After the bloated, overwrought mess that is The Chronicles of Riddick, this past summer’s long-gestating follow up, simply titled Riddick, was a welcome sight for fans. The Vin Diesel/David Twohy joint went back to the spare, stripped down style of the first film in the family, Pitch Black, and got away from attempts to cram in every little detail of their fictional universe. World building is great, and a vital part of science fiction, but Chronicles tried to stuff a franchise’s worth of information into a single film, and the result was jumbled and overwhelming. Riddick hits Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday, January 14, so you can judge for yourself if this was a good move, but before that, you can now watch a free preview of the first ten-minutes.
It took nearly a decade for Diesel and Twohy to get Riddick made. There were tons of starts, stops, and delays. They’d get funding, lose funding, and eventually Diesel put up his own house as collateral and the two pumped a ton of their own capital into their passion project. Moving into the film, many of us wondered how the third installment was going to handle the events of part two. At the end of Chronicles, Riddick kills the Lord Marshal (Colm Feore) and becomes the leader of the Necromongers. This issue is dealt with in short order, just after the introduction you see here.
This video is chiefly concerned with setting the scene. While Riddick provides a tough-guy-monologue voiceover about the universe having it out for him, there is not much else in the way of dialog aside from grunts, groans, and a scream of pain or two. Right away you see just how badass the filmmakers want you to know that Riddick is. He sets his own broken leg, fights off a big ass space hyena, and even meets a crew of nasty little beasties that live in water and that you just know are going to be trouble down the road. All in all, as the voiceover says, this is shaping up to be one legendarily bad day.
Riddick isn’t the greatest movie ever made, but the movie has enough charm that it may warrant at least a rental, though paying full retail price may be a bit much. There is some solid sci-fi action, and the protagonist is back to being the hardened outlaw he was in the first film, rather than a reluctant father figure and awkward hero that they tried to make him in Chronicles. Riddick largely disappears in the middle of the movie so the story can focus on uninteresting banter between rival clans of bounty hunters, but the first and final acts are decent, cheap-looking, exploitation style sci-fi fun.