Saturday, 8 February 2014

Riddick-ulously Good Fun

I’ve been finding it hard to post on my blog lately.  It might be down to the fact that I started it when I was unemployed and now that I’m working a full time job I’ve got bugger all time to myself anymore.  It might also be down to what I’ve found myself thinking of something of  rather British way of writing.  Every time I do one of my reviews I’m always trying to write things ‘level-headed’, to find the good in things I’ve not enjoyed or to present a level argument as to not piss anyone off and appeal to as broad an audience as possible.  All good in theory, but it does make things dull to write and take more time as I’m always trying to be ‘nice’.  Well you know what…


The world seems to be full of loud angry dicks who just shout out their opinions on things with no attempt at being either reasonable or coherent and get showered with praise.  So that’s where I find myself standing now, at a crossroads on how to proceed.  Do I carry on as I am, being nice and well reasoned and trying to squeeze out a post every now and then until I reach the inevitable point of insane boredom with thee whole things and just let my blog die?  Or do I just try to have a little bit more fun with things and not give a shit if I drive off some people who just wont agree with some of my opinions?

Well I’ve gone with option number two.  So be prepared to see me turn into an opinionated dick who will say it as I see it whether you like it or not.  With that statement in mind you might be expecting my review of the latest Vin Diesel growlathon ‘Riddick’ to be an excuse to just let rip and tear the film apart like most other reviewers have seemed to enjoy doing.

Not this time!  No, I like the Riddick films.  Yes they’re over the top and silly and Riddick himself oozes so much testosterone that he’s like the thing that grew out of the cum muffin came if played by Arnie, Stallone and Dolph Lungren (not Bruce Willis though because he’s that much of a tosser that he’d ruin a game all about being a fucking tosser!).  There are faults a plenty as each film seems to flip around all over  the place in tone and setting and has created what can only be described as a incoherent universe, but you know what it’s still entertaining.

I’d much rather watch a film like this, one that takes risks and tries some new things rather than just playing by the standard formula.  The Riddick films were somewhat lucrative but never massively successful to the point of warranting a studio made sequel, hence this new film being for all intense and purposes an independant movie.  It was made as a thank you to those fans that stood by the franchise when everyone else tore it apart and an acknowledgement that this was the series that launched Vin Diesels career.

Riddick as Lord Marshall of the Necromongers.
It’s because of this that I can’t help but see the film as a much worthier sequel than many of the other franchise films released in 2013.  It’s got more character than Hugh  Jackman’s latest outing as ‘Wolverine’ and by god is it miles fucking better than the cinematic abortion that was ‘Iron-Man 3‘, the film that spent two years and countless trailers, tv spots, poster, interviews and fifty years of comic continuity building up the prospect of an Iron-Man fighting the Mandarin only for the film to turn around and fuck us in the arse!

‘Oh but it was really funny when Ben Kingsley was speaking in a silly English accent and drinking beer’.  Well FUCK YOU!  If you think that then you’re the kind of mouth breathing twats that Marvel Studios apparently now cares about more than actual fucking fans of the comics and characters.  I mean god fucking forbid they actually stay true to the essence of the character rather than just going for cheap fucking cinema laughs!  Wait, where was I?  Oh yeah, ‘Riddick‘.

‘Riddick’ follows on five years after the events of the last film, ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’, with the titular hero (because I fucking hate the term anti-hero) as the leader of the marauding space Goths the Necromongers.  A concept that got a lot of the piss taken out of it in the last film but one that I loved, I mean what’s not to like about fantasy/sci-fi mash up of necromancers and un-dead and the Borg.

Katee Sackhoff joins the franchise as Dahl the bounty hunter.
So there’s Riddick, enjoying all the perks of being Lord Marshall of the Necromongers, including long conversations with Karl Urban, funky armour and full frontal shaven crotched sex puppets (really, who wouldn’t go for that if they were ruler of the hot space Goths?  I know I fucking would!).  But after a while all that sex and sitting on a throne bores him and he longs for the home he never knew, Furia.

