Posts Tagged ‘vin diesel’

Riddick Returns (?)

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Followers of this blog know that I have more than a passing interest in the Riddick franchise, so it’s great to see that the third Riddick movie (tentatively titled Dead Man Stalking) seems to be picking up momentum, with io9 featuring some cool concept art earlier this month. Shooting remains more than a year away, so it’s way too early to count chickens (or scalps), but director David Twohy’s overall plan looks like a good one:  fuck space opera, and go back to the Pitch Black basics. For one thing, he can no longer afford the sweeping galactic vistas that characterized second movie (and box office bomb) Chronicles, and for another thing, the Riddick character thrives on a particularly brutal kind of stripped-down minimalism.

The big challenge, of course, is how to do this without dishing up a clone of Pitch Black.  Twohy seems to have opted for a First Blood-type approach in which Riddick ges hunted by mercenaries on a deathtrap of a planet, and naturally turns the tables on them (a longer, meaner version of the first five minutes of Chronicles, perhaps).   Savvy marketer that he is, he’s been pitching the new project as building on Pitch Black the same way that Road Warrior built on Mad Max.  That’s certainly got my attention. . . just as I’m suspecting the home video numbers—and the continued ascension of the Riddick franchise to cult status—has gotten investor attention, and allowed Twohy to get this close to resurrecting one of the most memorable characters to ever hit SF moviedom.  Fingers crossed that Twohy succeeds in dumping Riddick in a whole new world of hurt.

Chronicles of Riddick

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

After the success of Pitch Black, director David Twohy was planning an epic Riddick trilogy, of which this movie would be the first. But when Chronicles tanked at the box office, the next two movies were scrapped, and Universal Studios contented itself with spinning off video games to recoup their losses: an effort that was assisted by the Chronicles DVD, which apparently sold pretty well. But the grander dreams were over. All that was left of a franchise that Twohy had hoped would dominate the SF landscape were fragments scattered here and there: two very different movies, those video games, and a couple of animated shorts.

And that’s a goddamn shame. Because I saw Chronicles again last night, and christ does it kick ass. The sweeping planetscapes (c’mon, any list of top ten SF planets would have to include Crematoria), the demented neo-gothic spaceships, the over-the-top costuming, and the nonstop action: Twohy and his team got a lot of stuff right. And Vin Diesel is a fucking star throughout:  he’s got undeniable charisma, and some really great lines too.  (“Shoulda taken the money, Toomes.”)

But I’m curious to hear what YOU guys think.  There are obviously a lot of folks out there who hated this movie, and this is your big opportunity to weigh in and tell me what you thought sucked.  Me, I think the movie’s central failing was the thing I like the most about it:  Twohy could have just made Pitch Black 2, but he elected to take things in a totally different direction, and take some chances while he was doing it.  Or maybe they should have stuck with the original Riddick origin legend—instead of him being a Furian, perhaps the original explanation of how he got his eyes fixed by a rogue surgeon on a prison planet was more in keeping with the gritty universe that Pitch Black was hinting at.  Or maybe 2004 just wasn’t ready for a big-budget, no-holds-barred, unapologetic space opera.

It’s too bad, though, because I for one would be up for a couple more.