Review: Fighting is as bad as writing in 'Riddick' -
Published Friday, September 6, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 4:39 pm
Review: Fighting is as bad as writing in 'Riddick'

The lack of imagination in “Riddick,” the third installment in director-writer David Twohy's increasingly forgettable sci-fi franchise, is so stunning that it's almost like a special effect in itself. In fact, if they handed out awards for dull action-movie cliches, witless sexist jokes, leaden pacing and tiring CGI, then Twohy better start writing his acceptance speech now.

After the overblown “Chronicles of Riddick,” Twohy was supposedly going to go back to the lean simplicity that made the first Riddick film, “Pitch Black” in 2000, a cool little cinematic calling card. That film starred Vin Diesel as an escaped convict fighting to stay alive on a planet of hungry predators.

Now, Riddick finds himself dumped on a hostile slab of rock after leaving Helion Prime, the planet at the center of a power grab in the “Chronicles of Riddick,” fighting to stay alive against attacks from vicious canines and giant lizard-scorpion-crocodile creatures.

But there's a bounty on Riddick's head and two teams of competing bounty hunters show up to claim their prize. One is led by Santana (a campy Jordi Mollá, “Colombiana”) and the other by Boss Johns (Matt Nable), the father of one of the men in “Pitch Black” who believes Riddick is responsible for his son's death. Of course, Riddick single-handedly can outsmart them all.

This could have made for an entertaining cat-and-mouse game, but there's little fresh in the film's action/fight scenes or the writing (the f-word is thrown around enough to make Tarantino say “what the heck?”). And none of these characters is particularly intriguing. Brawny yet boring Diesel is especially inert. The one who comes closest — Dahl (Katee Sackhoff of “Battlestar Galactica”) as Johns' no-nonsense and openly gay second-in-command — is treated to a litany of lines that basically say that what she needs is a man.

It's supposed to be funny, but it's not.

The film's most intriguing element is the casting of Nable, an Australian Aboriginal actor, in the role of Johns, a rarity in a big-budget Hollywood production. (But a better vehicle for the former rugby player is the Aussie crime series “Underbelly: Badness,” currently airing on DirecTV in the U.S).

The Riddick character has become so popular he continues his adventures in several video games. That's a good thing, especially if that means Twohy — whose last film was the enjoyably breezy thriller “A Perfect Getaway” — can finally stop making movies about him.

Read more related stories
Omaha woman, 30, battling breast cancer for third time
For World Book Night, some Omahans prepare to hand out free reads
Annie, My 12-year-old grandson insists on sleeping with Grannie
Primer: Hand-brewing coffee at home
Archives: So many wonderful old Omaha photos
Earth Day: A change in habits can help the planet
‘Wonder Bread Years’: Tickets on sale now for salute to baby boomer generation
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium going greener
Annie Mailbox: My daughter will quit smoking if I lose weight
Win a Mommy Makeover!
Why two hotshots ditched six-figure salaries for a life of less
Jeff Corwin hopes to build connection with nature at Nebraska Science Festival
Annie, when that girl's hitting the bottle, look out
Blair High senior shows his love of pi by memorizing 1,381 digits
Jon Stewart might be real king of late night
'Tis soon Talk Like Shakespeare Day; hence be mirthful!
Can't find your pet? Social media is there to help
Easter Sunday temperatures climb into 80s in Omaha area
From fashion to baskets, a guide to the latest Easter trends
Families from area shelters treated to meal at Old Chicago
Mizzou alumni aim to attract veterinary students to Henry Doorly Zoo
This Friday, celebrate Arbor Day where it all began
Annie, my boyfriend of 3 years won't invite me to his mobile home
Kooser: 'American Life in Poetry' (April 20)
Swoosie’s voice a joy in memoir of stage, family
< >
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
Jump to a blog:
< >
We Love Weddings blog
W.E. Love Weddings is about everything Omaha and everything weddings by the editors of Wedding Essentials Magazine.
Weddings and engagements
Share your exciting news with your community by placing an announcement today.
Inspired Home Omaha magazine
Sign up today to get the latest edition of Omaha's best magazine for local living, home entertainment, fashion and travel!
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »