2013-09-05

Riddick – Pitch Black Part 2?

by Yo Snyder

Is there anything new to the third installment?

If you checked out my previous post, you know I am a huge Riddick
fan but was concerned if the third installment would produce a noteworthy
movie.  Unfortunately, I am not that confident Riddick will produce
the box office bucks required to keep it going.  The third installment
finds us back on very familiar ground.  Strange planet – check, sub
terrain alien species – check, bounty hunters – check, impending alien crisis –
check, one kick butt in every situation Riddick – CHECK!  So it feels and
looks a lot like the first movie which I loved.  Same quiet Riddick with
memorable one liners, same impending alien crisis, and same confrontation
between some humans and Riddick.  While a recipe for success in the first
movie, I think the third installment was too close to the first to set itself
apart and hold its own.  Don’t get me wrong, the movie was enjoyable to
sit through, I just don’t think it will be that memorable next to the first
installment. 

David Twohy does a decent job of holding continuity between movies
opening the third installment with Riddick seated at the head of the
Necromongers.  Oddly, if you took time to watch the animated bridge Twohy
produced, he put many of the same lines and scenes in the opening of the
movie.  Albeit with a bit more R rated items.  So here is the thing
that bugs me now that we are in the third movie, Riddick has no destiny, no
direction or ultimate course.  How can we desire to follow a character who
has no purpose?  Basically, we have this guy who can wield a knife like no
one else and goes from one crazy planet to another fighting aliens and bounty
hunters without any overriding purpose in life.  We need more out of our
long term characters, we need to relate to them in some form or fashion.  The second installment in the Riddick series attempted to add a bit of purpose
with a backstory but this movie left most of that in the dust. 

So, what are you left with?  A romp fest where Riddick kicks
some alien butt, kicks some bounty hunter butt, joins forces with remaining
bounty hunters and kicks more alien butt, and then escapes with a few remaining
bounty hunters.  Interestingly, Twohy has always put religion into his
movies, the first two with an implied Muslim leader and this one with a
Christian bounty hunter who prays and quotes scripture for comfort.  Of
course, he gets his fair share of ridicule for it, so Riddick jumps on
the band wagon of reducing Christian faith to a crutch in bad circumstances or
something to make fun of in others.  Ironically, the character Riddick
embodies a key Christian value, perhaps unknowingly.  We can’t save
ourselves.  In each of the Riddick movies, Riddick inevitably ends up in a
situation where he requires the help of others to save himself.  Often
without him expecting the help for he is nothing but a dirty killer.  I
can relate, while I was still a dirty sinner, without expecting it, God reached
out and offered me salvation, to which I say AMEN!  Of course, Riddick would
say something like “I didn’t ask for you to save me”.

Riddick is rated R and I expected it to be like the first movie
with some visual violence, gore, and some f bombs.  However, Twohy
surprised me with two very unexpected and VERY unnecessary female nude scenes
which would have kept me at home had I known they were part of the movie. 
This is not a movie for kids and I would caution most adults that it has
material not suitable for most Christians.

Score: 5 of 7