Haven’t done any of these recently. Not because I haven’t been watching movies, but mainly because I’ve been uninspired by the ones I did see. (Kick Ass 2, for example… it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t make me want to talk about it).
Why I decided to re-vamp the series with Riddick is beyond me, but there you are.
General and Epilepsy
I did, oddly enough, twitch a bit during the … well, I guess it would be prequel section. Most of the movie is set in browns (“sun-scorched planet” only leaves so many color choices, I guess), but this part was in blue-highlighted blacks, and that set off something in my brain. There were a few other times with the guns that I felt a buzzing in my brain-stem, but for the most part it was fine.
Technical and Actors
The graphics in this were … well, I guess as good as you can expect when it’s almost 99% CGI. There were serious flaws during the section when Riddick was hangin’ with his dog. He wasn’t looking spot on, and that made the interaction slightly disturbing. I’m not sure if they just shot Vin alone and added later or if they mo-capped a (very large) dog, but it felt very much like the first, and if that’s so they could have benefited from using a dwarf horse or something.
The flying motorbikes also felt very fake. I don’t know what the choice would be to fix them, but it (for me) went above and beyond the general air of fantasy that goes with a Riddick movie (which always feel and look a bit off, understandably). I mean, you’ve got a man on a spire fighting off alien scorpion cloverfield monsters or some shit … you have to expect to stretch the imagination a little on that, OBVIOUSLY that’s fantasy. But hoverbikes? Surely you can do better with those.
Vin Diesel. His voice is god’s gift to women with chronic vaginal dryness. Any movie, any interview, and I come away feeling well-laid. Something of a minor miracle, his voice. I’m grateful he picked a profession that allows him to share that gift with the rest of us.
The problem that comes with a Riddick movie is the sort of problem you get with a Superman movie. He’s not going to die. There’s no danger. Any number of things can jump out of the dark and you just go, “eh, look at that, he killed a thing”. Maybe he’ll get hurt, but he’s a big boy, he can handle it.
Looking at Riddick from the Superman POV, he benefits from his darkness. He is a moral being, for all that people like to think the worst of him (sure he’s a killer, but dudes…he saved a puppy, he can’t be all bad!), but he’s not moralistic or stuck up like Superman. (Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Come at me, bitches.)
The beginning of the movie, when he’s learning how to survive on our nameless-planet set, things are pretty interesting. Hunting things, killing things, making friends with alien lampreys, etc. Interesting. From there, though…
The plot had two potentially interesting things to draw upon: The needs of a lost father, and a search for home. Two great bases for storytelling. Instead we focused on shooting slimy things. Normally I’m cool with shooting slimy things (I appreciate this behavior and apply it often in my every-day life, though I usually squash, not having a gun), but the problem was that there was actual potential for a story! Why didn’t they go with that?!
Most importantly though was the ending. It felt barely halfway through when the credits started rolling. I’m not sure what I expected next, it DID end, but the climax wasn’t very climactic. Goes back to that Superman point, I guess. I was never worried. People died, but fuck ’em. They were assholes anyhow.
Interesting to note:
Vin Diesel’s name was almost as big as the title card “RIDDICK”. This has led me to believe: VIN DIESEL IS RIDDICK to the extent that they’ve just started sticking him on a stage backed by a green screen and let him laugh and run around, film it, can it, and then go have drinks to celebrate the completion of another film.
I went to this movie on a Tuesday night because … because I wanted to see a movie. I have no real connection to this franchise beyond the fact that I appreciate the sound of Vin Diesel’s voice. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either.
I came out of the film having enjoyed the moments with the “dingo” the most because they were the only moments that moved me. Nothing else was quite as interesting or exciting, certainly not emotional.