Riddick ★★★½

Riddick has a cute dog, everybody. It's not shown in any of the trailers or anything, but early on he adopts an adorable alien puppy which he trains (offscreen, unfortunately) to become a super murder alien dog thing. It's great! Even better is how they talk with each other. Alien dogs can't talk like normal people, so Vin Diesel must grunt and growl to get his point across. And really, isn't that what he normally does? Riddick allows Diesel to get back to his roots in more ways than that, though. Instead of spending a lot of time talking about Necromancer mumbo-jumbo (which I actually liked in the much maligned Chronicles of Riddick movie, but still), we see Riddick struggling to survive on a world which is at the very least indifferent to his survival, if not outright against it given all of the alien species that try to eat him in the film's opening third. Then the people come in and it all gets a little sillier, unfortunately. Not bad, really, but way way sillier. There's a lot of rape talk that people have talked about but it's less problematic in that respect than it is problematic in a character sense. It's all just kinda dumb. I guess that's roots, too, in this series. All the talking is just there to get us back to the action (which remains delightfully violent). I'll keep watching these if Vin can keep making them. He's a nerd at heart, you can tell, and I like this version of him a heck of a lot more than the silly family BS from his other, bigger franchise.

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