I reviewed Vin Diesel’s return to the “Chronicles of Riddick” franchise this week in Riddick, the R-rated, sci-fi/horror mashup that finds enigmatic killer (and former leader of the conquering Necromonger army) abandoned to die on an unforgiving, sun-baked planet that happens to be filled with deadly monsters. (Aren’t they all, though?)
Here’s an excerpt from my review, which appeared in this week’s issue of Metroland:
Although Riddick is not a narrative reboot (the story advances the underlying continuity that runs through two live-action films, two video games, and an animated movie), it occasionally feels like a remake of sorts, tracing some of the same story beats of Pitch Black. From the film’s countdown to planetwide monster meltdown to a foot race through creature-infested badlands with glowing power supplies in tow (a sequence eerily similar to the third act of Pitch Black), much of Riddick likely will prompt deja vu for fans of the first film.
Still, the back-to-basics approach works for Riddick, even if it does follow a familiar blueprint. While it lacks some of the suspense and traditional horror elements that served Pitch Black well, its comfort zone lies in a gritty mix of sci-fi action and space-western tropes, full of big guns, tough-as-nails characters, and rampaging monsters. Diesel and Twohy have long insisted that Riddick would have more in common with Pitch Black than the much-maligned Chronicles, and thankfully, that’s another promise they followed through on.
You can read the rest of the review at Metroland.net.