‘Riddick’ proves to be a major disappointment

“Riddick” is the latest movie of the Chronicles of Riddick franchise that premiered Sept. 6 and started with the movie “Pitch Black,” starring Vin Diesel, in 2004.Graphic by: Alexandra Tobia

Peyton Callanan

Like many action stars, Vin Diesel (“The Fast and the Furious”) has built a career around playing the same few characters, essentially different versions of himself, in every movie no matter the plot.

In each movie the character’s background and occupation may change, but viewers can always be sure that there will be plenty of violence and explosions.

Not only does Vin Diesel’s latest box office outing “Riddick” succumb to those bad action movie tropes, but it executes them quite poorly. “Riddick,” the third installment in a series about a space criminal who can see in the dark, tries so hard to recapture the feel of the first two films but instead comes across like it was written by a misguided fanboy.

“Riddick” finds the title character left for dead on a desert-like planet where he hatches a plan to get off the planet and get his revenge. Soon after things get complicated as he finds himself being pursued by bounty hunters that want the price on his head.

The plot moves painfully slow at the beginning of the film, which mostly consists of Diesel walking around and figuring out his surroundings. The pace eventually picks up a bit, but the plot still feels like it is going absolutely nowhere.

The main problem lies in that there is nothing at stake for Riddick. It seems like the one established rule in this movie universe is that Riddick always wins, so the whole movie boils down to watching how many different ways Riddick, or really just Vin Diesel with glowing eyes, can mess with the bounty hunters.

The film’s writer and director David Twohy (“Waterworld”) seems to have chosen quantity over quality when it came to creating this universe, because the special effects are poor and distracting. It is painfully obvious that Diesel shot 99 percent of this movie in front of a green screen reacting to things he really couldn’t see.

The special effects have nothing on the dialog though. The script is peppered with lines that were clearly meant to create catchphrases and is also full of bad stereotypes about gender, race and religion.

“Riddick” just feels like a very lazy paint-by-numbers action film that doesn’t have anything special to set it apart from any other movie. It’s a shame that after nine years of waiting for a third film that a better movie couldn’t have been crafted for Diesel.

Diesel clearly loves playing the character even if it is just himself with glowing eyes.