The adventures with the Sci-Fi Chronicles continues with the second Riddick film, once again written and directed by David Twohy. In all honesty, of the two films so far, I like this one more. There was more world-building, the introduction of a mythology for the character and the universe, though lets call the mystical power thing as the cheat that it is. Terrible.
But helping Vin Diesel out this time, who returns as the titular character, are some truly solid actors, who are actually capable of doing the heavy lifting for Diesel, and bringing a bit of gravitas to the pulpy world. Let’s just say it, Diesel isn’t the strongest actor, but when you surround yourself with top-notch actors like Dame Judy Dench, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton, Karl Urban and Alexa Davalos any actor is forced to raise the level of their game, and you can see that Diesel is making the effort in his performance, but I still didn’t care for his character, or give a damn what happens to him.
The film picks up five years after the events of Pitch Black, and murderer and general bad-ass finds himself caught up in the war between the planet Helion Prime and the invading forces of the goth, and villainous, Necromongers, who are led by the Lord Marshall (Feore) who plan to convert or kill all life within the universe.
By its very nature this one is more epic in scale and story, and while some of it falls flat, there are some cool ideas at work here, and we get to spend time with other characters and aren’t permanently stuck with Riddick. Which is good, because he’s possibly the least interesting character in the series.
This one casts aside the previous film’s pulp and goes for a more expansive tale, which looks great, the effects budget is well-used, and there are some pretty good ideas and designs at work in this one.
He is brought to Helion Prime by mercs who capture him, and the bounty on his head was placed there by Imam (David Keith) from the previous film, in the hopes of getting the killer to help them with the invading Necromonger army. Riddick can’t be bothered until they make it mostly personal.
His travels see him travelling to a prison planet, and pairing up with Jack, now Kyra (Davalos) before confronting the Lord Marshall.
But there are things going on in the Necromonger camp as Vaako (Urban) and Dame Vaako (Newton) have plans of their own to seize power, and you also get a look at the bizarre, and dark Necromonger culture.
All the expansion of the universe made me like it much more than the first film, there was more going on, not that there is anything wrong with smaller action films, not at all, just when you don’t care about the character, what’s there to hold your attention.
In this one you’ve got a kick ass supporting cast!
We’ll see what happens when I sit through the third…