Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Twohy|
|Produced by||Vin Diesel
|Written by||David Twohy|
by Jim Wheat
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Editing by||Tracy Adams|
One Race Films
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures
Entertainment One (co-distribution in Canada and United Kingdom)
|Running time||118 minutes|
Riddick is a 2013 British-American science fiction film, the third installment in the The Chronicles of Riddick film series. Produced by and starring Vin Diesel as the title character, Riddick is written and directed by David Twohy, who previously wrote and directed the first two installments, Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004).
The film was released on September 4, 2013, in the UK and Ireland, and September 6, 2013, in the United States. It was shown in both conventional and IMAX Digital theaters.
Five years after The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick has become increasingly uneasy in his role as Lord Marshall of the Necromonger fleet. His refusal to swear into the Necromonger faith has caused dissent among his subjects. Riddick strikes a deal with Commander Vaako; the location of Furya and a ship to take him there, in exchange for Vaako becoming the next Lord Marshall. Led by Vaako's aide, Krone, Riddick and a group of Necromongers arrive on a desolate planet. Recognizing it is not Furya, Riddick kills most of his escort when they attempt to assassinate him. In the chaos, Krone causes a landslide and buries Riddick alive.
Emerging from the rubble with a fractured leg, Riddick manages to reset and splint his broken leg and fend off native predators: vulture-like flying animals, viper-like swarms of water animals and packs of jackal-like beasts. Needing time to heal, Riddick hides himself within some abandoned ruins. Riddick later sees a vast savanna beyond some rocky cliffs, but the only passage through is guarded by poisonous, scorpion-like creatures called "Mud Demons" which inhabit several muddy pools. As he builds an immunity to the Mud Demon's venom, Riddick improvises melee weapons, while raising and training an orphaned jackal-beast pup. The two eventually succeed in defeating the Mud Demons and reach the savannah. Riddick soon realizes a massive series of approaching storms are unleashing countless more of the Demons, who must keep their skin wet at all times to survive. Needing to get off-world, Riddick activates an emergency beacon in an empty mercenary station, which broadcasts his identity and presence on the planet.
Two ships promptly arrive in answer to the beacon; the first a group of bush-league bounty hunters led by a violent and unstable man named Santana, and another better-equipped team of professional mercenaries led by a man who is not initially identified but is named Boss Johns. Riddick has left them a blood message vowing death to every merc unless they leave one of their ships and depart the planet on the other. Rubio, Nunez and Falco are killed during the first night, forcing a reluctant Santana to cooperate with Johns. Riddick later manages to steal power nodes from each of the teams' ships and then approaches Johns and Santana to strike a deal for their return. However, the conversation turns out to be an ambush. Johns' second-in-command, Dahl, shoots Riddick with powerful tranquilizers. In an effort to defend his master, Riddick's alien jackal brutally attacks Santana, but is shot multiple times in the throat.
Back at the Merc Station, Johns interrogates Riddick about the final fate of his son, William J. Johns (the mercenary from Pitch Black). When the storms finally reach the station, large numbers of Mud Demons emerge from the muddy ground, and besiege the station, killing Lockspur and Moss. Johns agrees to release Riddick in order to locate the hidden power cells. Santana stops him and attempts to kill Riddick, who is worth twice as much dead as he is alive. Riddick instead beheads Santana thus keeping his earlier promise to kill the merc and avenge the death of his pet.
They then fight their way to the ship which houses the hover bikes with Vargas being killed. Johns, Santana's man Diaz, and Riddick leave the ship together on hover bikes on a mission to retrieve the power nodes. During their journey, Diaz knocks John's bike over the side, causing him to crash. He is then picked up by Riddick. After they reached the power nodes, Riddick reveals to Johns about his son's addiction to morphine and a spineless attempt by his son to utilize a child as 'bait' for the hostile animals on the world they were stranded on ten years prior. With both of them distracted, Diaz attempts to kill Riddick and Johns. Riddick fights and kills him, but not before unintentionally damaging the only working hover bike (Diaz had already disabled the other one).
Riddick and Boss Johns fend off a seemingly endless horde of Demons while running back to the station. Riddick is severely wounded. Johns takes both nodes and abandons Riddick. After treating his wound, Riddick begins to fight a futile battle against the advancing Demons. Just when it seems he is about to be killed, Johns arrives in one of the ships and shoots the creatures while Dahl descends to rescue Riddick. Riddick then takes the other ship and—as he flies away from the planet—he is stopped by Johns in the other ship. Johns asks Riddick where he will go, but thinks better and decides to not know. Riddick praises Johns for being a better man than his son and departs into deep space. In the theatrical version, this was the end of the movie, while in the extended version, there is an additional scene which takes place aboard the Necromonger ship.
