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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

RIDDICK (2013)

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:   119 minutes (theatrical)/ 127 minutes (unrated DC), five featurettes, motion comic, digital copy

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO (Blu-ray):  English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 DTS Digital Surround, English 2.0 DVS (theatrical only)

AUDIO (DVD):  English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 DVS

AUDIO (Extras): English 2.0

 

Subtitles:  English SDH, French, Spanish

STUDIO:  Universal Studios/ One Race Films/ Radar Pictures

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  9-6-2013

 

STARRING Vin Diesel (Richard D. Riddick), Katee Sackhoff (Dahl), Matt Nable (Boss Johns), Jordi Molla (Santana), David Bautista (Diaz), Bokeem Woodbine (Moss), Karl Urban (Vaako)

WRITTEN and DIRECTED by David Twohy

Riddick is betrayed by the Necromongers (after becoming the new Lord Marshall at the end of THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK) and left for dead on a desolate planet he thinks is Furya, but he learns he isn’t on the right world.  He fights to survive and lures bounty hunters to that world before something worse comes after him.

 

RIDDICK is a solid sequel to the first two movies (PITCH BLACK, CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK) in the series written and directed by David Twohy.   Most of the film is the sign of a strong sequel, but the last thirty minutes feels like we have already seen it before in PITCH BLACK with a couple of twists.  The ending under whelms, but it doesn’t undermine the film and yet it doesn’t have the same wow factor for a climax like the first two films.  I think my favorite part of the movie has to be the first half as RIDDICK plays out like a sci-fi version of ROBINSON CRUSOE with Riddick in the Crusoe role.  His only companion is a wild alien dog he raises from a puppy.  When the bounty hunters get involved, I like how Riddick plays his game with him which does recall how he seems close and not seen unless he wants to be seen.  Katee Sackhoff is great as Dahl (and some fanboys will be happy to see her briefly topless in one scene) while Matt Nable brings a decent presence to man searching for answers relating to what happened ten years ago (this is related to PITCH BLACK).

 

Vin Diesel is in love with the character of Riddick.  He secured the movie rights to the character after THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK failed to perform to Universal’s expectations in exchange for doing a cameo in FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT.  He also financed the movie himself by taking out a mortgage on his house and so RIDDICK is a personal project for Vin.  I hope the next two movies that David Twohy ahs planned do get made as I want to see Riddick finally get home to Furya and set his revenge against Vaako.  I want to see a resolution to the Necromonger story as in what roles  Furya has in stopping the Necromongers (the Lord Marshal was so afraid that a Furyan child would kill him that he went out of his way to destroy the race) and if any more of them survive beyond Riddick and the Purifier.   RIDDICK isn’t huge in scale like CHRNICLES OF RIDDICK, but it does reaffirm who Riddick is as he is on a quest to find his home with questions dangling like who set a price on his head which is doubled if he is brought in dead.   This latest entry brings something new and something familiar, but I do think they need to take more risks like Twohy and Diesel did with CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. 

 

I have seen the Unrated Director’s Cut which adds at least four minutes to the Necromongers flashback (which shouldn’t have been cut from the theatrical cut) and two minutes at the end (which forms an alternate ending which is a callback to an earlier scene in the movie and I don’t see why they didn’t leave this in).  The Director’s Cut is the better version of RIDDICK like the Director’s Cut was the better version of THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK which makes me think David Twohy submit the director’s cut for theatrical release since he cuts material that makes the film the best that it can be.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

No audio commentary for RIDDICK this time (David Twohy did record audio commentaries for the first two movies).

 

Five featurettes:

THE TWOHY TOUCH (Blu-ray only)- Cats and crew talk about the approach David Twohy (or DT) brings to the Riddick movies).

VIN’S RIDDICK- Vin talks about how important Riddick is to him and his struggle to make RIDDICK (including putting a mortgage on his house)

RIDDICKIAN TECH (Blu-ray only)- the production design of Riddick from the merc ships to the jet hogs,

THE WORLD OF RIDDICK (Blu-ray only)- what went into creating the alien world of RIDDICK on stage from the Merc station set and the plate photography they did in an protected area where motion picture cameras weren’t allowed (only still cameras).

MEET THE MERCS- interviews with the actors who play the mercs as they talk about being cast and their characters.

 

RIDDICK: BLINDSIDED motion comic which mostly covers material that is seen in the full version of the Necromonger flashback scene (except an additional assassin trying to kill Riddick).

 

Also included in the combo pack is the theatrical cut in standard definition on the DVD with two featurettes and the motion comic, and the digital copy of the movie to download and stream on multiple platforms (TV, smart phone, computer).

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   RIDDICK is a long overdue return to the Riddick universe – a project of passion from actor Vin Diesel and writer/ director David Twohy.  Watch the director’s cut and skip the theatrical cut.  I wish there were more behind-the-scenes material, but the featurettes are a solid look at the making of this independent production.  A must own for fans of Vin Diesel and the character of Riddick.

 

This blu-ray review is 1-16-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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