Musclesandbald Man.
"Rule the Dark"

Hello everyone, welcome back to my humble corner of the internet, where it's all movies all the time, except when it's awkward personal stories that tie into movie watching, though I guess it's still KIND of about movies. Anyway, today I will not be regaling you with weird sad stories about how I once ran across my college campus in the dark and fell into a pond and then had to go back to my room so no one would know. This isn't about that, it's about Riddick, the much anticipated by someone I'm sure sequel to The Chronicles of Riddick, which was the not anticipated sequel sort of to Pitch Black, a movie about people being killed by monsters on a planet that gets dark. One has to wonder when watching these movies why anyone would want to go to any of these awful planets, but I guess if we only had people on safe planets there wouldn't be much to watch in the way of movies. Anyway, Riddick takes place directly after the events at the end of The Chronicles of Riddick, and if you hadn't guessed from his name appearing all over the titles of both of those movies, this movie is fucking about Riddick okay. If you haven't figured that out yet I must assume you cannot actually read, but you're welcome to keep looking at the pictures I guess. Anyway Riddick (portrayed by the stoically bald Vin Diesel) has become king of the Necromongers who are like really bad murderer guys I guess, I'll be honest I only half paid attention to The Chronicles of Riddick. Being the rebel he is though, Riddick gives two fucks about these clowns, and so decides to look for his home planet Furya, which the Necromongers had thoughtfully blown up when Riddick was a baby, specifically BECAUSE of him (a prophecy said he'd kill the Necroboss). Huge dicks that they are, the Necrodouches double cross Riddick, and leave him for dead on some nowhere planet, probably because Keith Urban didn't really want to be in the movie all that much. His loss I guess.

Patiently waiting for the next movie.
So as you could probably glean from the title, this movie is more of a character film than anything else. Riddick isn't just the main character, he's the only character that matters in a lot of ways. As a matter of fact for the first 1/3rd of the movie he is literally the ONLY character, as he fights to survive on an inhospitable planet, where he has been left to die, in an injured and extremely weakened state. This early portion of the movie takes the time to emphasize his character to people who have seen the other movies, and to introduce it to everyone else. Riddick is at his core, a predator, and an apex predator at that (as he quickly demonstrates). A lot of people (myself included) thought that The Chronicles of Riddick really messed up by trying to have an epic story, and losing focus on the point of the movie, which was Riddick himself. This movie makes it clear that it doesn't want to make that mistake again. Eventually though Riddick gets sick of killing horrible animals on some shit hole nowhere planet, and so activates a mercenary emergency beacon to essentially broadcast his location to someone hoping to cash in on his bounty (Riddick being a wanted murderer and all) so that he can justify his bounty by killing all of them and stealing their spaceship. The space jerks don't disappoint, and two crews arrive. One is led by the quintessentially unlikable dickweed Santana (not the guitarist) the other by a guy named Johns (who is important because he is the father of the asshole who tried to bring Riddick in during the events of Pitch Black). The two groups bicker for a while with Riddick pciknig them off, but then shit gets REAL.

Man how many dates have I had that ended like THIS!
By which I mean that after that it starts raining hard, and this lets these killer animals come up onto the place where the station is, and start killing everyone. If this sounds familiar to you, that's because it is more or less exactly the plot of Pitch Black, with some slight variations of course. Pitch Black didn't have Bokeem Woodbine or Batista in it for instance (yes I mean the Pro Wrestler/MMA fighter Batista, more on that in a bit). People die, they do some stuff, and eventually the survivors make it off world. I would say that the makers of the movie were a little bit TOO conservative in their plotline, as it more or less is a Pitch Black clone. At the same time, as an action sci-fi movie it was still fun to watch, and who doesn't like to watch Vin Diesel murder douchebags in space? I know I certainly do. At the same time, having already seen Pitch Black, I think they could have used a different mechanism than more killer space aliens. Watching Vin Diesel fight Batista was pretty cool though. It particularly highlighted that Batista is a man mountain, because Vin Diesel looks kind of short and scrawny next to him. Stop and consider that statement for a moment.

Oh yeah also Starbuck is in it so cool I guess.
Even if you might not be wowed by the plot, you can't try and call this movie a quick cash in. Vin Diesel was 1000% behind making this project a reality, and promoted it's production since as early as 2006. Diesel's condition for making a cameo in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, was that he was given rights to the Riddick character and franchise. He then used this leverage to put the film into production. To pay for it, and make it a real budget movie and not some small indie affair, Diesel mortgaged his house and used most all of the money he had, meaning that he had a really personal stake in the success of the movie (if he didn't want to be homeless). Thankfully Riddick grossed 98 million worldwide, and only had a production budget of 37 million, so I assume Vin got to keep his house and is still rich.

Was this the movie we hoped for? No, but you can't fault a guy for trying, and he certainly worked hard to make it happen. People had a lot of shitty things to say about it, but I thought it was at the very least a decent sci-fi action flick.

That's it for today! Join me on Thursday when I got back in time and explore how weird the past was.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Project Wonderful Ad