Riddick - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Riddick Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 28, 2014
First things first, I really liked "Pitch Black", but hated "Chronicles of Riddick". "Black" was a fantastic, original sci-fi movie that when I saw in the theater, I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. "Chronicles" on the other hand was a bloated sci-fi epic movie that missed the mark in a lot of ways. Here, "Riddick" goes back to it's roots and has much more in common with "Black" than "Chronicles", and that's a good thing. The plot is very basic, Riddick(Vin Diesel) has been left for dead on a weird planet. Bounty hunters show up to capture him, when they have to team up to battle some pretty crazy looking alien monster things. It has good action, and the effects aren't great(they had a low budget), but they aren't the worst I've ever seen either. As for the acting, if you were expecting award worthy performances, then you're at the wrong movie. It is what it is, which is fine. I don't think this is better than "Pitch Black", but a big step in the right direction if this franchise is going to continue. Worth a watch? Sure. It's a perfect rental if your in the mood for a sci-fi action flick.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2013
It's an exhilarating adrenaline-rush. It goes back to the basics of the original, getting back into Riddick's dark and menacing side and just adds to the tension. It's Die Hard on a Alien planet. Vin Diesel is back in pure form as his true signature character, Riddick. Diesel brings a great physical presence as usual and delivers something unique and intimidating, and dose not fail to make him entertaining to fill two hours. It delivers enough heart-pounding action, hair-raising tension and breakneck suspense to keep your satisfied. It's not an original sequel but it does do well with what it has and is fun. Director, David Twohy's film is too recycled and dose not add anything new or unique to the table but still is thrilling and entertaining enough too keep things moving. Diesels performance as Riddick is the only thing worth noticing. Urban is in like three minutes and Katee Sackoff is gorgeous, she and Diesel have no chemistry and apparently almost plays the same character as she does in Battle star.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2013
Pretty damn awful to be honest
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2013
The chronicles of Riddick continue where they left off from in the second film. I'm glad to say the powers that be have decided to get back to the roots of Riddick this time. The first film was a surprise hit and a decent alien monster survival clash. The second film then got too big for its own boots and went off the scale with over the top cheesy fantasy nonsense. This time we're back to survival mode with plenty of grit.

Now I will be brutally honest here, I'm gonna moan a lot about this film...starting right now. First off we see how Riddick was betrayed and dumped on this desolate planet, but why do that? he offered 'Vaako' the position of Lord Marshall merely in exchange for being taken to his home world of Furya, so why the need to trick him?? just take him home and all is good. I must also ask how in the hell Riddick survived that cliff fall?! it was like...a gazillion feet high!.

The planet this film is set on is a nice looking one if you ask me, very slick visuals in general but I really liked this planets design, it felt very real actually. Not too original in all fairness, your standard Tatooine type location but very realistically created. So Riddles is stuck on this planet, marooned, he manages to fix his leg which I can buy but then finds these mud pool/geyser/springs which do not contain drinkable water yet he submerges himself in one to escape some wild dog-like creatures. Isn't that kinda risky? god knows what that liquid could of done to him.

After much limping around Riddick finds some ruins (no explanation to what they are or who built them though) and he entombs himself for an unknown amount of time. Enough time for his leg to fix completely though...so that's a long time entombed without food or water, I'm confused. Once vampire Riddick emerges he eventually discovers there is more fertile land beyond these jagged rocks but he can't get there because of the mud pools and these scorpion things that live in them. There was no other way around this area? really?? no way at all!?. Although I did like the way he uses his survival skills to gradually build his immunity against their poisonous sting, inoculation 101. Low and behold once around the rocky patch and into the nicer areas Riddick finds an outpost, always an outpost, he couldn't have landed on an uninhabited planet oh no, but I guess we wouldn't have our film then would we.

