Opening on a desolate planet Riddick (Diesel) narrates as we get a flashback showing us how he ended up there and he assures us that although he’s been here before he will be okay because blah blah blah he’s Riddick. Once he establishes himself on the planet and starts going through some sort of one man survival training there is very little dialogue as he raises a wild puppy to be his companion. Once he drags himself through this period and gets himself in shape again he makes it to an outpost where he triggers a beacon that he knows will ensure the arrival of bounty hunters before long. With one team led by Santana (Mollà) and the other led by Johns (Nable) there is division immediately and it’s primarily down to the fact that Santana’s group seem like a bunch of unprofessionals when compared to Johns’ team. The division could be their undoing though, as Riddick stalks them and plans his exit off the planet.”
If you haven’t seen the first two instalments (Pitch Black & The Chronicles of Riddick) in this series you are going to find it hard to jump in on this one. Unfortunately that’s only the beginning of the problems that exist for Riddick. Firstly, if you’re setting it on an alien planet with a lot of CG you need to back it up with a budget to execute the mission. If you don’t have the budget then shoot it at night to avoid it looking like crap because the day time shots here mostly look terrible. Secondly, if the title character is practically absent for the entirety of the second act then you are missing something upstairs. You can’t call the movie Riddick and then not have him present for large chunks of the movie it just doesn’t work. Vin Diesel is supposed to be the attraction here and he’s not in it very much. Having said that when he is on screen Diesel is decent although he struggles with the appalling dialogue as much as anyone else. Mollà appears to be playing another version of the Johnny Tapia character he played in Bad Boys 2 and he’s quite annoying while also struggling greatly with the crappy script. The simple things that should be good like the fight scenes are also poorly executed. They tend to get too close to the action which will leave you wondering what exactly you’re looking at on screen, that’s just lazy and unimaginative. Divided into three acts it definitely has problems with pace and in honesty the whole film would probably have worked better as a first act to something else. It just doesn’t feel complete.
Diesel clearly loves the character and is financially invested in the franchises success but being poorly constructed and executed Riddick does not hold your attention nor will it entertain you sufficiently.