Riddick: Unrated Director’s Cut Blu-ray review

Riddick-Blu-ray

With The Chronicles of Riddick disappointing at the box office, a third Riddick movie seemed very unlikely. But dedicated fans kept on asking Vin Diesel that they wanted a third film. Not only that, they also wanted an R-rated one as well. Vin Diesel caved in and decided to make it happen. (You can’t say that the man isn’t one for the fans.) Ever since Diesel has made a name for himself with Pitch Black, the Riddick franchise has been a very important part of his life. To please the fans, he teamed up with director/writer/creator David Twohy once again to move forward with the third Riddick movie, called Riddick. With Universal out of the picture, they decided to shoot the movie as an independent film, thus the production budget was just a measly $38 million (Diesel also almost leveraged his house to fund the film).

With a smaller budget, Diesel and Twohy decided to go back to the basics. Instead of creating a big space action PG-13 movie like The Chronicles of Riddick, they decided to make it a smaller R-rated flick like Pitch Black. Riddick is once again being hunted by bounty hunters on a strange planet filled with a bigger threat. Instead of light-sensitive winged creatures living inside caves, we get a creature that needs moisture to survive.

The first part of the movie is a silent movie where Vin Diesel is trying to survive. He encounters all types of creatures trying to end his life. He befriends a dog-like alien creature that later becomes his pet. The movie then kicks into gear once Riddick finds an outpost and alerts nearby bounty hunters of his whereabouts. Soon two different teams arrive, each having their own reasons to getting to the Furyan outlaw.

One team of bounty hunters is lead by Santana (Jordi Mollà). He’s not intimidating in size like his teammates, but he makes up for it in ruthlessness. This group is focused in finding and killing Riddick. Then we have the second team being lead by Boss Johns (Matthew Nable). The team is more professional and wears a uniform.

What makes the film enjoyable are the different hunting teams clashing and fighting about who’s going to get Riddick. Mollà as Santana is one of the more interesting characters to watch. He’s despicable, but that’s why I love watching him. Not all the bounty hunters are cruel, and we see this with Nable as Boss Johns. He’s a sensible man who has a mysterious past.

Vin Diesel as Riddick is the same as the previous films. He’s the quiet type who isn’t afraid to handle business if need be. That includes killing those who are putting him in harms way. One of the trends that I hate in a lot of action films these days is how the main hero is untouchable. With Riddick, there are scenes that shows him as human and flawed. Although the movie’s not going to blow you away with special effects and story, it’s still worth checking out if you’re a fan of the universe. However, some may not like it for the fact that it follows the Pitch Black formula too closely.

Movie Grade: B-

Video/Audio

The 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer is up there in quality with a crystal clear and detailed image. The overall colors range from orange colors in the beginning to less vibrant colors when the creatures come. There’s one scene that was an eyesore for me though, and that was the Necromonger ships near the beginning (I blame the low budget). The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is pretty impressive. My favorite moment was the sound of the creatures sneaking around. It made best use of each speakers and makes you think that the creature is really trying to sneak up on the viewer. Dialogue is clear and the subwoofer doesn’t slack off either.

Video Grade: A; Audio Grade: A

Extras

The main highlight from the extras is the unrated director’s cut that includes 8 minutes of additional footage. No commentary is included, and all of the features are around 10 minutes each. Here’s what’s included in the Blu-ray:

  • Unrated Director’s Cut: The theatrical cut is 119 minutes, with the director’s cut being 127 minutes. Scenes are extended, and we get to see more of Riddick as the ruler of the Necromongers, including Karl Urban as Vaako.
  • The Twohy Touch: “Why another Riddick movie?” The gang talks about why another Riddick movie was made.
  • Riddickian Tech: The designers talk about creating the weapons, space vehicles, and other items from the futuristic world of Riddick.
  • Vin’s Riddick: Vin talks about his love of Riddick and how that character has grown from the films.
  • Meet the Mercs: We’re introduced to the supporting cast members.
  • The World of Riddick: This one features the strange world that Riddick is stranded in.
  • Riddick: Blindsided: This is a motion comic that covers the events of Riddick becoming the Necromonger ruler and the attempted assassinations on him.

Extras Grade: C

Final Reaction

Riddick goes back to the basics, and some might feel that the series isn’t progressing forward, but with the low budget, I think it’s understandable to limit the scope. Riddick is back and you’ll get to see him do what he does best…be one bad-ass son of a bitch.

Overall Grade: B

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John Nguyen
John Nguyen 10266 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.