Riddick on DVD and Blu-ray

Monday, 13 January 2014 09:39

Riddick on DVD and Blu-ray nowSurvival: Riddick is extremely good at it as witnessed in both “Pitch Black” (2000) and “The Chronicles of Riddick” (2004). It is just as well, because the bald-headed, mirror-eyed anti-hero has got himself in a spot of bother once again. Having risen to the top of the food chain and become King of the Necromancers, he becomes careless and is left for dead on another inhospitable world, surrounded by a new assortment of deadly creatures and nursing a broken leg.

To add to his misery, despicable bounty hunters drop in to see if they can succeed where so many others have failed. Riddick thrives on a challenge, however, and nobody would bet against him making it out alive. David Twohy (“The Arrival”) directs once again, and Diesel's co-stars include Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Jordi Mollà (“Columbiana”), Matt Nable (“Killer Elite”) and wrestling juggernaut Dave Bautista.

“Riddick” is a fun film for fans of action/horror/SF movies, and those who enjoyed the first two movies in the saga will definitely be thrilled by this third part. In some ways it is a little too close to the character's first outing, not least the mind games and physical confrontations with the mercenaries, and the tussles with vicious beasts. As in “Pitch Black” there is a time-critical aspect but it is not as evident as before.

Before the familiar action takes hold, the movie features a segment reminiscent of “I am Legend” as Diesel learns to survive on the planet and re-sharpen his killer instinct. His interaction with one of the world's animals is an early highlight and helps to give the film some colour and differentiate it from the other movies.

The special effects are generally good although the green-screen and CGI work does occasionally make itself known. The creature design is not very original but the animation and interaction with the actors is credible and bloody. The sound effects are also worth mentioning as the viewer becomes fully immersed in the planet's dusty, windy environs and surrounded by growling, hissing beasties.

Other reviewers have commented on the misogynistic tone running through the film, and I have to agree that it does leave a bitter taste in the mouth. The women are either sex slaves exposed or shot on a whim or in Sackhoff's case tough bounty hunters who are targets for the testosterone-filled, muscle-necked men. Sackhoff gives a good account of herself but all the same, the anti-women, sexually-aggressive language used simply against her is laid on way too thickly in comparison with the other two Riddick movies.

Apart from this misstep, there is plenty to enjoy in this violent, tense and action-packed movie and I for one hope that Diesel and Twohy get further chances to thrust Riddick into yet more deadly and seemingly inescapable situations.

Special features include:

  • Vin's Riddick
  • Meet the Mercs
  • Riddick: Blindsided
  • Director's Cut (Blu-ray only, extended by 10 minutes)
  • The Twohy Touch (Blu-ray only)
  • Riddickian Tech (Blu-ray only)
  • The World of Riddick (Blu-ray only)

The three featurettes on the DVD version I reviewed are fairly short but contain some decent behind the scenes content. The DVD version also has good picture quality, though I recommend viewing it in a dark room to make the most of it.

“Riddick” (2013) is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of Entertainment One. The main feature has a running time of 119 minutes approx (Blu-ray Director's Cut 129 minutes approx.), carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £19.99 on DVD and £24.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com


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