Statement of bias: I freaking love Riddick.
Seriously, I have watched Chronicles of Riddick more times than I can count, made Kevin also watch it, and the phrase “You shoulda taken the money, Toombs,” is permanently embedded in our relationship’s vocabulary. I was very sad they didn’t make the whole trilogy, and excited for Riddick 3.
It was a very manly movie.
Vin Diesel was manly. Also briefly naked. Manly naked. In silhouette.
For approximately eighty percent of you, there is no further need to read more.
For the rest of you who have not clicked away to buy tickets RIGHT NOW….
Well, it’s not Chronicles. It’s somewhat more erratic. At times you are conscious of watching a bad movie (a very manly bad movie) but there are a few parts that are downright brilliant (the scene with the storage locker is hysterically well done) and also it’s a Riddick movie and thus a lot of badass fun with quite good CGI aliens ala Pitch Black and also if you are me and/or Otter, there are parts of this movie more or less designed to pander specifically to you. Had they harvested all my information off the internet and dedicate about twenty minutes of screen time to exactly what Ursula Adriane Vernon of North Carolina, Mac user, 36 and self-employed, wants out of a Riddick movie, they could not have hit it more precisely.
It is rather gory, in the nasty visceral I-can-feel-that way, not just in the buckets-of-blood-squirty way. Also, alien dog-analogs die. If these are a dealbreaker, stay home. You will be sad. Wait until the clip of Manly Naked Riddick hits YouTube and make some hot chocolate. Then watch it while drinking hot chocolate. You could probably follow with the “It’s Raining Men” clip cut to 300. That would be excellent.
It is also manly.
Riddick does manly things while climbing very manly rocks on a manly planet. Merely watching the screen caused Kevin to grow extra chest hair. (I mean, he already has plenty, so you couldn’t tell, but I could hear it growing.) I believe I ovulated twice, although I was also becoming more manly, so it got complicated and there is a slim chance I have accidentally impregnated myself. But believe me, everyone is very manly. The female lead is also manly, although this is no reflection on her or the movie. I believe it was caused by the planet.
The very manly planet.
There is at least one scene where they went “Those speeders in Return of the Jedi? Not metal enough.”
How manly was it?
You remember those 1950′s pulp magazines called, like, “MAN’S DIGEST” which had a cover of some shirtless guy punching a jaguar in the face with a snake? Manly like that. Replace “shirtless guy” with “shirtless Vin Diesel” and “jaguar” with “alien scorpion snapping turtle” and you’ve about got it.
Also for some reason one of the mercenaries is a dead ringer for J. Grant of Two Lumps, only about a foot bigger in every direction. This caused some mental consternation. Not that I couldn’t see J. as a space mercenary, I just didn’t expect him to be so tall.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy thoroughly (other than the alien dog analog thing) was that as usual, every female character in the series would like to have sex with Riddick. This is not really unrealistic, I grant you, but Riddick teeters on the squishy edge of Mary Sue anyway, and I do roll my eyes a bit. (ETA: It's more annoying than usual in this one for Reasons, although they DO do a couple things really right with the character, so mixed bag of Great/Awful.) (The only one of these flirtations I found hot was in Pitch Black. It’s not the manliness, actually. It’s the scene at the end where he’s all “Come on. It’s okay, you did your best, let’s go…” I kinda needed to sit down and fan myself for a bit after that one. Shame she’s eaten by aliens five minutes later.)
(No, I don’t know why, out of movie after movie with Vin Diesel’s torso, that’s the one that killed me. Eh, go figure. She was also the only female character I really empathized with in the whole lot.)
(Empathized in a manly way, obviously.)
(A very manly way.)
(Super manly empathy.)
(I have the sudden urge to hug someone from the side so that our genitals stay a respectable distance apart, and then perhaps discuss the Infield Fly Rule with someone. In a manly fashion.)