Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright, in the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye, could frame thy fearful symmetry? Now I told you that for two reasons. One, I like to class this bitch up every now and then… And two, who could have seen this shit coming? William fucking Blake, that’s who. Read the entirety of The Tyger and tell me he wasn’t talking about Riddick (okay, he totally wasn’t, but fuck you guys, I say he was). The Riddick film franchise has risen from the ashes of almost a decade gone to make a semi-triumphant return to the screens. Mostly (entirely) because of Vin Diesel, he’s so hot right now, Vin Diesel.
Riddick is third in line after Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) to make its big-screen debut. Based on the comic books following the same title character, this new film finds Riddick stranded and left for dead on yet another alien world, getting Tarzan with the wildlife before running into an outpost chock-full of mercenaries hell-bent on catching him dead, alive, or in itty-bitty pieces. Shit hits the fan in an epic way when things go from bad, to worse, to holy-fuck-what-just-ate-that-guy?!? Will Riddick escape abs intact? Will he finally learn that sharing is caring? Will I ever win a game of Words With Friends?
What Riddick did, and did well, is end the summer season of blockbusters with a bang. It mixed stunning visuals with special effects to create a familiar experience that drew franchise fans in and satisfied newcomers as well. This movie gave enough backstory to be accessible to those who haven’t seen the prequels while taking those familiar with the franchise back to the best Riddick had to offer. Also, as an added bonus, the R-rating helped sneak a titty or two onscreen, and who doesn’t love a nice aureole?
Riddick was cheesy and violent and fun in all the right ways. It wasn’t the freshest storyline but, despite a few flaws, managed to entertain throughout. Extra credit to Vin Diesel for maintaining his rippling pectorals almost fourteen years after the premier of Pitch Black. Diesel also nailed the anti-hero with a heart… Or what’s left of one, hidden under copious amounts of arrogance and badassery.
The film started off with a few pacing issues. Namely, the first third of Riddick dragged on… And on… And on. Much like Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, I just wanted it to be over. It was an eyelash away from going full-blown Castaway (and there’s no coming back from full-blown Castaway). Thankfully, the film really started to pick up steam when Riddick ran into the cadre of mercenaries out for his blood.
Which brings me to another slight deviation from the splendiferous twerk happening onscreen. The characters were almost superfluous as they played caricatures more than anything else. Butch Lesbian meets Mysterious Team Lead With A Secret meets Evil Henchman meets Spineless Bully, etc. What saved this from utter disaster were the actors themselves. Given what they had to work, with the cast was likable and believable, emoting like motherfucking CHAMPS through a stereotypical shitstorm.
Riddick played Battleship with being creative AND nostalgic… Sometimes it hit the perfect balance, and sometimes it missed. If my douchebag buddy Jeff, who once thought Prince was an actual prince, could Nostradamus the plot with pinpoint precision and accuracy, you might wanna take another crack at that shit before you wide-release.
The intermittent lack of creativity extended to the dialogue, which was about as subtle as a brick to the face, sometimes saying things just for the sake of saying them, often for shock value alone.
“I’m gonna go balls-deep in her…” –Riddick
“You keep a strong spine”- Also Riddick.
I’m sensing a trend here. But I digress. Despite all of this and more, there was enough action to satisfy the adrenaline junkies, enough tits to satisfy the pervs and enough gore to satisfy the horror aficionados. This film was an entertaining, mindless romp through the dark and pec-filled world of Vin Diesel. Riddick is bro-approved, lady-bits certified, fun.
Riddick was like going knuckle-deep in awesome… If awesome were a ginger. This film wasn’t perfect, but it’s ABSOLUTELY bangable.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Sip: anytime a weapon gets fired/someone gets stabbed, shanked, and/or beheaded.
Take a Drink: whenever something/one tries to kill Riddick. Pace yourself.
Take a Drink: anytime you hear Jinx/Janx, Riddick, and Dingo/Dango or see Riddick’s eyes flash silver.
Take a Shot: whenever you spy the almighty titty.
Pour a Little Out: for Fido. You’ll know when.
Take a Drink: every time Riddick kicks someone’s ass. Literally.
Shotgun a Beer: for the King of the Hill meets Pride Rock finale showdown.