‘Riddick’ Review: Wait, You Mean This Isn't a Parody?

'Riddick' Review: Wait, You Mean This Isn't a Parody?

It's generic bounty hunters versus Vin Diesel's mumbling super-alien in this familiar and dull sci-fi adventure

If you were to make a comedy about an actor who makes cheesy sci-fi action movies, and you needed a hilarious clip of his work that underscored the awfulness of his output, just about any 30-second segment of “Riddick” would do the trick.

2419_FPF_00433R.JPG_cmykAll the elements of parody are here: Ridiculous first-person narration that quickly disappears, an adorable but deadly canine sidekick, ridiculous macho posturing, under- and over-acting of inane dialogue (by director David Twohy) and laughably artificial matte backgrounds and special effects. Were it not for the eviscerations and the rough language, this could be a segment on a Nickelodeon sketch comedy show.

Also read: Comic-Con 2013: Vin Diesel Feels ‘Guilty’ About Playing Violent Riddick

After the horrible reviews of “The Chronicles of Riddick,” one wouldn't imagine that Vin Diesel‘s bad-ass super-alien would make it back for a third appearance — the character first turned up in the leaner, meaner “Pitch Black” — but Universal apparently wants to keep him happy between “Fast and the Furious” installments, so we're back in outer space once again.

If nothing else, someone obviously learned after the disastrous “Chronicles” that this character doesn't lend himself to overblown storytelling and an intricate backstory. The one thing that “Riddick” does right is to strip things down to a basic cat-and-mouse manhunt tale, almost like a remake of “Predator” in which Predator is the hero and the pesky human hunters are the bad guys.

We dispense with the “Chronicles” stuff early on — Riddick is betrayed by Karl Urban and his guyliner and finds himself stranded on the Planet of Fakey Backdrops and Hungry Carnivores. In no time, he's made himself invulnerable to the venom of the local scorpion-lizard-manta beasts and domesticated one of the planet's dingo-raptor animals into a traveling companion.

Also read: How ‘The Conjuring’ Propelled Director James Wan From Torture Porn to Vin Diesel

Finding an abandoned bounty hunter outpost, Riddick deploys the homing beacon, knowing that it will reveal his location to any number of mercenaries hungry for the reward on him. (The captor gets a double prize for bringing back Riddick dead.) The first team to arrive is a scurvy bunch led by Santana (played by too-good-for-this Spanish actor Jordi Mollà), but his group is soon joined by a second team, whose commander Boss Johns (Matt Nable) has his own reasons for wanting to hunt down Riddick.

Riddick's plan is to steal one of the ships and kill anyone who gets in his way, which leads to an extended segment of psyching out his pursuers and picking off the actors with the worst agents. The upside to this is that Diesel is off the screen for significant portions of time – because really, his CG irises out-act him throughout the film — but the downside is that the bounty hunters are two-dimensional and hackneyed, even the ones played by reasonably competent performers like Katee Sackhoff, Nolan Gerard Funk (“The Canyons”) and Bokeem Woodbine.

If “Riddick” had managed to inject any thrills or pleasure or wit or excitement into what is a pure genre exercise, then its excesses and lapses could be easily overlooked. But this just isn't any fun, when fun was all it ever had to be.

Vin Diesel has found a perfect niche for himself in the increasingly delirious and entertaining “Fast and the Furious” series. If “Riddick” is the best he can come up with in his off-hours, both he and the audience would be better served if he took up macramé instead.

  • Detail Gear

    This dude who wrote this is really a joke in him self.

  • Lennon

    ‘Wait, You Mean This Isn’t a Parody?’


  • Ryan Hart

    Saw Riddick at an advanced screening and Alonso could not be more wrong in his review. He obviously doesn't understand this type of film, and why fan bases LOVE the riddick series. Does he even know what B science fiction is? Thankfully seems like other critics so far get it.

