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article imageReview: ‘Riddick’ rediscovers his strength and then some Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Sep 8, 2013 in Entertainment
In ‘Riddick,’ the title character is abandoned on a planet inhabited by an alien race of predators that he must evade as well as two teams of bounty hunters.
Pitch Black was a dark independent action thriller that introduced audiences to Richard B. Riddick, a deadly fugitive that slowly gained a significant cult following. His popularity led to a sequel, Chronicles of Riddick, and an animated feature, Dark Fury, which didn't alienate fans as Vin Diesel reprised the role in each. Now, on another planet with another race of deadly creatures, Riddick attempts to return to his roots.
Cast off by the Necromongers, Riddick (Diesel) is trapped on a sun-scorched planet that is not Furya, his home world. Injured and feeling soft, he must re-hone the animal instincts that kept him alive until now – because this entire planet is populated by predators that want a piece of him. When a change in atmosphere indicates the world is about to get even more dangerous, Riddick activates a mercenary beacon as if he was calling a taxi. Two teams arrive with conflicting agendas, but Riddick's is the only one that matters.
While previews may make it appear this is a remake of the first film, it actually has a very different tone from its predecessors. In this film, Riddick appears more invincible than ever. Rather than thwart the many attempts on his life he simply survives most of them, emerging severely injured but still kicking – literally. In a sense, this picture is actually buying into the hype that's been nurtured over the course of the previous three movies.
In addition to increasing his invincibility score exponentially, the movie also highlights Riddick's nurturing side. Its existence was hinted at through his relationship with Jack, but this picture takes it a step further by allowing him to care for his soon-to-be best and only friend. Their friendship allows Diesel to display a version of Riddick not seen until now without seeming out of character.
The murderous beasts are imaginative concoctions. His first conflict involves something that appears to be a cross between a dingo, hyena and tiger. It's determined and has a vicious bite to match its appetite. The second creature is a perverse Dr. Seuss creation that appears to have two heads and is upside down. It's the deadliest natural inhabitant on the unidentified planet, but Riddick is an unstoppable warrior.
The narrative incorporates elements from the two live action pictures, explaining Riddick's expulsion from the Necromongers and revisiting an event from his past. Those familiar with the series will immediately pick up on the connection to Pitch Black, though it doesn't necessarily unfold as expected.
The on-going involvement of writer/director David Twohy is evident in the continuity of the story over more than a decade since Riddick's introduction in 2000.
Director: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Jordi Mollà and Katee Sackhoff
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