Riddick Unrated Director’s Cut Blu-Ray Review - Mania.com

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  • Rated: Unrated
  • Starring: Vin Diesel, Katee Sackoff, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Dave Batista, Karl Urban
  • Written By: David Twohy
  • Directed By: David Twohy
  • Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment
  • Original Year of Release: 2013
  • Special Features: See Below
  • Series:

Riddick Unrated Director’s Cut Blu-Ray Review

Riddick returns to its horror/Sci-Fi roots

By Tim Janson     January 20, 2014
Source: Mania.com

Vin Diesel stars in Riddick (2013)
© Universal Studios
When Pitch Black came out in 2000 it became a surprise hit and made a star out of Vin Diesel who portrayed the anti-hero, Riddick.  But the 2004 sequel The Chronicles of Riddick disappointed fans with its deviation from what made the first film work to a more space opera tone.  With Riddick (and boy these guys are not too creative with their titles are they?) the series returns to its Sci-fi Horror roots and while it might be too evocative of Pitch Black, it’s still a fun and effective film.

The film begins five years after the events in Chronicles as Riddick has become bored with his life as Lord Marshall of the Necromonger fleet.  An assassination attempt prompts Riddick to give up the post to Vaako (Urban) in exchange for being taken to his home planet of Furya.  Vaako’s aide, Krone, and a handful of other soldiers accompany Riddick down to the planet.  Riddick quickly realizes that this world is not Furya and that he has been betrayed.  He barely escapes, killing several soldiers although Krone manages to get away.

Riddick finds himself without weapons on a planet filled with hostile, native life including packs of Jackal-like predators and poisonous creatures that look like crosses between pincer bugs and scorpions called “mud demons”.  He makes his way to an abandoned outpost and sets off an emergency beacon which brings two rival teams of bounty hunters to the planets intent on collecting the reward for the infamous criminal.  Riddick begins a cat and mouse with the two groups, eventually managing to steal the power cores of their ships and using them to negotiate his safe passage off the planet.  But before anyone can leave the region is struck by a massive storm which causes hundreds of the mud demons to come up from underground and besiege Riddick and the bounty hunters.

Riddick flies so closely to Pitch Black that it almost seems like a remake.  Riddick has to ally with those who want to imprison him and having to fight off swarms of deadly creatures which come out during the storm…which coincidentally is also in the dark.  But for all its lack of originality Riddick still works because of the central character.  Riddick is so unbelievably bad-ass that even the bounty hunters end up deferring to him as their best chance to survive.  Vi Diesel’s tombstone-grating voice adds the whipped cream on top of what continues to be a fascinating character.  While Director David Twohy doesn’t hit the same heights of terror and suspense that he did in Pitch Black, he does have a more interesting cast to play with this time around.

At one point Riddick is scaling a hill, surrounded by the mud demons and fighting them off with anything he can find.  It evoked the image from Frank Frazetta’s painting of Conan poised atop a mound of bodies and fighting off scores of enemies.  Riddick is one of those movies that takes full advantage of its 5.1 DTS-HD sound and was made to be played with a sound bar or theater system as it virtually surrounds you with its resonating depth.  

The Blu-ray comes with both the Unrated Director’s Cut and original theatrical cut.  The Director’s Cut runs about eight minutes longer and includes an extended opening sequence and an alternate ending.  The cast features Katee Sackoff and WWE wrestler Dave Bastita, both playing mercenaries on opposite sides.

Blu-ray Extras:

The Twohy Touch (6:22) - The writer/director discusses returning to the series after nine years

Riddickian Tech (10:14) - This featurette covers the props, weapons, and ships used in the film.

Vin's Riddick (8:50) – Diesel as well as the other cast members talk about the character of Riddick

Meet the Mercs (10:44) – this featurette covers the cast of the two groups of bounty hunters/Mercs and their various characters and training.

The World of Riddick (10:50) – This looks at the visual effects of the film including creating the world and the various alien creatures.

Riddick Blindsided (5:20) – This is a motion comic which was adapted into live-action scenes featured in the Director's Cut.