The film does feel very segregated, the first half is a really neat survival concept with Riddick and his new pet doggie creature. The middle part then changes into a more standard action setup when the rather gimmick riddled 'Alien Resurrection' mercs turn up spouting much cliched crap. Boy do they try too hard with these characters, they really want this guys to be memorable iconic sci-fi characters but it kinda fails really. The merc leader seems to be Peter Stormare's love child or a low rent version, Sackhoff really tries to have an air of uber coolness about her but gives it up all too easy when Riddick flirts with her, Batista is just another ex-wrestler to move into acting playing large meatheads and why cast Keri Hilson in that cameo??. What is this modern trend of casting pop singers and ex-wrestlers when real struggling actors are forever available and can actually act because that is their actual profession.

The last half of the film descents into familiar territory as an all to easy 'Aliens' clone, well who are we kidding it basically turns into 'Pitch Black'. The ever decreasing team fight against the odds as lots of those mud pool monsters come after them during a big rain storm. Thing is how did Riddick know this would happen? I don't think he experienced this beforehand and how come there are lots of mud pools all of a sudden?. I thought we left those behind in the rocky region??.

Don't get me wrong this section of the film is fun if somewhat predictable seeing as its a rehash. The problem with this film is the plot holes and lack of a coherent story. Riddick and Johns speed off to retrieve the power cell things for the ships (on those admittedly cool hover bikes) which appears to be some distance away. After some fisticuffs shenanigans and alien battles Johns and Riddick are forced to walk back! and they do it in half the time it took them to get there!.

I guess what I'm saying is the film is very badly written and developed but it has some fantastic effects and lavish sci-fi porn. Most of the effects are CGI and you can tell, many shots are clearly live action against CGI backdrops but it still looks quite slick. The atmospheric colour palette, hover bikes, spaceships, creatures and realism of the planet are attractive to sci-fi geeks such as myself. They just let it all down with such mindless questions, errors and moments of complete ludicrousness like the death scene of one bad guy and a big knife. Oh and the sequence where the mercs all discuss opening a possible booby trapped locker by Riddick for nigh on six or seven minutes!!!! yep that's right, they stand around and talk it over for around that length.

Moan over and believe it or not I did like this film. Its silly sci-fi hokum with an array of cheese collected from various other sci-fi films (mainly its own franchise!) but it does work and it is a fun ride. Riddick is a likable lone wolf which helps a lot and its nice to see an adult orientated flick too. Its all essentially just about Riddick trying to get off world, that's it, not complicated, just needed to be a bit more original perhaps. I would have stuck with the lone survival aspect some more myself. And shame on you Twohy for giving us the old emotional pet death sequence, you know everybody chokes up on that stuff damn it!. Awww poor alien dingo doggie-like thing, Riddick would have been cool with an alien pet for future adventures.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2013
Riddick is a satisfying treat for fans of the original film. Considering that the follow up to Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick was a mediocre movie that left me disappointed, I quite enjoyed this film. I feel with this third movie, the filmmakers took a much darker route than the previous films and in many ways they improved on what really didn't work with the second film. I felt that Riddick was a much confident film, and it boasted a better story mixed with the action of the original film. The cast do a pretty good job in their parts and this film ends up being an enjoyable action picture worth seeing if you've enjoyed Pitch Black. Fans who were disappointed with the sequel, will most likely enjoy the film, and despite its imperfections, Riddick takes a step back from over doing the formula and delivering the bare essentials in order to create a film that is engaging, thrilling and overall the finest in the trilogy. I was never a big Vin Diesel fan, I found him to have limited range as an actor, but here he is entertaining. Riddick won't be remembered as a genre classic, but for what it is, it's an entertaining thrill ride that fixes prior mistakes from The Chronicles of Riddick and makes it into a movie that is much better than what I'd think it was going to be. I didn't expect to really enjoy the film, but this one surprised me. Riddick has its flaws, but like I said, it doesn't try to overdo the action, and the plot is pretty interesting to boot, even if it's not great. If you were disappoint ted with the second movie, check this film out, it's not great cinema, but it's a fun, and highly entertaining movie worth seeing if you're a fan of the series. With effective visuals, and thrilling action, Riddick is sure to appeal to action film junkies. Go into this one with an open mind, you may be surprised that it's better than expected.
Super Reviewer
½ September 21, 2013
The premise is reminiscent of the first in the franchise, except the cast of whiny innocents are replaced by a bunch of colorful mercs. In fact, I'd go as far to say it's a more humorous, smarter but less dramatic and cohesive Pitch Black.