    But seriously… anyone that gave “To the Wonder” a 7/10 shouldn't be allowed to critique movies. Same goes for giving positive reviews to Beautiful Creatures, Oz the great and Powerful, Movie 43, Gangster Squad, and the Guilt Trip. But nothing… I mean nothing can be more certain of a bad cinematic opinion than giving a favorable review of one of the worst films ever made… Cosmopolis.

  • Tim M

    Spoken like a true idiot who has no appreciation for science fiction. If the Riddick series was so bad, why does it have such a following?

  • Alexandra

    It's quite obviously that Riddick isn't going for a highly intelligent sci-fi. It's an action movie just for the sake of being an action movie which is why I think fans, and myself, love them. Just enjoy the ride and don't over think it, which is what this “critic” seems to have done.

  • josh finley

    Alonso, you need to go kill yourself. You are an idiot who has no eye for awesome movies. The Riddick series has a huge following and we understand these movies. Go fuck yourself you pansy ass fag!

  • Stevan S

    Most fans out there get the restrictions of a B class sci-fi romp. However, science nor fiction could explain why you felt the need to be such a douche in your review. Maybe the reason you didn't have any fun is that you lack a sense of humor. Then again, if I were as bad at my job as you are at yours…

  • ghost75142

    You sound like a guy who likes watching brokeback mountain with the sound off. Why review a sci fi movie if you're just gonna bitch about the sci fi. Go watch a golden girls marathon you twink.

  • MikeKillsAll

    Are you really a movie critic…or just a virgin sitting in your Mom's basement pretending to be one? Stick with those art house films that no one will ever see, sounds like you'd jump all over those considering you ended the review with “macrame”. Trying to sound smart…it didn't work! Riddick is one of THE best anti-heroes to ever hit the screen. Some of the best original sci-fi films ever made…and I'm not the only one saying it.

  • Michael Lang

    I am so sick of critics like Alonso….a fanboy who sits on his fat behind all day “crtiicising” those who actually do it. Something Alonso will never do.

  • http://mysite.verizon.net/vzepr1xp/index.html unsean

    Wow! I disagree with the Alonso Duralde’s review of “Riddick” too, but is there really a need to be as offensive as some people are here? He didn’t like the movie. So what. I plan to see it anyway, though what his sexual preference has to do with his decision I have no idea (and would prefer not to even speculate, if truth be told).

  • firefly 01

    This dude who wrote this is really a joke in him self.

    I totaly agree.

  • Nathan

    The title of this article reminds me of what I think every time I visit TW.

  • Best Critic Around

    Alonso you still stand, especially since your delicious Les Miz review, as one of THE best film critics around. Vinnie boy sure seems to have a lot of agents and assistants that have too much time on their hands posting below. Keep up the great work. Can't wait to ignore this new RIDDICK installment.

  • Political prick

    It's obvious this manfag is threatened by a macho guy,LOL. The movie was too manly for him. Poor thing, hope he doesn't have any nightmares,LOL

  • joann santana

    Thank God that people who make SciFi movies don't take turd critics seriously or we would never have any movies to watch at all. Well wait we would have the ones that win academy awards. But I don't want that dowager crap all the time. I want to escape to other worlds with odd characters killing each other off in all kind gruesome and weird ways and then saving the day or flying off into the void. STFU Alonso Duralde! You are prolly just upset because Vin wont go on a date with you. Go watch Brokeback and have a cup of tea.

  • costolaz

    Picks up a hottie -> emotional death scene -> swear revenge.
    Finds prophet buddy -> emotional death scene – > swear revenge.
    Raise up a puppy -> emotional death scene -> swear revenge.
    It's getting repetitive.

    The #1 Riddick was a classic, this is not.

  • Al

    I'm always amazed at how far off the mark critics are with their assessment of a movie. “Chronicles” as well as most of what Vin Diesel does (anyone remember “Find Me Guilty?” Outstanding movie!), was a great movie! Thankfully I've learned that the things critics hate are often some of the best things to watch! Keep up the good work of steering us all to the good shows with your way off the mark evaluations!

  • pleasequitalonso

    Alonso Duralde please quit.