Monday, 15 February 2010

Riddick is Returning (and it's a good thing)

It's been no secret that writer/director David Twohy and star Vin Diesel have been trying to get a new Riddick project off the ground for a while but Variety has recently confirmed a new film is in the works, provisionally given the simple title of 'Riddick.' For Vin Diesel this marks another franchise return after he came running back to the 'xXx' and 'The Fast and the Furious' movies, presumably with his tail between his legs. So is this new Riddick movie a sign of desperation or an attempt to reignite Diesel's best work?

Pitch Black is the film that made Diesel a star. Ten years later it remains his best film and while he may not have quite lived up to his billing as the next big action hero in that time he can still carry a film if he is given the right role. Unfortunately, Diesel has proven to have a fairly limited range, explaining his return to franchises he had previously left. However, in Riddick it was clear that Diesel had found his perfect role. Complex, mysterious and with an intriguing and unexplained past, it was a character that could outgrow his ambitious but fairly humble beginnings in Pitch Black. Given the right treatment, Diesel's Riddick could have become a profitable, and maybe even iconic, character.

Which brings us to The Chronicles of Riddick. It wasn't a classic. In fact it was a gigantic mess but it was nowhere near as bad as critics, and the money it made, suggested. It suffered from the budget and expectations placed upon it; whereas Pitch Black had been a modestly budgeted sleeper hit, Chronicles was an epic behemoth; filled with scientifically questionable worlds, evil alien armies, and Judi Dench. The modern need for blockbusters to create a mythology and expanded universe saw Riddick hopping from planet to planet, a baffling Macbeth-inspired sub-plot and numerous new characters and races. Twohy's expanded vision was certainly intriguing and there were quite a few entertaining and interesting set pieces but in the end things didn't add up and the lack of a decent plot, and, most importantly, good character development effectively seemed to kill the franchise before it had even got going.

But with the news of a new film comes a new way of thinking; a good sci-fi film doesn't necessarily have to be a massively budgeted epic. A new film will be considerably cheaper than Chronicles and through this, like in Pitch Black, there should be more focus on character and suspense than size and spectacle. The character of Riddick grabbed our attention but Chronicles did nothing to build on this and paranoid horror was swapped for action set pieces. Of course, there is no guarantee that a new film won't end up a mess like Chronicles but with less resources and a bit more focus, the Riddick franchise could be back on track.

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1 comment:

  1. 從未遭遇失敗的人,對自己或是別人,都是一知半解的。........................................

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