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Non-Review Review: Riddick

Riddick is remarkably candid about the trouble with The Chronicles of Riddick. Somewhere,” Riddick tells us in his introductory monologue, “I lost my way.” The movie sees Riddick trying to get back to his roots – literally and figuratively. He abandons the trappings of The Chronicles of Riddick, casting Karl Urban aside after little more than a cameo and a convoluted back story. He longs to return home.And, in a way, he does.

Eschewing the scale of The Chronicles of Riddick, the movie finds Riddick and the crews of two ships locked in combat on the surface of a planet, discovering that the elements are against them – and the monsters hiding therein. The movie is acutely aware of how tightly it’s mirroring Pitch Black. At one point, before an alien onslaught begins, one co-star asks how many survivors emerged from the crash at the start of Pitch Black. “As many as are in this room,” Riddick replies, underscoring the similarities.

However, Riddick is strongest when it tries to recapture the mood of Pitch Black, rather than trying to connect more directly with its predecessors. The decision to hang the back story of the film on a minor character from a movie released a decade ago feels like a miscalculation, and the movie’s introduction suffers from an indecisiveness about whether it’s breaking free of or following on from its direct predecessor.

Apocalypse how?

Apocalypse how?

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