There are several great original scenes though, like removing the lock from the safe? Hilariously suspenseful. It's unfortunate to see the last few moments stumble into such an anticlimactic end.
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2013
Survival Is His Revenge.

Great Movie! Riddick is a movie about Riddick and not really much more.This movie explores a deeper side we have not seen but not all is given away.Riddick knows to keep something back and even under duress. I loved the back story and how he ends up where he is and how he uses people and objects to get where he wants to be. Over all the ending was immaculate just like pitch blacks ending and hopefully leaves it open for another part in the future. As a long time fan of pitch black and Vin diesel this movie was worth every penny and the fact he risked his house on this movie was a great move as it was worth the risk.

Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge. With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a vicious attack of vengeance before returning to his home planet of Furya to save it from destruction.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2013
Its campy tone make it slightly charming, but ''Riddick'' is too long and the fun action scenes are few and far between.
Super Reviewer
September 12, 2013
Vin Diesel's passion project is a trip back to the days of Pitch Black, where we find our lovable yet brutal anti-hero stranded on a remote planet with monsters and bounty hunters to battle. It's a very enjoyable piece of entertainment, featuring all the gore and bad one-liners that made the original film work. Director David Twohy tries to maintain some resemblance to The Chronicles of Riddick by creating a CGI-heavy world that looks like it took a much higher budget to create than it actually did. Fans of the previous two films should not be disappointed but they shouldn't expect a masterpiece either. There is little atmosphere, the CGI is iffy at times, and the film leaves you wanting more. All in all however, Riddick works as a simple yet engaging sci-fi action flick as well as a love letter from Diesel to his fans who have wanted this franchise to continue.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2013
The first in this series succeeded by putting its characters in danger from unexpected otherworldly monsters and Twohy, the writer/director (who curiously left that formula in the follow-up) gladly returns to form here, no more, no less = Pitch Black ll, the Return of Riddick, the second film merely a plotline jumping off point and thankfully forgotten. That means no surprises - although insofar as action/adventure dramas go, this one's okay, not bad, throwing all the usual cliches pretty much just as you'd expect them, but its done decently so there's no complaint. Katee Sackoff (who's she? I dunno, but ... ) (in what's typically Michelle Rodriguez' role) brings the real heat in every scene she's in.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2013
David Twohy returns to the dark in Riddick.Seemingly broken up into three parts, the nearly 2 hour run time is excessive, thanks to a lengthy first act, which does however do a good job at setting up and clarifying the rest of the film. As for the plot details, they are light and that is all that is needed to follow this story. Tie-ins to the previous 2 films exist, but they are not required viewing to watch this one.There is a solid dose of CG effects and for the most part, they deliver. The violence is also up to par with a film of this caliber.As he should, Vin Diesel reprises the Riddick role. Katee Sackhoff was born to play the character she was given. Jordi Molla and Matt Nable provide some amusing minutes as well.Riddick is a picture built on bad-ass characters and that's what this film delivers.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2013
While better than all of the films preceding it, "Riddick" helms one of the worst scripts of 2013, but oddly, it's so bad that I loved it. It has a better story, better characters, and the character that Vin Diesel portrays is better than ever. The visual effects are not as bad as they used to be, but these effects would only be considered good back in 2007. I may be making an overstatement when I call this film a blast, but in my eyes it is, because the previous films tried too hard to be serious, while the jokes really do throw you out of the films. This film, there are always jokes and the bad dialogue unintentionally keeps that streak going. It is definitely the worst dialogue of the year, unintentionally, but one of the most entertaining so far in this early fall season. It won't gain many new viewers if you have not been a fan of the past films, but as an entertainment piece, it soars with cheese! "Riddick" is a lot of fun to watch, but down to the bone, it's laughable, which is why I liked it so much.
Super Reviewer
November 25, 2013
In this latest incarnation, Riddick goes boldly goes where no previous entry has gone before: Nowhere.
Say what you will about the previous film (Chronicles of Riddick) at least it had the guts to take some risks. Sure, almost all of those ended up being complete misfires, but they were still taken. Riddick on the other hand plays it safe. It's a path not entirely without benefit, but one that was not expected from the series spawned by Australian cult-classic Pitch Black.
Shoot me for saying it but I'm actually a huge fan of Davind Twohy (The Arrival, Waterworld, G.I. Jane, A Perfect Getaway) so I actually sort of hoped for more from the piece. Sure Chronicles was silly and disjointed, sure Dark Fury was totally unnecessary and Dark Athena/Butcher Bay were only intermittently decent, but overall the Riddick franchise will always be compared to Pitch Black, and against this prodigy, the latest movie is simply subpar.
The Necromonger storyline has been all but dropped, any connections to previous characters (sans Riddick) are completely unbelievable and the events are a shameless rip off of the first film. Seeing a more "survivalist" and intelligent Riddick is nice, as it's always been sort of more insinuated than outright shown. The entire world that the events of the film take place on is even moderately interesting, and none of the actors or characters are outright let downs, but overall Riddick falls much closer to the "barely watchable" category than the "brilliant" one.
It's "cool", it's pretty and it's most certainly entertaining, but it's not new, it's not clever, and it's most certainly not as good as Pitch Black.