Off he pops with a little band of Necromongers who take him to what they assure him is Furia, only to say ‘sorry, no it isn’t dip shit!’ before trying to kill him.  Left for dead on a deserted planet Riddick is forced to fight monsters, hunt for food and raise a puppy in order to survive.  Eventually he finds a nicely abandoned bounty hunter station filled with traps and a distress beacon, which all comes in handy as he soon realises that an oncoming rain storm will awaken all the nasty beasties that are hibernating underground.

Exactly how he realised this isn’t really that clear, I can only surmise that he found a copy of the script lying around the planet and skipped ahead the sneaky bald bastard!  With no way off the planet and monsters on their way Riddick does the only ballsy thing he can do and activates the bounty hunter distress beacon, bringing a dozen highly equipped mercenaries to his front door.  All highly capable bad-asses they are soon reduced to screaming school girls when confronted by the man they came to hunt.

Riddick shows his softer side.
What ensues is a series of sneak attacks where Riddick slowly whittles down the ‘bad-guys’ (though in a film like this that term is pretty fucking redundant) until there’s a much more manageable number.  He sneaks into their camp, steals the mcguffin needed to fly one of the space ships and proceeds to leave the planet and makes his way to freedom.

Only kidding!  Well, while that would have been what anyone else what have done Riddick instead takes said item, drags it out into the desert for miles and buries it until the mercs agree to work together with him.  Again, exactly why he did this is again left completely unclear other than as to not have the film end there and then.

As expected the mercs think it over for all of five seconds before going ‘hell no you murdering nut job’ and lock him up just in time for the rain to come and wake up the man eating monsters.  What comes next is what could easily have felt like a complete rehash of the latter  half of ‘Pitch Black’ with Riddick and his uneasy allies trekking through monster infested planet with an important space ship component strapped to his back.

Yet somehow the film manages to keep things feeling fresh and original rather than just a straight copy and paste from the first film.  Character dynamics have shifted around and feels fresh and original. Though I still think Riddick could have saved himself a lot of bother by not hiding the one thing needed to escape but then the film would have had a much duller conclusion so I guess I’m going to over look some slight stupidity for further enjoyment.  Especially as we get to see more of Riddicks funky space dog who not only feels convincing and has a great personality all of his own.  I even found myself upset when it got killed, something I never thought would happen with a CGI character as they’re usually the first ones you’re hoping to see dead (yes I’m looking at you Jar Jar FUCKING BINKS!)

Does Riddick attract monsters or something?
The film ends with Riddick in a much better position for a sequel than the other two films, and I’d very much like to see another.  Riddick get off the planet (sorry SPOILER ALERT!) and is still determined to find his long lost home planet of Furia.  Something that doesn’t feel one hundred percent convincing unless you’ve seen the Directors Cut of the second movie that introduced a Furyan goddess/spirit guide/ excuse for another hot girl in the film and gave Riddick super special Furyan powers (I shit you not he got super powers in that version of the film!).

Without all that extra back story and mythology that was cut out of the regular theatrical release of the film it just feels a bit weird that Riddick is that gung-ho about finding Furia.  I mean he only really just found out that he’s one of the last survivors of a race of alien warriors that were wiped out by a galactic despot because he heard a prophecy that one of them would one day rise up and kill him, and holy fuck I just realised that it’s a massive fucking rip off of Dragonball Z the plagiaristic bastards!  Still, makes Riddick a better Dragonball film than ‘Dragonball Evolution‘!


1 comment:

  1. I have a friend who writes about film for an actual media outlet in St. Louis. He claims that he writes in a way that he himself wouldn't enjoy reading. I don't understand that at all. I really don't. All of my favorite film writers have a personality that comes through in their writing. Why would you want to quash that?

    Anyway, I haven't seen Riddick, so I don't have any constructive comments.