Tuesday 10 September 2013

Review: Riddick

World of Blackout Film Review

Riddick Poster

Cert: 15 / 119 mins / Dir. David Twohy

Now, I'm fully aware that throughout my reviews, I tend to rely on the staple of directly comparing the film in hand to others it may seem to borrow from, either visually or thematically. I know that this technique is neither new nor original, yet it positively glistens, gleams, like virgin snow catching the sunlight on Christmas Day morning, compared to the two hours of unimaginative, derivative, first-draft drivel I've just sat through. Imagine an Aliens rip-off, shot through a lens of Dune, and with a peppering of every sci-fi first person shooter you've ever played. Now put Vin Diesel in it. You've already given more thought to the film than the five (five) people who've admitted liability.

After the opening twenty minutes in the company of Vin, you begin to pray for the other characters to arrive; if only because of how embarrassing it's getting watching Diesel be out-acted by an animated dog. Then, once the first band of identikit space-mercs arrive and Jordi Mollà begins to speak, you realise how lucky you've been so far, because at least dog didn't have any lines. The next hour and a half should be a reliably by-the-numbers sci-fi actioner, and all the time nobody's speaking it is. The night-time scenes work best, as the rolling sandscapes shot during the day have a distinctly artificial quality to them, reeking of greenscreens and wind-machines.

Despite all my moaning about it, Riddick never quite becomes unwatchable (read: it can't even succeed at being awful), but it's definitely substandard. For the more dialogue-heavy scenes, I had trouble focusing on the screen because my eyes wouldn't stop rolling. I know that Vin Diesel can't deliver a script to save his life, but I expect better from everyone else involved. And extra props go to that writing team again for taking one of the most important rising actresses in sci-fi, and effectively giving her an unchanging, one-dimensional character and a metaphorical pat on the arse. No, wait… a literal pat on the arse. Well done, guys.

Considering the potential that was there at the drawing-board stage, Riddick is lazy. Considering the film's lack of drive to be anything more than a testosterone-fuelled, one-note gun-fest, it's disappointing. Considering the money the film will take, it's an outrage.

And that's without me going into the film borrowing lines from other movies and the whole Dash Rendar/Swoop-bike ripoff thing that's going on...

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Not really.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Probably. Which is the sad thing.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
A little.

Will I watch it again?
I shouldn't imagine so.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Not that I heard.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
How did this get made?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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