Super Reviewer
December 26, 2013
Returning to basics, Riddick attempts to recapture the intensity and terror of Pitch Black. The story follows the wanted outlaw Riddick as he's betrayed and left for dead on a desolate planet, forcing him to reawaken his animal instinct in order to survive. While it's a fairly simple plot, there's a good deal of mystery and suspense to the film. And, the special effects are effective at creating interesting alien creatures that are quite frightening. However, with the exception of Katee Sackhoff, the cast is pretty forgettable and are more or less just fulfilling stereotypical roles. Though it's a little formulaic at times, Riddick delivers an exciting science fiction adventure.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2013
Almost a decade has passed since Vin Diesel last inhabited his starmaking role, the insanely tough, incredibly dangerous ex-con Richard B. Riddick. 2000's Pitch Black kicked off the series (and its lead's career) with an entertaining, if derivative, sci-fi horror flick. 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick, while visually striking, was neutered with its PG-13 rating and bafflingly incoherent storyline. This third entry gets back to basics, and in some ways feels almost like a reboot of Pitch Black, and one that comes with all the pros and cons that distinction implies.

This time around, Riddick has been abandoned on an unnamed planet that is teeming with dangerous creatures that sleep by day and hunt by night. In a bid to get offworld, he activates a distress beacon, hoping to steal one of the investigating ships. Of course, bounty hunters arrive first, and what ensues is a claustrophobic mash-up of Mexican standoffs, hard stares, and bloody carnage. Like Pitch Black, the story here is minimal, action maximum. If this appeals to you, check it out. If not, simply don't bother.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2012
its almost a scene by scene recycled version of pitch black, same plot, same situations, same ending, i was pissed, cus i love pitch black and chronicles of riddick, but this, eh, still dope as effects and entertaining, i was just hoping for something new.
Super Reviewer
½ January 11, 2014
Another British-American science fiction instalment in the The Chronicles of Riddick film series. Produced by and starring Vin Diesel as the title character, Riddick is written and directed by David Twohy, who previously wrote and directed the first two instalments, Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004).

The story goes back to the roots of everything - five years after The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick has become increasingly uneasy in his role as Lord Marshall of the Necromonger fleet. His refusal to swear into the Necromonger faith has caused dissent among his subjects. Riddick strikes a deal with Commander Vaako; the location of Furya and a ship to take him there, in exchange for Vaako becoming the next Lord Marshall. Led by Vaako's aide, Krone, Riddick and a group of Necromongers arrive on a desolate planet. Recognizing it is not Furya, Riddick kills most of his escort when they attempt to assassinate him. In the chaos, Krone causes a landslide and buries Riddick alive... but Riddick starts from the scratch!

