Somewhere in Riddick (Vin Diesel), the fugitive criminal with the crazy, glowing eyes that can see in the dark, exists a character engaging enough to build a film franchise around. Somewhere in Riddick, the third film featuring the antihero, is evidence of a wise move to put the guy into a tighter, more stripped-down scenario better suited to him than the bloated, Robert E. Howard pastiche that was The Chronicles of Riddick. Unfortunately, stranding Riddick on a hostile alien world and tasking him with the challenge of outwitting two teams of bounty hunters -- headed up by Jordi Mollà and Matt Nable and including Katee Sackhoff -- for one of their spaceships hasn't quite elevated this entry above the misconceptions of character and plotting that the first film, Pitch Black, neatly sidestepped.
Cinefantastique Online's Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and I differ in opinion on how seriously Riddick is undone by its flaws. In a lively conversation, we discuss writer/director David Twohy's conception of the character, whether the mantle of Nietzschean superman rests comfortably on Riddick's shoulders, and the difficulty in creating adversaries able to maintain their credibility while being outwitted by the protagonist. Most pressing, we also debate who in this scenario is the roadrunner, and who's the coyote?
Then: Steve gives his impressions of the comedic horror film Hell Baby and a preliminary impression of Dead Before Dawn, and I provide a capsule review of the post-apocalyptic, comic book actioner, Bounty Killer. Plus, what's coming to theaters next week.
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