Hot mess or not, it must have made enough money for another crack at the box office. Enter RIDDICK.
After assuming the throne at the end of CHRONICLES, Riddick realises that he isn't suited to the life of an aristocrat because he likes sleeping with women, but not next to them or some such nonsense. Shortly after he finds himself in an alien version of I AM LEGEND and killing ensues. Realistically, that's what you get in this film; the bastard child of PITCH BLACK and I AM LEGEND.
One surprisingly strong point of the film relates to the casting. It really does appear as though Diesel was born for this role and he performs admirably. His voice still rumbles like it did 12 years ago and while he may be looking a little older, he's still a burly boy. Cheesy dialogue be damned because he delivers it with the sort of panache that you're unlikely to see in any of his other films. Battlestar Galactica darling Katee Sackhoff makes an appearance, steps somewhat out of Starbuck's shadow and solidifies her position as a potential action movie queen. Australian Matt Nable puts in an admirable performance as the stoic Boss Johns and an even more admirable American accent. The true star of the film is Jordi Molla who absolutely nails his role as the sinister lead mercenary, Santana. What makes Molla's performance even more admirable is that he delivers a more menacing and believable bad guy than former pro-wrestler David Bautista who, despite his best efforts to emulate Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, comes off as being all bulk and no badness.
At 118 minutes, RIDDICK is also all over the place with story lines that are established before being summarily dismissed, groan worthy ham-fisted dialogue and a particular scene at the end of the film that could (and probably should) very well offend audience members. In short, he cures a lesbian of her lesbianitis. It's unfortunate that in the opening scene we're promised so much only to have the remainder of the film turn into what felt entirely like a remake of PITCH BLACK having substituted prisoners for mercenaries. This film isn't particularly good and only manages to be enjoyable in parts. Many of the laughs are had at the hands of corny dialogue and not necessarily on purpose. As with CHRONICLES, the artistic direction and costume design is fantastic and for the most part so is the CGI. While the bulk of the CGI, which accounts for the vast majority of screen real estate, is of a good quality, sequences on Harley style jet bikes with electro-guns look terrible, especially when accompanied by a 1980's inspired sci-fi soundtrack. Do you remember Dynamo in THE RUNNING MAN? Yeah, that.
Although the film may not be a particularly great one, it may be worth seeing at the cinemas just because there's nothing of the kind out at the moment. Plus, you get to see Starbuck's boobies... so, yeah, there's that.
RIDDICK is in Australian cinemas from Thursday 12 September 2013.