Richard B. Riddick is one of Vin Diesel’s most iconic characters and he is a classic anti-hero with near superhuman abilities. He is the last descendant of a race of warriors know as Furyans although little is know about them. They were apparently strong and always defiant in the face of authority. Riddick was sent to a maximum security prison for a crime years ago but he keeps on escaping every jail he is sent to. In each movie a bunch of mercenaries or cops track him down and try to take him back to prison which never works out. Riddick has an almost cavalier attitude towards the mooks who try to capture him and he always beats them.
In this sequel to the first two films, Diesel plays the role again and teams up with the director of the series David Twohy. Rumour has it that Diesel actually provided some of the funding for the movie himself. He and Twohy really care about fans of the series and were determined to get the film made.
The plot is quite similar to the one used in the first movie Pitch Black but the film also has some references to The Chronicles of Riddick too. Riddick is left for dead on the same planet he crash landed on in the first movie. A group of bounty hunters have followed him there and he fights to avoid being captured by them. The bad guys from the second movie, known as Necromongers have also returned as one can be seen in the trailer fighting Riddick. Things get rather more complicated come nightfall on the planet as a bunch of fierce alien monsters wake up and emerge from underground. This concept of vampire-like alien monsters that only appear after dark was an integral part of the plot in Pitch Black. It was also one of the best things about the film so many fans will be glad to see them return. The bounty hunters actually succeed in capturing Riddick but are forced to release him when the aliens turn up. They will need all the help they can get if they want to survive the night. This unusual turn of events where an enemy becomes an ally also occurred in the first movie. Riddick was a mercenary in his early life and he also worked for a security force. He also had radical eye surgery when he was a prisoner in a notorious jail called Butcher Bay which allows him to see in the dark. Such skills will prove useful when the aliens attack.
The trailer is excellent and it combines all the best elements of the story with some nice action scenes. The music builds atmosphere and the action is well narrated by Diesel as he explains a few basic details about the story. Not much information is given though as it is unclear why Riddick was left for dead on the planet. That is a good thing as it avoids too many spoilers and will give the fans a chance to speculate about the film. The trailer makes good use of screen fades and also fast edits which add tension to the events shown. Most of the bounty hunters are also shown including Katee Sackhoff who is well known for her role in the modern Battlestar Galactica TV series. Karl Urban will also appear as Vaako a Necromonger from the second movie although he is not shown in the trailer. The film also has a few other familiar faces including Bokeem Woodbine and the wrestler Dave Bautista. The latter has appeared in a few action movies over the last few years and he is well suited to a movie like this.
There are no real flaws or negatives to the trailer which is nice. The only complaint some may have is how the plot rehashes elements from the previous films. That approach works well here though because the ideas that have been lifted from the previous films are interesting and worth a rehash. It is a rare thing to be glad that a sequel repeats itself to some extent but that is the case with Riddick. This sequel seems to combine all the best things from the previous movies and should be fun to watch. It is possible to forgive a sequel for being a bit lazy plot wise if it is fun and entertaining.
Riddick is a film that will appeal to fans of the series but also newcomers unfamiliar with the material. The film also has a smaller scale than the second movie and the savage aliens add a nice dose of horror to the mix.
The film will be released on September 6th. Have a look at the trailer and share your thoughts.