Riddick Blu-ray Review
“Don’t know how many times I’ve been crossed off the list and left for dead…This ain’t nothing new.”
Those words come from Riddick (Vin Diesel), who we first see crawling his way through the wasteland with a shattered leg. He longs for water as jackals howl in the distance. He seems to be the only one around. So, how did a Lord Marshall end up buried in rubble and fending off horned canines on a planet other than his own?
Shortly after he overthrew the previous Lord Marshall and took his crown, Riddick refused to take the Necromonger oath, which may or may not entail a secret handshake and the hokey pokey. That didn’t sit well with his followers and yet he still thought he could get a free ride back to his home planet of Furya. After a shootout, Riddick is left alone to die.
But Riddick seems incapable of being made a chump of, whether by bounty hunters, demons or any of the major baddies that come for him. These include Boss Johns (former rugby player Matthew Nable), Santana (Jordi Mollà, James Mangold’s KNIGHT AND DAY), Dahl (Katee Sackhoff, who played Starbuck on the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA reboot), and Diaz (Dave Batista, who recently returned to the WWE as, you guessed it, Batista).
RIDDICK is the third theatrically released installment in its franchise, after 2000’s PITCH BLACK and 2004’s THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. Like its predecessors, RIDDICK is written and directed by David Twohy (although PITCH BLACK was also co-written by Jim and Ken Wheat), who has become as integral to the series as Diesel.
The series has a loyal fanbase, who have sifted through a direct-to-video animated feature (THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK FURY) and video games (THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ESCAPE FROM BUTCHER BAY and THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA) in hopes there would be a third entry. (Although THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK barely made money back, home video sales made it a success.) For their patience, they’ve been rewarded with exactly the sort of story and action they love.
After what might be described by some as a “slow” start (it’s anything but—it’s mostly without dialogue and sees Riddick coping and defending himself against various creatures), the gunplay begins. And while it’s not non-stop (the movie puts far too many scenes of standing around and cursing and growling), what’s there is enough to keep fans hooting and hollering for the duration.
RIDDICK may not offer anything entirely new to the series, but it’s a solid entry that won’t disappoint the target crowd, and is just as good as PITCH BLACK and certainly an upgrade from THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. It’s been nine years since the last entry and there is talk of fourth and fifth installments. If Twohy and his team continue in this direction and acknowledge that the series needs this look and MPAA rating (THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK had a PG-13 rating that greatly limited the appeal), then another pair of sequels will be worth it.
RIDDICK BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Like its predecessors, RIDDICK looks incredible in high-definition. While the details and textures are certainly strong, it’s the deep black levels that are the highlight of the video transfer.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish DTS Digital Surround 5.1. Subtitles in English, Spanish and French. Also without fault is the audio transfer, which puts viewers right into the action. All of the sound effects (especially those of the demons and gunfire) come through with power and add to the atmosphere and feel of the movie.
Unrated Director’s Cut
The Twohy Touch (6:22): Writer/director David Towhy, star Vin Diesel and more discuss the third installment’s style, finances and more. Also included is on-set footage.
RIDDICKian Tech (10:13): This featurette looks at the futuristic spaceships, weapons and more of RIDDICK.
Vin’s Riddick (8:50) shows how the character and actor have evolved throughout the series.
Meet the Mercs (10:44) looks at the group of mercenaries hunting Riddick.
The World of RIDDICK (10:50): Towhy, production designer Joseph Nemec II and director of photography David Eggby discuss the look of the planet featured in the movie.
RIDDICK: BLINDSIDED (5:29) is a brief animated piece featuring a battle sequence.