Screening Room: “Riddick”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo ---

RIDDICK (R)

Universal

RUSS:

If there were ever a movie that didn't need a sequel, it’s 2004’s “The Chronicles of Riddick.” But, it’s got quite a cult following. So, for better or worse, “Riddick” is here.

The third movie in a sci-fi trilogy that began with “Pitch Black” back in 2000, “Riddick” is less a sequel than it is a rehash of the original movie. In fact, the events from the second film are largely ignored in this R-rated action fantasy.

Vin Diesel returns as the titular space warrior who can see in the dark and is efficient at dispatching alien creatures as well as humans. A wanted criminal stranded on a desert planet, Riddick fends off all manner of creepy beasts while while trying to figure out how to get back to his home planet. Plus, he's being pursued by interstellar bounty hunters who've responded to his distress signals.

Diesel delivers his smattering of lines in his patented baritone growl, but this isn’t a movie about dialogue. In fact, the dialogue is often laughable. No, “Riddick” is an action movie and, to its credit, delivers plenty of that. The first half hour is riveting, with Riddick bravely battling the elements of this brutal planet. Things slow down considerably after the mercenaries arrive, so the movie feels every bit of its 2-hour running time.

The special effects are impressive and the "Fast & Furious" star even gets a chance to burn some figurative rubber on a rocket-powered hog.

It's all pretty silly, but fans of the previous films are truly avid and they should enjoy the well-produced B-movie mayhem that “Riddick” and company serve up.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week, “Museum Hours” is a tale about a middle-aged guard at a Vienna art museum who befriends a young Canadian tourist. “Adore” is an Australian drama starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. They play best friends and each is having an affair with the other’s teenaged son.

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