Wednesday, September 25, 2013
AN OBJECT OF RIDDICKULE AND SCORN
In truth, there is little original about Riddick. This is a movie that is both panned and praised because it shamelessly steals from its own heritage--drawing deeply from Pitch Black, the first movie in the series.
From what I hear, Riddick's return to its roots is praiseworthy. (I have not actually seen Pitch Black. I did see Chronicles of Riddick, however, and I can tell you that this movie is a huge improvement.)
I won't call Riddick great, but it is most certainly entertaining from front to back. Diesel, as always, is infinitely watchable. I think he is sort of the Sylvester Stallone of this generation--sans the speech impediment. He is muscular to a near extreme, an able though not versatile actor, conveys a good sense of humor, and picks his vehicles well.
Like Stallone, Diesel also surrounded himself with a likable cast. Let me tell you, along with Diesel, the two other stars of the latest Riddick adventure are largely special effects. One is this "dingo-dongo" dog creature that Diesel adopts and raises--a truly impressive work of computer animation. The other one, a bounty hunter named Diaz, certainly looks like a computer animation, but he's actually a professional wrestler named Bautista.
Dave Bautista, who has cut quite a figure in the WWE, is HUGE, muscular enough to make Vin Diesel look small, and hugely charismatic. When he appears on the screen, everyone else seems to shrink. Beyond that, he comes across as likable and competent.
Could he be as big as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson? Yes, I believe he has that much potential.
Three other actors in this film deserve a shout: Jordi Molla, playing a lightweight bounty hunter who tries to hide behind very bid talk; Matt Nable, who looks like a pint-sized Liam Neeson and comes across as smart and able; and Katee Sackhoff,who pulls off being both butch and pretty at the same time.
Riddick is the best of the best for late summer fare--a movie not meant to compete with the Iron Man 3s and Man of Steels, but still a popcorn muncher. Frankly, Riddick struck me as a very, very expensive B-Movie, a guilty pleasure that a lot of people will be guilty of seeing more than once.
Both JenMo and Lu mentioned liking this movie and I must agree. It was a bit on the raw side for my taste, but it more than paid off in the end.