The daft and the Furyan...

“I need a direction,” mumbles Vin Diesel early in Riddick. You said it, big guy… but don’t let the whiff of self-awareness dupe you into thinking David Twohy’s threequel is the route map Diesel’s sci-fi anti-hero needs.

With its low-ish budget, Riddick could have been the lean space-shocker that fans of 2000’s series-starter Pitch Black wanted. But it more often repeats the errors of 2004’s sequel The Chronicles Of Riddick, devolving into a slow, sloppy mess made even messier when its misogyny bites.

Pitch Black worked partly because it saw the value in keeping anti-heroes and monsters mysterious. Chronicles didn’t because Riddick isn’t enough of a character to hold the centre, but Twohy hasn’t learned.

Casting Riddick adrift on a predator-infested planet sounds like a template for tension on paper, but the survivalist opening scenes drag like Riddick’s drawling diction in practice. Failing to restore mystique to Riddick or Patrick Tatopoulos’ alien designs, the cheesy CGI critters and weary post-Chronicles expository guff inspire little but the desire to see Twohy kick-start the story.

Which never quite happens. The arrival of two chafing bounty-hunter teams sparks a manhunt, but the often-absurd script slumps fast into sausage-fest bickering and brazen sexism. Katee Sackhoff’s lesbian Dahl is bad-ass, but she’s mostly here for Jordi Mollà’s daft villain Santana, Riddick and - pointless tit-shot alert – Twohy to drool over.

By the time Twohy lurches into base-under-siege turf, interest has waned. And it wanes again as the aliens prove too easily killed to scare, and again with twists involving forgotten Pitch Black sub-plots.

Twohy tries to take up the slack by framing Riddick as a mythical macho-man, but no slo-mo shots of alien-goring gymnastics and anti-hero swagger can cloak Diesel’s struggle to make him interesting. And whoever thought Riddick’s crass parting shot to Dahl might help matters needs more than direction. A slap, perhaps?


Too stodgy for B-movie suspense, too silly to shock, too sexist to stomach, Diesel’s return misfires. Where’s Xander Cage when you need him?

Buy tickets now with ODEON - ODEON fanatical about filmBook tickets for ODEON UKBook tickets for ODEON Ireland


Film Details

User Reviews

    • smellyhands

      Sep 4th 2013, 15:11

      Well the trailer was retarded so no surprises about the review.

      Alert a moderator

    • Mattsimus

      Sep 4th 2013, 16:04

      Thought the trailer was great actually n led me to believe that this would give the series the recognition it deserves. Ill still see it and im surprised its being this slated given the effort I thought they would have put in to it considering the length of time its taken for a sequel and the fact diesel gave up his house or something in order to fund the project!.....

      Alert a moderator

    • Ali1748

      Sep 4th 2013, 18:35

      Yeah the trailer looked promising. Disappointing to read the review but then again I find myself disagreeing with critics more and more frequently these days.

      Alert a moderator

    • Mattsimus

      Sep 5th 2013, 19:11

      Me too mate, I just had high hopes for this film and since the apparent effort being put in to it I half expected it to have the reviews equal to "into darkness" etc. that said both pitch black & chronicles have a rotten rating according to rotten tomatoes.... Who knows?

      Alert a moderator

    • Igrayne

      Sep 6th 2013, 18:06

      Why the hell are Total Film going on about the film being sexist and the lesbian macho female character? So the first two films were fine but this one is sexist? Why don't you take your balls out of your wife's purse Total Film, make a stand for once in your life?

      Alert a moderator

    • Igrayne

      Sep 6th 2013, 18:09

      Empire's review was far more just and realistic and talked more about the people who make these films, Diesel and Twohy not some nobody who Total Film have once again put in the cast list ahead of people like Jordi Molla who are underrated, just because she has breasts.

      Alert a moderator

    • mjlclocky

      Sep 10th 2013, 0:16

      I actually enjoyed the movie. Yeah could of been better. The only weakness was the mercenaries. Especially one of the main ones, who I just thought over acted the roll. Just came over annoying. And should of been eaten by the Alien creature ASAP. Basically Vin Diesel makes the movie, without him I think yeah would of been worse. The first 20-30 mins are the best , and I think they should of kept on that style. Because once the other characters are introduced the film flaws emerge. I think the other characters are weak, and then predictability starts to grind. I think from this point they should of tried to emulate the Aliens template, and added the extra horror and tension and action but with more better characters to relate too. Instead of *********spoiler alert******* mimicking Pitch Black story. But I think should be 3 stars and not 2. But if u not into sci-fi 'B' movies then u probably won't enjoy it. But I enjoyed it more than Promethesus.

      Alert a moderator

    • matthewbrady

      Sep 11th 2013, 21:25


      not a bad film

      Alert a moderator

Most Popular