Forbidding, sun-scorched, deadly: the Riddick-iverse is not like our universe – except, that is, when everybody talks in hackneyed sitcom speak ("Matchy matchy outfits"). Also, they have their own Vin Diesel, who, conveniently enough, looks and sounds exactly like our Vin Diesel.
Riddick picks up where The Chronicles of Riddick left off. At least we think it does: we're still a little unclear about most everything in the previous installment. There was a movie by that name, right?
Vin Diesel (the Riddick-iverse version) is now surviving on a remote, sadomasochistic, green-screen planet where jamming metal implements into one’s own limbs is all the rage. Ooh. Spanky.
Then, for some reason, Riddick decides he has to get past this venom-spitting dragon thing, a task that requires him to set up a makeshift animal testing unit. Couldn’t he climb over or go around? No? Okay.
So then, our hero experiments on a Martian dog type thing. Man and beast – or possibly beast and beast – soon bond. Then, for some other reason, Riddick gets naked. Then he sends out a distress call so that bounty hunters will come for him and he can rob their spaceship. Then, what we just said happens but not before an apocalyptic standoff with more venom-spitting dragon things.
Oddly, Riddick starts well enough – think A Boy and His Dog meets Conan the Barbarian – in a back-to-basics survivalist mode that reminds us of the comparative pleasures of two-Riddick-movies-ago, Pitch Black. Franchise fans will probably love it and hail it as a return to form after Chronicles (if that movie really exists). Everyone else will be dazed and confused.
Do you need us to tell you that the lesbian slap-girl Riddick-hunter (Katie Sackhoff; prepare for breast-baring) looks as if she's considering a move from, say, Everton to Liverpool when confronted with all that Dieselly awesomeness? Do you need to know that every line of dialogue is composed ("Ride it like I stole it") from bits left behind in the editing suite from otherDiesel projects?
Forbidding, sun-scorched, deadly. But enough about Vin Diesel’s pectorals. Come back. We got more . . .