Film critic Dominic Corry celebrates, clarifies and justifies his love for all things movie.

Movie review: Riddick

2 comments
Riddick is a consistently fun exercise in unabashedly gratuitous sci-fi thrills.
Riddick is a consistently fun exercise in unabashedly gratuitous sci-fi thrills.

Vin Diesel returns to his break-out character in this down-and-dirty sci-fi action thriller that revels in its B-movie conventions. The film begins with everybody's favourite chrome-domed tough guy injured and stranded on a remote desert planet.

Flashbacks, featuring a brief appearance from Kiwi Chronicles co-star Karl Urban, detail how he ended up here but, beyond that, the first 30 minutes or so comprise a near wordless sequence in which Riddick patches himself back together and violently tussles with carnivorous wildlife.

It's a fantastic start to the film, which subsequently enters more familiar territory when a bunch of mercenaries show up looking to claim the bounty on Riddick's ostrich egg-like head. Unlike most reasonably budgeted sci-fi franchises, this series is clearly a labour of love for Diesel and film-maker David Twohy. When Chronicles of Riddick failed to break out as a blockbuster nine years ago, it was Diesel and Twohy's tenacity that saw this scaled-down follow-up eventually appear. Plus Twohy's skills as a economical genre film-maker ensure Riddick rarely betrays the fact that its budget is only a third of what most films of this scale spend.

Aussie league player-turned-film-maker/actor Matt Nable is an interesting choice as Riddick's principal antagonist, and he delivers. An entire film in the mould of the first half-hour would've been more interesting, but I could respect Twohy's desire to tick all the genre boxes. A consistently fun exercise in unabashedly gratuitous sci-fi thrills.

Stars: 3.5/5
R16; 118 minutes. Out now.

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 04 May 2016 22:04:18 Processing Time: 861ms