Rumors of a third film in the Chronicles of Riddick series have circulated since 2006. At first, Twohy assumed that the film would be an independent, low-budget production, rather than being released by Universal Studios as the other films in the series had been. Despite the second film's tepid reception, Diesel and Twohy remained optimistic about a third film, pushing it toward completion. "Everyone knows I love the Riddick character and I'm always working on it", Diesel asserted. "It just takes five years to make another one because David Twohy and I are so precise about it." I have to say reading it, I wonder what is the precise part? I would describe this movie as flavourless: there is nothing even scary there - aliens are easily dispatched, Vin's too silent to be interesting, and the other characters are simply dull or stupid. I didn't enjoy mostly improbable situations of the sequel... very mixed up, unclear and uninspired.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ November 27, 2013
Oh yeah, people, he's back, "back in black", as in "Pitch Black"! ...Well, at least that joke wasn't as cheesy as "The Chronicles of Riddick", which the makers of this film couldn't have even liked, seeing as how they're trying so hard to make you forget about that film that they took almost ten years to get this film out, and then simply named it "Riddick", as though it were the definitive sequel to "Pitch Black". Shoot, I don't know how much the makers of this film could dislike "The Chronicles of Riddick", because most of them were the same jerks who made "The Chronicles of Riddick", you know, seeing as how the last time they collaborated things worked out so very well. Yeah, yeah, I liked "The Chronicles of Riddick" just fine, but this is better, as well it should be, because, again, it took them almost a whopping decade to make this follow-up, and that's a long time between projects even for David Twohy. I don't know if I'm more surprised to see that Riddick is back or that Twohy is still alive, because the man hasn't done anything since "A Perfect Getaway", and it's not like he was on extended vacation or something, because as "A Perfect Getaway" and, to a certain extent, these "Riddick" films will tell you, some seriously dangerous stuff can go down when you're stuck in an isolated location. Granted, the events portrayed in "A Perfect Getaway" are a little more likely than a criminal/society leader with night-vision getting stuck on a desert planet with large alien monsters, but it doesn't appear that Twohy has gotten all that rusty when it comes to making bottle thrillers such as these. Yeah, this is pretty much the "Pitch Black" sequel that we've all been waiting a long, long, long, long time for, but then again, it's not like "Pitch Black" raised all that high of a standard for quality, and sure enough, this is a "relatively" satisfying action flick that is kind of like Vin Diesel's titular character: not without a good heap of problems.

This film takes a huge leap after the events of "The Chronicles of Riddick", and the coverage of the material within the gap between this film and its predecessor gets to be way too slam-banged for you to get all that firm of a grip on the expository to depth to our titular lead, who at least has more development than certain major supporting characters. Characterization isn't terribly undercooked, but it needs a little more weight, even though some of these characters are a little more familiar than they probably should be, not unlike other story elements, for although this film is not as formulaic as "Pitch Black" or "Chronicles", the betrayed potential for uniqueness makes lapses in originality all the more glaring. The film tells an ultimately familiar tale, and it does so kind of unevenly, outstaying its welcome, especially when we come to quiet, somewhat bland meditations upon little, if anything at all that get to be a little too subtle for their own good, even though subtlety is preferred for its carrying a genuineness that quickly goes when pacing picks too much up to sustain all that much depth or focus. The film is sometimes aimless in its pacing inconsistencies, and yet, as much as I complain about pacing problems in this film, they're no more serious than they were in the generally reasonably tight "Pitch Black" and "Chronicles", nor is the underdevelopment or familiarity all that serious. The ultimately somewhat underwhelming film makes plenty of missteps, make no mistake, but the final product's biggest problem isn't its problems, it's simply natural shortcomings, because as much as I give this film's story concept credit for bringing back the depth from "Pitch Black" and a little bit of the scope from "Chronicles", it's neither weighty enough nor dynamic enough for its execution to feel that much greater than an almost fillery, post-Summer action thriller. The film is better than I feared, sure, so much so that it borders on rewarding, but the point is that it doesn't quite make it to a rewarding state, as it has its limitations, stressed enough by somewhat light, but ultimately notable issues in exposition, uniqueness and tightness to just barely fall back into underwhelmingness. The film isn't quite what it could have been, but what it ultimately is is inspired enough to come close to that point, which is far enough in quality to keep you engaged through and through, at least as a visual piece.

