I was on a fix to watch the Riddick series because some internet strangers convinced me to do it, so I said fuck it, it’s not like I’m gonna sit down and watch something good, like Whiplash or Arrival.
I was pleasantly surprised but ultimately unimpressed by the first entry to the franchise, Pitch Black, and was completely blown away but still ultimately unimpressed by this film. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad movie, and it’s miles better than something stupid like Transformers or those godforsaken xXx movies. However, if you’re looking for a direct sequel in terms of tone, genre or overall narrative to Pitch Black, you’re in for a hell of a shock because this movie has got almost nothing to do with the first one.
The Chronicles of Riddick is like Game of Thrones mixed with Twilight mixed with Bloodshot mixed with King Arthur. It’s a film about intergalactic genocide, politics, prophecies and fatherhood. It’s a massive opera that really came out of nowhere considering Pitch Black. It’s like the Cloverfield series of films, and you know I love me some whacky narrative hijinks.
More of the Same
Other than that, the film isn’t shot or framed in any interesting or special ways. The costumes and sets are meticulous and detailed, but the CGI leaves a lot to be desired. Diesel plays the same macho antihero in Riddick, and it’s not all that intolerable. We’ve moved on from 90’s era tropes and into 2000’s era cliches in terms of action hero characteristics. The movie isn’t super duper racist, homophobic or mysogenistic, so that’s cool.
Diesel is badass and the film is campy but passionate. It is so wild to me that this is a sequel to Pitch Black. Should you watch this movie? Maybe. If you’re truly desperate for macho, subpar action in a sci fi universe with spaceships and wizards. Or if you’re drunk.
Little plug for my next venture, I’m close to releasing a documentary that I helped direct about a local photographer who works with the underrepresented LGBT community in Puerto Rico. I’m really proud of this, so if you’re interested, we’re releasing next month in collaboration with STBY Studios and German Vasquez Studios.