Riddick (2013)

This is just the third in what is only a trilogy so far, but Vin Diesel will beat this franchise into the ground before all is said and done. We start off with Riddick stranded on a planet, and we will have to work our way backward to figure out how he wound up there. First, Vin will have to deal with like five or six different kinds of odd creatures that are a mix of good and bad - mostly bad - CG. One dog-like creature will become a main character, and the CG doesn't get any better as the movie goes on.

I'm not sure where that line is when a property that made its money on believable CG can morph into bad CG and still be believable. I mean, even the ships aren't believable. Seriously, how do you produce a movie on a budget of $38m and have ships that aren't believable in 2013?

Speaking of not believable, the mercenaries that show up in this movie are very much not believable. I like the addition of Starbuck, and she is probably the most believable of the bunch, although Bokeem Woodbine does a really good job with little more than a background character.

This universe's odd mixture of archaic and futuristic technology is hard to wrap your brains around. They can map out the entire landscape while landing - including tunnel structures miles away, but they can't see booby traps made with the only refined metal on the planet.

And then there is the back story. First, they just didn't think enough about the first movie to make this a sequel to it. They forgot how many suns the planet had, and they forgot that the guy who was escorting Riddick was too old to be Matt Nable's son. I could see a younger brother or nephew or something, but there is an age issue that I just can't resolve here. Cole Hauser (from the first movie) is 38, and Matt is 41.

The whole movie is a hunk of who cares as far as the Riddick story goes. Pitch Black was the setup - it introduced the character, gave the rules by which he operates, and gave an idea of what he was capable of. The second movie was a continuation of his saga and let us resolve some of the character stories that the first movie left unfinished. This tries to pull in the story from the first movie, but it pretty much fails. Instead, it's your basic survival horror.

And they have the same problem in this one as they do in the first: there is no way large predatory creatures can survive in a hostile environment without some prey animals to feed on.

Story was weak
Acting was generally pretty good
Dialog was predictable
Effects were mixed - mostly not great
Direction was okay



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