If David Twohy is happy with what is essentially ‘Pitch Black’ re-made then he’s suffering acute delusions of grandeur.
‘Pitch Black’ was our favourite Furyan at his very best and while he was all over the place in ‘Chronicles of Riddick’ fans held out hope for a strong return to form for both Diesel and Twohy. Instead, what is served up is a bitter tasting, cheap and often misogynistic borefest.
After taking the crown of the Necromongers from Lord Marshal in 2004’s ‘Chronicles of Riddick’ the goggle toting extraterrestrial pines for his home planet of Furya.
Riddick makes a deal with Vaako (Karl Urban - ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’); he offers Vaako the crown in exchange for safe passage back to Furya.
As predictable as a Derry summer, Riddick is betrayed by the Necromongers and is left for dead on a planet, brilliantly labelled by the man himself as ‘not Furya’.
To describe ‘not Furya’ as hostile would be an understatement and its entire entourage of horrible predatory nasties are hell-bent on killing and eating the follically challenged outlaw.
Riddick’s only way off the planet is to lure bounty hunters to his location, kill them and steal their ship.
Sound familiar? If you’ve seen ‘Pitch Black’ the similarities between it and ‘Riddick’ become all too apparent 30 minutes in.
For a while, I gave Twohy the benefit of the doubt, and put my observance down to coincidence but when he’s done with flirting with the idea of re-making ‘Pitch Black’ and actually remakes ‘Pitch Black’ my hands grabbed the bottom of my back row seat in frustration.
Riddick’s last outing was nine years ago in 2004. If this is best Twohy can come up with in almost a decade then there is hope for aspiring scriptwriters the world over.
Then comes the misogyny.
Before I go any further I must say I am not a person who is easily offended. However, when Riddick predicts a female character, (who earlier in the film stated she doesn’t have sex with men), will ask Riddick to have sex with her, it irked me some.
Riddick’s the perennial anti-hero - it’s why he’s a popular character but when a plot has a homosexual character pining for someone of the opposite of sex because that person said they would, it starts to stink of homophobia.
When Dahl (Katee Sackoff - ‘Battle star Galactica), the aforementioned female character, fulfils Riddick’s prediction I went from being irked some to utterly disgusted.
As you’d expect of a movie from the science fiction genre, it has to use a lot of special effects and CGI. When done well, CGI can heighten the authenticity of a landscape on the big screen but in ‘Riddick’ it looks more like animation and to describe it as rough around the edges would be me being generous.
Twohy’s Riddick’s movies are inevitably focused on, well, er... Riddick but the characters in his latest offering, i.e. the bounty hunters, feel totally incidental and self-serving. Films about one particular character are always going to be character driven but not everyone in a movie has to exist for the pleasure of the main character.
Best to take some strong mints to rid yourself of the bitter taste after the credits roll.
‘Riddick’ is currently showing at the Brunswick Moviebowl, for full cinema listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or telephone 028 7137 1999.
Rating: 1/5 - It’s seriously devoid of the essence that made ‘Pitch Black’ an entertaining science fiction movie and the fact that in nine years the best director David Twohy could come up with was to essentially re-make ‘Pitch Black’ is worrying.
Incidental characters, a poorly written script and unapologetic misogny and sexism will make Vin Diesel fans not so much fast but extremely furious. It’ll be interesting to see what’s next, if anything.