Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Diesel sequel confirms old formula

I write a lot here about originality and creativity. If I sound alarmist, look at this bit of news I read on AICN - the press release for Riddick, a new Vin Diesel film:
The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he's encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty.
I already reviewed the first entry. I think the sequel was better (& more creative) but still not too impressive. This whole franchise is skippable, and I'd rather have my time back than have seen them.

No matter what, it's pretty clear that the newest story is a slight rehash of the first picture's story. This franchise started from a basic premise :
  • The lead is Hannibal Lechter as an antihero + NFL player's body + night-vision eyes. 
  • The story is Aliens + stranded on a desert planet that's deadly when at night + a "who's the real bad guy?" psychodrama.
We're up to movie #3 and we're already recycling basic plots!?


  1. Wait: you liked Chronicles of Riddick better than Pitch Black? The same Chronicles that was, basically, a rip-off of Conan the Barbarian? The same movie where it is revealed that Riddick belongs to a race called the Furyans (obviously known throughout the galaxy for their even tempers) and the bad guys call themselves Necromongers (they're so into necro, they monger that shit!)?

    Yeah, this third Riddick film sounds pretty lame, but I hold out just a little hope that the plot description is just a decoy, much as it was in the original.

  2. Well, I didn't like PB's weird aliens, and I really rolled my eyes at how obviously it would be a countdown of cast members getting killed. So while I didn't really like either film - "yuppers" a Conan in space movie was liked better by me. It made me smile.

    I laughed at learning about the people who Monger for Necros in space; they're unstoppable but no one can explain why. I nearly spat out my drink hearing that Riddick is the last survivor of his people, the Furyans - it sounds like a planet based on Fast & Furious, which is even funnier. And I howled watching Dame Judy Dench play an Elemental, a bunch of people who aree, apparently, living air, but are also, like somehow, tangible people.

    Then again, PB actually had something like a thesis, which tCoR did not. And now I wonder if I should be ashamed for writing that sentence.

    tCoR's story line was more varied, and there was a different dynamic to all the cliche and stolen plots. I could try to watch both movies again, but I'd need one hell of an inducement.


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