In the latest episode of Reel Shorts, almost ten years since the second installment in the franchise, producer/star Vin Diesel is betting that audiences will think that the third time is a charm in the interplanetary sci-fi adventure, Riddick.
When we last saw Lord Riddick (Diesel), he had defeated Necromongers’s leader, Lord Marshall and was prepared to rule on Helion Prime. As the film opens, we see a battered and bruised Riddick alone and trying to survive on a new unnamed planet.
Soon, paired with a new companion, he summons for assistance which brings not one but two groups of mercenaries his way to collect a bounty of the Universe’s most wanted criminal. Looking to capture a man, soon they discover that each must deal with the myth of the Furyan They Love to Hate if they are not just capture Riddick but manage to get off the planet alive.
It has nearly been a decade since the second film in this trilogy, The Chronicles of Riddick, hit theaters. Since that time, Diesel has been a little busy primarily with the Fast and Furious franchise but with some other films as well. As Riddick, Diesel employs many of the characteristics found in the two earlier movies, tying in elements from the first two films in the franchise. While he uses his knowledge, skill and instincts to match up with these mean mercs, the script by writer/director David Twohy, feels detached and emotionally distant.
Already a loner who mainly keeps to himself, Riddick is more isolated than normal and it is too Diesel’s credit that this flat story is mildly entertaining and watchable. He doesn’t get to use his wit or display his snappy one-liners until the group shows up almost halfway into the story and even that doesn’t mask a thread-bare story that will have you asking at the conclusion, “is that all there is?”
While Pitch Black was a nominal success, The Chronicles of Riddick was a disappointment at the box office. This third film feels like Diesel and Company need to put Riddick to bed and if he has any interest in reviving the Furyan, transfer that passion into a series that people care more about – the Fast and Furious!!!