Vin Diesel hits the silver screen in the third installment of the Chronicles of Riddick series. As you would expect, Diesel delivers on a role crafted solely for him.

Pitch Black opened in 2000, heralding a unique story with a compelling main character. Riddick was unique for his planning skills and killer instincts, and he possessed eyes with a “shine job,” which allowed him to see effectively in the dark. He was a convict — a killer — but he possessed enough of a conscience to be endearing and for the audience to identify with him.

In the second film (Chronicles of Riddick), an entirely different storyline unfolded. It showed Riddick as a hero, taking control of the Necromonger horde.

The third and newest film opens to show Riddick broken and stranded on a desolate planet. We watch as he ponders how he got into his current situation. After a brief flashback to the events of the second movie, the film segues into the new story — which feels very reminiscent of the first. This time around, Riddick is up against bounty hunters.

The beginning third of the film pits Riddick against nature itself. Later, the bounty hunters arrive, and the game of cat and mouse goes into overdrive.

I found the transition from the second film to the third adequate, but unsatisfying.

The script, acting, action, and cinematography are all top notch. I was happy with the production value. It didn’t feel cheap or cheesy at all; the effects seemed believable.

I enjoyed the humor. I also appreciated the complexity of the Riddick character, something fans of the series have all come to love.

There were a few plot holes, and a couple of inconsistencies, but overall it’s a great film.

One of the greatest parts of the film is Katee Sackhoff (“Starbuck” of Battlestar Galactica fame), and her bare breast. (I’m a hetero dude — sue me!) The other gratuitous nudity (including one shot of a woman’s shaved groin area) was appropriate and served as great icing on the filmography cake.

My main criticism is that this movie had almost nothing to do with the previous films. There were two great tie-ins, but it never felt like a true continuation of the story line, not in any meaningful way. It was very unsatisfying in that respect However, as a stand-alone action film featuring Riddick, it delivers.

This movie is well worth seeing, but it will dissapoint those looking for strong continuity with the other parts of the franchise.

4 out of 5 stars

Edited By : Jeff Boehm

Second Review by
Jeremiah Scott

Disclaimer: This review is not a recap of what specifically happens in the plot of the movie. It speaks in general terms about observations, themes and quality so as not to spoil the movie. I actually don’t read reviews because the majority of them give me a synopsis of the entire movie… which I hate. On to the review…

1) You need to be all in on or at least very ok with Vinny D to enjoy this movie. Vin Diesel annoys the hell out of some people and makes others open their wallets for every action movie he releases that costars a fast car or an alien. So if the fact he can drone through an entire monologue without moving his mouth drives you nuts… you will need a healthy dose of number 2 to survive this 2 hour movie.

2) This is a true Science Fiction movie. This is Sci-Fi done right. And those who do not like that genre will be quickly alienated. It’s like Alien meets Predator… with a dog.So as long as you are good with those two points then you will be more than pleased after throwing down $10 to see this little post summer Science Fiction gem.

The last Riddick movie derailed the franchise after a great start with Pitch Black. The Chronicles of Riddick relied way too heavily on massive scenery, special effects and dudes that looked like bad guys from Superman movies. This movie sets that train back on track nicely Riddick plays an almost Mr. Wendell type character at times… he’s homeless but he gets into their head and they learn a little about themselves. Obviously this doesn’t save them all and some may leave the theater wanting Vin Diesel to plow through aliens in a 60’s muscle car doing 100 miles per hour, but for the most part I think if you like Science Fiction movies you are going to be very pleased.

The bottom line: The pacing was good, the story was solid, and the characters aside from the ensign disposables were memorable enough to care about. Best of all there were some great payoffs in this movie. Riddick does just enough to get you to buy into caring enough for characters so that you want to see them succeed or die a painfully gruesome Sci-Fi death. And in turn this makes me like this movie enough to hope it succeeds and lives to fight another day in another sequel.

4 out of 5 stars

DVD Review By Gareth Von Kallenbach

Chris and Jeremiah summed it up very well. If you are a fan of the series you will love this film. It does not have the bombast of the second film but takes what worked well in the previous two films and stays true to the character while added more depth. The supporting cast is solid and the action and dark humor make this one of the better suprises of the year.

The Blu-ray features picture and sound quality far beyond the original and tons of features such as the Unrated Directors Cut which offers alternate footage and features you cannot get on the DVD. The features alone make this worth the price and when you toss in the Ultraviolet version of the film so you can enjoy it on your mobile devices, this is a must own release.