I actually quite enjoyed the new Riddick movie – it turns away from the bizarre departure of the second movie back to the survivalist original. There’s a brief flashback explaining the situation and linking it to the second movie, but the less acknowledgement of that installment, the better.

Broadly speaking the movie has three parts, each with different challenges: survival in a new world, fighting bounty hunters, and (the part the trailers indicate) fighting an alien attack. There are no pretensions about saving the universe or battling a new kind of monster: Riddick is in various bad situations and has to get through them.

While there is plenty of gore, Riddick is a vulnerable protagonist, and several elements humanise him (though an off-colour burst of bravado made me roll my eyes). There’s almost no speech in the first part of the movie, and I liked that.

Riddick distinguishes itself from the formulaic late-franchise sci-fi installments by taking its time, doing its own thing, and making that significant to the audience. It’s a solid return to form for the genre.


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