After being left for dead on a desert planet which rarely sees rain, Riddick faces off against killer animals, bounty hunters and mercenaries who are all after his blood.
David Twoy, 2013
The movie starts promisingly, with the CG planet offering up a series of creatures challenging Vin Diesel’s Riddick’s survival instincts and turning him back into the savage killer with a heart that we knew from the first (and by far best) film in this series, Pitch Black. Unfortunately, a storm approaches, carrying danger, and Riddick is forced to send out a distress call. This brings two equally irritating groups to the planet – a group of bounty hunters led by a horrendous, sexist jackass and a group of “mercs” led by a guy who I didn’t know was supposed to be mysterious until a “twist” was revealed about him. Riddick starts picking them off until the storm threatens everyone and they are, of course, forced to join forces to fight something supposedly scarier that the movie spent a long time building up only for the threat to end up being not that scary.
This is a terrible movie. It’s a badly written, poorly acted collection of scenes with only a thin plot connecting them – it’s absolutely riddled with plot holes when it even attempts to have a plot at all. There’s absolutely no characterisation to make you care about any of the cannon fodder, not even from Katee Sackhoff, who I think is the main draw for a lot of geeks going to see this movie thanks to her amazing work on Battlestar Galactica. There’s too much CG, although it is used effectively to make you care about exactly one character, a CG leopard-dog that Riddick befriends. It tries to bring back the magic that worked in Pitch Black, wherein a disparate group of much more likable characters had to band together to fight remorseless killer bat-things and Riddick befriended a young girl. There is no befriending of young girls in this film. There are, in fact, no good female characters in this movie at all, and this leads me to my biggest criticism of the film.
This is the most sexist film I’ve seen in a long, long time. There is no excuse for this amount of sexism in a movie in 2013. The level of sexual violence alluded to in this movie is disgusing, offensive and unacceptable. The female characters in this movie are all sexualised – the first four women we see are naked, the next woman is shot one minute after her introduction when it’s alluded to that she was raped, and Katee Sackhoff’s “tough lesbian” is the target of sexual attacks from other cast members and constant sexual harrassment from none other than our very own hero. Riddick has always been a great character, a nice take on the cowboy outsider with a heart trope, with his distinctive look, night vision eyes and grizzly life philosophy, but he’s the central character and hero of this film, which makes his disgusting, sexist behaviour that much worse. Far from expecting respect in the universe of this film, it seems like women should feel lucky not to be raped every moment of the day by brainless, muscled macho men with no sense of ethics or morality. This is not a movie for women, nor is it a movie for men with any respect for women or themselves. Your time would be better spent calling director David Twohy and telling him exactly how women deserve to be treated in movies released in 2013.
Riddick on IMDb