Differences In Theatrical & Extended Versions
A number of additions to the plot are included in the director's cut of the movie which was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 14, 2014 and provided a longer story than the theatrical version. The extended cut of the movie is 488.8 sec. (or approx. 8 minutes 9 seconds) longer than the theatrical version and includes extended and additional scenes not seen in the theatrical version.
In the new ending to the movie, Krone, who had previously left Riddick for dead on the planet, is seen kneeling before the window and praying to the underverse. Out the portal, the entire fleet is seen gravitating towards what is presumed to be the underverse. Riddick comes and threatens Krone, asking where Vaako is. Krone begins by telling him that Vaako is dead and continues on by saying that Vaako did indeed plan to bring Riddick to Furya, but that Krone had interfered with Vaako's plan and made a choice to abandon Riddick on the other planet. Krone continues to talk about Riddick's inability to lead, but Riddick stabs him in the back of the neck, killing him. Riddick then turns to one of the female slaves and asks her if Vaako is alive or dead, and she replies "both". Riddick appears somewhat puzzled at this response and goes to the portal, looking at the underverse in front of him while Vaako is heard saying the word "transcendence".
- Vin Diesel as Riddick
- Matthew Nable as Boss Johns
- Jordi Mollà as Santana
- Katee Sackhoff as Dahl
- Dave Batista as Diaz
- Bokeem Woodbine as Moss
- Raoul Trujillo as Lockspur
- Conrad Pla as Vargas
- Nolan Gerard Funk as Luna
- Danny Blanco Hall as Falco
- Noah Danby as Nuñez
- Neil Napier as Rubio
- Karl Urban as Siberius Vaako
- Alex Branson as Lex Branman
- Andreas Apergis as Krone
- Keri Hilson as Santana's Prisoner
Rumors of a third film in the Chronicles of Riddick series have circulated since 2006. At first, Twohy assumed that the film would be an independent, low-budget production, rather than being released by Universal Studios as the other films in the series had been. Despite the second film's tepid reception, Diesel and Twohy remained optimistic about a third film, pushing it toward completion. "Everyone knows I love the Riddick character and I’m always working on it", Diesel asserted. "It just takes five years to make another one because David Twohy and I are so precise about it." In 2006, Diesel agreed to make a cameo in Universal's film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in exchange for the ownership to the rights to the Riddick franchise and character. Over the next four years, Diesel periodically posted information on his own Facebook page updating fans on the film's progress. In November 2009, shortly after Twohy had finished the script, he announced that pre-production work was underway.
In April 2010, a review of the Riddick screenplay (it was then subtitled "Dead Man Stalking") appeared on the Coming Attractions website. "Free from the constraints of delivering a PG-13 movie, the dialogue in Dead Man Stalking is more suited to a film like Training Day; the mercs we meet are hard living people, not those washout fakeout space mercs from a film like Alien Resurrection," wrote reviewer Patrick Sauriol. On February 9, 2010, Diesel confirmed in an update on his Facebook page that one of the locations used in the upcoming sequel would be the White Desert in Farafra, Egypt. He mentioned the terrain features, unique to the area, would lend to the off-planet atmosphere of the film. On March 13, 2011, Diesel released a video on his official Facebook page in which he and Director David Twohy talk about the proposed third film. They reaffirmed that the movie will be rated 'R', like the first one (Pitch Black), a priority for them, and they plan to shoot it lean and quickly.
In September 2011, it was announced that Karl Urban would reprise his role as Vaako from The Chronicles of Riddick. In January 2012, it was announced that Katee Sackhoff and Matt Nable had also joined the cast. Since they did not have enough money to shoot the film in its entirety, Diesel had to mortgage his house, obtain loans and spend most of his personal money on the production of the film, "I had to leverage my house," Diesel said. "If we didn't finish the film, I would be homeless."
The first image of Vin Diesel on the film's set was released on January 20, 2012. Filming began in January 2012 and concluded at the end of March 2012. The film entered post production in April 2012. The teaser trailer for the film was released on March 22, 2013 via Vin Diesel's official Facebook page.
Riddick was met with mixed reviews. It currently holds a 58% approval rating, with an average score of 5.4/10, on the aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 154 reviews. Its consensus states: "It may not win the franchise many new converts, but this back-to-basics outing brings Riddick fans more of the brooding sci-fi action they've come to expect." Metacritic, another review aggregation website, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 49 out of 100 based on 33 reviews.
Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a negative review, saying "If you were to make a comedy about an actor who makes cheesy sci-fi action movies, and you needed a hilarious clip of his work that underscored the awfulness of his output, just about any 30-second segment of Riddick would do the trick." Tom Huddleston of Time Out gave the film two out of five stars, saying "It's flavourless: the aliens are unscary and easily despatched, Vin's too silent to be interesting, and the other characters are either dull or offensive." Scott Foundas of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "An improbable but very enjoyable sequel that recaptures much of the stripped-down intensity of Diesel and director David Twohy's franchise starter Pitch Black." Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a negative review, saying "Faithful to the template if not the spirit of previous installments, this flabby second sequel barely manages to advance Riddick's considerable personal mythology." Keith Staskiewicz of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C+, saying "Twohy succeeds in staging moments both tense and funny, but they're fewer and farther between than one would hope, and the dialogue is served up with a heaping helping of cheese, especially when delivered in Diesel's low-frequency growl."
Jocelyn Noveck of the Associated Press gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "Sloppy is a kind word, actually, for the ridiculously clumsy dialogue in Riddick, the third and latest installment of the sci-fi saga." Keith Uhlich of Time Out New York gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Watching this see-in-the-dark muscleman brooding against gorgeous otherworldly vistas, all while crafting pointy homemade weapons and befriending a scene-stealing CGI canine (no joke), is a sci-fi aficionado's delight." Bruce Demara of the Toronto Star gave the film three out of four stars, saying "The CGI-created landscape is impressively rendered and detailed, there are loads of cool gadgetry and, of course, plenty of action and "ghosting"—i.e. killing." Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film three out of four stars, saying "This is not one of those Johnny-come-lately sequels preoccupied with getting a new audience up to speed on where the story was. It's about living in the moment, in the now, and killing in the now." Soren Anderson of The Seattle Times gave the film two out of four stars, saying "As a creature feature, Riddick isn't half bad, though it's far from truly good." Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News gave the film one out of five stars, saying "The story feels like quicksand. Riddick, which couldn’t even qualify for proper summer movie placement, moves like Martian molasses and can’t present an action scene to save its life. You’ll wish you had Uncle Martin’s ability to speed people—not to mention awful movies—up."
Barbara VanDenburgh of The Arizona Republic gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Riddick's at his most fun when the pressure's on, and he retreats to plan something special for his new visitors. All the build-up pays off with tense showdowns in the dark, thrilling restraint and ominous suggestion giving way to slasher gore." Rafer Guzman of Newday gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "It's B-grade cinema made with A-level intelligence and imagination—skillfully directed, surprisingly well acted and gratifyingly preposterous." David Hiltbrand of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film two out of four stars, saying "Somehow along the way, in the film's only attempt to humanize him, Riddick acquires a pet. That makes Riddick the first (and one hopes the last) film to borrow heavily from both Alien and Old Yeller." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film one out of four stars, saying "Move along, there's nothing to see and no one to root for in this murky franchise reboot." Stephanie Merry of The Washington Post gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Riddick" can be cheesy and silly, not to mention excessively violent, but it's also fun." Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film a mixed review, saying "The movie jogs along nicely without ever getting a case of the stupids; far from being a bloated "John Carter," it's just a pared-down yarn of survival: "Die Hard" on a planet."
Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "The dark palette and extreme close-ups turn every fight into a muddy blur; the staging, which should feel claustrophobic, is too often set in vast (and unconvincing) landscapes." Rene Rodriguez of The Miami Herald gave the film one out of four stars, saying "A modestly budgeted bone Universal Pictures threw at Diesel so he would keep starring in "Fast and Furious" pictures. Those movies are bank; "Riddick" is rank." Adam Graham of Detroit News gave the film a C–, saying "Twohy is trying to do something with his original character. It's just not clear what that something is anymore. Maybe it's time this franchise fades to black for good." James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Much of the film is over-the-top, but that won't be a surprise to those who saw the previous two installments. Diesel is in fine form, growling his lines and being the most menacing person on screen even when he's in chains." Amy Nicholson of The Village Voice gave the film a negative review, saying "The only reason to root for Riddick is that his name is on the ticket stub. But he's so dull and the hunters so weird that we're literally cheering for the movie to kill off its personality, one throat slash at a time." Nick Schager of Slant Magazine gave the film one out of four stars, saying "For a film about a killing machine who can see at night, it's fittingly ironic that the film itself is, both narratively and visually, a dark, muddled mess."
Riddick grossed $42,025,135 in North America, and $56,312,160 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $98,337,295. In North America, the film opened to number one in its first weekend, with $19,030,375. In its second weekend, the film dropped to number three, grossing an additional $6,841,800. In its third weekend, the film dropped to number eight, grossing $3,656,620. In its fourth weekend, the film dropped to number 13, grossing $1,607,145.
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- Official website
- Riddick on Facebook
- Riddick at the Internet Movie Database
- Riddick at Rotten Tomatoes
- Riddick at Metacritic