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doublec 1/20/2014 12:48:48 AM

 There is also available an extemely nice collection of all three movies (Theactrical and unrated) plus Dark Fury. The movies all look great on Blu-Ray (particularly the second one; it may be bloated but it's a great late summer space opera) and the set includes multiple digital copies. I was able to get all three movies on Vudu and 1 and 3 on Amazon Instant.. Not a bad deal for about $35.

doublec 1/20/2014 12:50:13 AM

 And yes, they definately went to The John Rambo School of Sequel Naming.

monkeyfoot 1/20/2014 7:13:29 AM

I haven't seen the unrated version but I absolutley loved this movie. It had all the elements I liked from the 2 previous movies and none of the stuff I didn't.

The first movie was a gritty, almost realistic portrayal of people in a very desperate situation. Riddick was a really cool but down to Earth badass. But in the second one as noted, the genre changed dramatically. That one was a mixture of Conan the Barbarian and Dune and told an epic myth of the exploits of a Hercules type demi-god that you enthrall an audience around a campfire with.

I hope this movie was successful enough that we can continue the adventures of Riddick along the lines of this latest one.

violator14 1/20/2014 1:28:43 PM

I agree Riddick is badass, and this 3rd movie was a baddass survival story of a badass MF. It's just badass!!! 

In Chronicles, i really enjoyed that brief scene with him and one of those giant prison hounds that change color. So i was really glad to see that they had him have another badass dog as a pet on this one. Too bad for the dog though. Y do the awesome dogs always have to die!?  =(



rkngl 1/20/2014 2:14:33 PM

Pitch Black was a great surprise. I already told this story once, but I'm telling it again. In my country, sunday night was "X-FIles" night. When the show ended, they started showing all sorts of BS Sci-Fi flicks at the same schedule. One night, as the movie Pitch Black was starting, I was going to switch off the TV since I thought it was another stupid Sci-Fi movie; then I heard Vin Diesel's voice, saw that terrific crash landing scene, and just had to watch the movie to the end. Instant classic. This movie, Riddick, is a mix of Pitch-Black-remake and the videogame Borderlands (which also borrowed largely from Sci-Fi movies like Pitch Black). And I love both! Best SCi-FI ever! (after Firefly/Serenity).

raynardmuldrake 1/20/2014 3:04:06 PM

Rented this from Vudu..unrated version...got to see Katee Sackoffs boob...worth the price of rental..everything else was icing on the cake!

blankczech 1/20/2014 5:33:46 PM

  I'll watch Riddick ... I think it could be fun (worth a $1.50 blu ray rental at Redbox)... I've never considered Vin Diesel to be a real badass. He's an actor who is staged in choreographed fights where his stunt double does things like throw punchs that miss by a foot or jumps through windows made of sugar glass onto huge inflated mats (green screens and CGI effects are movie action heroes best friend). Hell, even Andrew Garfield, Keanu Reeves and Toby Maguire are badasses in the movies. If I'm looking to be entertained by real badasses I'll watch mixed martial arts, boxing or the Seahawks defensive line.


monkeyfoot 1/20/2014 7:57:02 PM

Uh, Blankczech we are all perfectly aware its acting, stuntwork and effects. But we enjoy the fantasy. Just like when you see a play with characters on stage acting, you know perfectly well they are actors. We know Chris Hemsworth really isn't the God of Thunder. We know Vin Diesal really isn't a badass. We pay for movies, DVDs, book, comics for the fun of being temporarily hypnotized into that little pocket universe for entertainment.

ultrazilla2000 1/20/2014 10:55:55 PM

 I'm so relieved that you posted that, blankczech, because all this time I totally thought movies were REAL!   Finally I have seen the light.  Shame on you Hollywood for tricking me with all your visual lies!

almostunbiased 1/21/2014 5:15:03 AM

wow i typed three mean things then i erased them.  I will say this, I haven't seen this yet, but thanks to many of you i think I may just buy the blu-ray and watch it.  I love both of the first two.  But I do have to ask, why are you even on this site blankczech, oh but clever name.

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