Going back to the minimalist scope of "Pitch Black", this film closes up plenty of opportunities to display this mythology's distinct sci-fi that "Chronicles" explored a good bit of as something of a mini-epic, but it still has the money to flesh out production value more than "Pitch Black", and art director Jean-Andre Carriere is sure to do just that as best he can, presenting costume and production designs that are creative enough to sell this world, kind of like the digital designs, because even though the visual effects in this film have some hiccups, they're certainly a step up from the effects of "Pitch Black" and "Chronicles". The film is actually pretty visually creative, putting a little bit of the attention to production value that "Chronicles" boasted, but not without restoring the tasteful visual style that was lost after "Pitch Black" by calling "Pitch Black" cinematographer David Eggby back into action to deliver on photography that may not be consistently stunning, but seamlessly bonds lushness and harshness before a crisply well-defined, deeply lit lens in a uniquely lovely, sometimes modern video game-esque fashion that captures the film's techno-gritty tone. The film is well-produced and looks mighty good, and that's aesthetically pleasing, but it's still nice to sometimes cut out the taste and flavor up a gritty tone the old-fashioned way: with intense action that goes brought to life by tight, gripping staging and slick choreography, and further flavors things up by taking advantage of an R rating that "Chronicles" didn't have to put in a focus on violence that "Pitch Black" could barely afford on a limited gore budget. Backed by disturbingly creative gore, this film's action is not only viscerally thrilling, but reinforces a sense of consequence, as surely as fine visual style proves to be both aesthetically appealing and complimentary to the capturing of substance, and yet, sharp style and action are not the only things done well by director David Twohy, whose atmosphere gets to be kind of uneven with its breaking up high momentum with somewhat blanding limp spells, but is much more controlled than it was in either "Chronicles" or "Pitch Black", to where the slow spells are never too dull, and the heights in intensity are indeed pretty tense, if not rather compelling. Yes, people, I said compelling, for although this story concept is minimalist, it remains promising, carrying the adult attitude that was missing from "Chronicles" and wasn't explored too thoroughly in "Pitch Black", and is done a little more justice here by some surprisingly sharp moments in dialogue, as well as by the aforementioned more inspired directorial execution by Twohy that brings the final product to the brink of rewarding, even though it doesn't have enough power to push this promising effort over. The film is at least very decisively the relative best installment in the "Riddick" series thus far, and for that, credit is due to the unexpected carriers of this film, as well as to a certain expected carrier of this and preceding "Riddick" films, because even though this film keeps consistent with the decent supporting performances that were only sometimes seen in either predecessor, this is still Vin Diesel's show, and he once again delivers on the intense presence and charisma that made the Richard B. Riddick character iconic, while incorporating the occasional dramatic touch to reveal a vulnerable side to this lead that makes him all the more engaging. I can at least be agreed that Diesel hasn't gotten rusty when it comes to portraying this thoroughly memorable icon of a lead, who may once again be stronger than the film he's attached to, - even though this film is stronger than either "Pitch Black" and "The Chronicles of Riddick" - but is ultimately just one of several strengths that bring the final product to the point of being, not only entertaining, but borderline rewarding.

When it's all said and done, at least for the next nine years, underdevelopment, familiarity and uneven pacing are somewhat subtle missteps that go a long way in emphasizing natural shortcomings just enough to push the final product just short of the rewarding status that it surprisingly could have relatively easily achieved, but there's still enough impressiveness to the production designs and visual effects, good looks to the cinematography, thrills to the action and meat to substance that goes brought to life by unexpectedly reasonably inspired direction and an expectedly very inspired lead performance by Vin Diesel for 2013's "Riddick" to stand as a viscerally thrilling and often compelling comeback for a cult classic sci-fi saga, even if it still can't fully evade the underwhelmingness that claimed its predecessors.

2.75/5 - Decent
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