Jack Goes Confidential: Vin Diesel Does ‘Riddick’ Proud

Pitch-BlackWe’re smack in the middle of Hollywood’s traditional product donut hole…

The post Labor Day annual movie drought that eventually turns into a lineup of more meaningful and quality film fare in just a few weeks. A period which most often produces many of the year’s Oscar contenders.

And this year’s batch of late September and October offerings look unlikely to disappoint.

However,  getting there isn’t much fun for theater owners and circuits who would probably prefer taking their vacations during this down period of business.

Yet this week’s major newcomer RIDDICK could dispel all the hand wringing. While it’s not likely to win any awards, the film delivers a solid sci-fi saga at a time when cinematic expectations are at their lowest.

First a little RIDDICK history.

It all began with PITCH BLACK in 2000 which saw a crash landing on a remote planet with ex-con Vin Diesel facing unknown terror from every direction.

PITCH BLACK was produced on a shoe string budget yet turned into a surprise hit grossing $53 million worldwide. On top of that it became a cult favorite on video.

Now this is where it turns ugly.

Next the filmmakers gambled a $100 million+ budget on the 2004 sequel which bombed with both audiences and critics.

pitch-black-riddickTHE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK only had a domestic gross of $57 million—or total worldwide ticket take of about $107 million.

Of course, only about half of those amounts ever flow back to the studio and/or filmmakers.

That didn’t stop producer/star Vin Diesel and director David Twohy from pouring a lot of sweat, tears and money into the third chapter which opens this weekend.

Simply called RIDDICK, the sci-fi blast certainly belies the film’s much smaller budget estimated to be somewhere between $35 and $40 million.

We find our galactic anti-hero left for dead on a desolate planet where during the films first 15 minutes or so Diesel’s Riddick finds himself fighting alien predators even more deadly than the human galaxy hunters he’s about to encounter during the rest of the movie’s two hour running time.

riddick_and_jack“There are bad days. And there are LEGENDARY bad days.”

Graphic violence for sure. Even a little girl-on-girl naughty nudity. Some of it will make you wince—the violence that is. But it’s a perfect fit for Riddick to force his enemies to where he wants them and eventually unleash a vicious attack of vengence that does Vin Diesel proud—-wisecracks and all.

So while I’m not the greatest fan of the genre, I will tell you that this Canadian produced sci-fi adventure impressed! Especially the planets deadly beasts from hell which help solidify that film’s R-rating.

This third edition of the franchise won’t be a flop even though you wouldn’t know it by the flick’s dubious release date.

RIDDICK kicks off the fall movie season with a C+ grade.

(Reviewed in IMAX format at AMC Studio 30, Olathe)


Listen to Jack’s movie reviews Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ FM & AM / Also now on line Saturdays between 8:00 a.m. and noon on WeekendKC.net

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6 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: Vin Diesel Does ‘Riddick’ Proud

  1. the dude says:

    My Metacritic crystal ball says NO, Jack.
    Money would be better spent seeing The World’s End, two thumbs up for that flick!

  2. Super Dave says:

    It is pretty awesome, great cinematography, but I hope they do realize that the plot should have been better and had a better ending… but overall, its pretty good movie!

  3. Brother Sunday says:

    I was excited to read your post about this movie. It was upbeat and positive throughout with only two negatives were the big-budget fail of “CHRONICLES” and your reference to violence. The first is indeed a fact, the second is an opinion as you may not like violence. Being that I do enjoy violence, Rumple Minze, and all things Riddick, I was still excited about this positive review. Butn then I reached the bottom…….a C+?!?!! JACK!!!! I was really hoping to see at LEAST a B/B+. You graded it down for violence? That must be it. If so, I think this should be re-written to reflect the movie’s place along other movies within its genre. It’s like Brother Sunday going to see Smurfs 2 and grading it down because he doesn’t like the color blue. Thank you for your time and consideration of my review of your review of Riddick staring Vin Diesel. -BroSun

  4. jack p. says:

    Hey Brother Sunday,
    You enjoy violence. I enjoy sex. Maybe the two can balance themselves out? (The girl-girl scene in the flick could’ve run a bit longer for my taste 🙂
    Seriously though it’s not the violence that had me rate the movie C+. I believe the AP reviewer in THE STAR gave it 1-1/2 out of 4 while USA TODAY barely awarded 1 out of 4.
    Why my ‘middle rating?’ Weak story. Even weaker acting by the bounty hunters. When the best performance comes from an alien pet—you know there’s something missing here.
    But having said that I was amazed what this film’s relatively small budget came up with in set design, special effects and look in general.
    thanks, jack p.

    • Brother Sunday says:

      Oh much better, Jack. Bravo! More like this please! Why on earth did you leave that out of the review? Thats KEY stuff Jack! I think for your penance, you have to go review Smurfs 2. lol yes please! And don’t you dare look at what others are saying about movies. Are those guys better? NO. You are. Your refusal to pan this movie is why you are!

  5. jack p. says:

    Brother Sunday,

    When it comes to SMURFS 2 and GETAWAY—THAT my friend is where I draw the line. (Unless, of course there was some ‘Smurfette/Smurfetting…)

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