September 27, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 52°F


Review: Action sequences sustain boring flick


David Twohy

Knife in hand, Riddick slides under the attacking beast, cutting its underbelly and releasing its guts onto the dark, wet floor. He reaches the stairs and looks back to see the monster devour its own entrails right before it falls and dies. This is not the first time Riddick has had to fight to survive.

“Riddick” is the third installment in the “Chronicles of Riddick” series, which recounts the adventures of Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), a mercenary and soldier from the planet Furya. In this film, Riddick is stranded on an unknown desolate planet, desperate to return to Furya. Bounty hunters, called “mercs,” are after him for murder and escaping jail, which delays his homecoming plans. Riddick is forced to fight off the mercs and wild, carnivorous animals that inhabit the planet.

Oddly, this movie does not begin where the last one, “The Chronicles of Riddick,” left off, with Riddick crowned as Lord Marshall on the prison planet Crematoria. Some unknown time has passed since the previous installment, with Riddick now stranded on an unknown planet. This film has no regard for viewers who may not be familiar with the Riddick canon. The only devices that attempt to explain what happened in the previous films are fast-paced flashbacks, which are confusing and difficult to follow.

The movie drones on when no action is happening on screen because of some sub-par acting by the supporting actors and a mediocre script. This two-hour movie could have afforded to lose 30 minutes of unnecessary shots of the planet’s landscape.

Aside from the action, this film’s other redeeming quality is its humor. There are sarcasm, witty remarks and even ridiculous slow-motion action scenes, like those found in martial arts movies, which bring some amusement. Unfortunately, this fleeting humor shifts rapidly back into boredom once those scenes are finished.

“Riddick” is a poor addition to the “Chronicles of Riddick” series. While the action and brief moments of humor are entertaining, the plot and acting make this science-fiction film a failure.