Ish.
I knew a few things going into this movie. One is that Vin Diesel is a massive nerd. I also know that he is a massive Riddick fan, and is lobbying for two additional movies to follow this one. He is a producer for this sequel, and, I am not sure how much control he had over it, but, let’s just say it seemed like a lot.
I think a fan can look at this movie two ways: One, it’s the best Riddick video game in the world. Two, Vin Diesel wanted screentime like whoa. Allow me to elaborate.
For those who don’t remember/know, the last movie (Chronicles) ends with Riddick inexplicably in charge of the Necros, and it’s a little…weird. I mean, the whole movie is a little weird, but, hey. Riddick has to address this, and it does so…clumsily. For one thing, the Necro race is still trying to take over the world, and Riddick has actually not stopped this. Additionally, the plot is rushed so we can get to the Man v. Wild, Riddick edition. This is the first half or so of the movie, and it’s…weird.
In my opinion, here’s what’s great about the Riddick series. Riddick is awesome. He is awesome because he is aloof and selfish (but not super sexualized) and he’s capable of human bond when it really, truly counts. The first two films (the first in particular) are really good at making movies about Riddick as a character. This movie is, as I mentioned, like playing a video game. Make no mistake, Riddick is the focus. I believe that he’s a capable hunter/survivor without the hour long exposition. Also, call me heartless, but the fact that he’s a dog owner in this movie made no gosh darned sense, particularly when paired with weird lilting music.
The second half of this movie is the first movie, redux, but without all the wonderful character development and suspense. The merc characters are thrust into stereotypes and tropes, and it’s frequently annoying. I don’t normally talk gender, but, holy crow. The only female is named Dahl (pronounced Doll, of course) and she’s a lesbian who is constantly harassed by the opposing crew and by RIDDICK. People were up in arms about useless-character-McGee in Star Trek showing her bra for a half second, they should be pissed that Dahl exposes her breasts to the ‘male gaze’. She then is forced to defend her sexuality over and over again, but jokes about having sex with Riddick. Riddick does not have this relationship with any other woman, and it’s incongruous and distracting and useless. I’m 98% convinced the writers thought it was funny, but, no, it was awful.
Now, that all aside – the action breaks were, as per usual, awesome. There’s a scene where Riddick and sidekick are fighting with energy nodes on their back, and it’s very Ghostbusters evocative and I giggled a little. There’s also a part where all the background noise cuts out, slowly, and all that’s left is the growling of the serpents, and it’s a very neat moment. The sets are pretty, and the prosthetics are good. I’m pretty sure there are some animatronics involved, and it definitely shows well on camera.
So, would I rush to see this in theaters? Probably not. Was it a good time? I suppose it was.
NEWS: I adopted a kitty! She’s a great little gal, but she doesn’t yet have a new name. Her shelter name is Tasha, but I’m not sure it suits her yet. Totally willing to hear suggestions!
Feel free to tweet me any questions, recommendations, comments, compliments, whatever! Really, I just like the attention.