“Riddick” violates my No. 1 requirement for a sequel: The film has to be able to stand on its own and make sense to those who have not experienced the preceding efforts.
Even if you did see the first film, it would be wise to do a little homework. Part of the problem might be that “The Chronicles of Riddick” came out almost a decade ago, straining memory and leaving all but the most hard-core fans in the dust.
But if you’re simply looking for an “other-worldly” mash-up of disconnected action/violence saturated with human red blood and gore and alien creatures spurting blue goo, “Riddick” is for you. While we’re dealing with other notable features, I should mention the nudity, pervasive sexual references and the language.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So, what’s the plot? I don’t know, but I’ll give it a shot. Riddick, played again by Vin Diesel, is led off under false pretenses by evildoers to a hostile, barren planet and is left there for dead. Battling not only the inhospitable environment but its crazy creatures, our hero stumbles upon an outpost that seems to accommodate bounty hunters. By the way, Riddick is wanted with a reward that will double if he’s brought in dead.
Well, he’s desperate, so he activates the beacon that eventually brings not only a bounty hunter but a very angry spaceship captain who believes Riddick is responsible for his son’s death.
Riddick starts to pick off his pursuers one-by-one with the help of a canine-like creature that he has tamed and trained. This beast is my favorite character in the entire film. Riddick’s goal is to score one of the ships to facilitate his escape.
Finally, everything comes to a showdown when Riddick is captured and warns of impending doom when the rain comes. What? Why is this a big deal? Well, it seems when the soil is saturated, nasty things happen. Strange alliances form and the real battle for survival is on.
If you’re still on board, the price of a ticket will provide the rest of the tale. I saw this on the IMAX screen and the imagery is quite remarkable. Come to think of it, it makes the blood, guts, gore and blue goo even more spectacular?
In a good or bad movie, Diesel really does have a presence and he does provide some memorable moments.
But, I’m reaching even for two stars.