Riddick: The Unrated Director's Cut
Five Stars (out of five)
2013. Released by Universal video. Running time: 128 minutes (unrated cut). Not Rated. The unrated cut has plenty of gore and violence and cussing. No closed captions, but has English Subtitles. Special features include making of documentaries. This was reviewed on Blu-Ray on April 12, 2014.

A man and his...whatever the hell that thing is.

With Riddick, we come full circle in the saga that began with Pitch Black and continued with The Chronicles Of Riddick. Despite the fact that the second movie bombed at the box office, Vin Deisel reportedly agreed to do another The Fast And The Furious film provided Universal allowed him to make this movie. And I’m very glad to see Richard P. Riddick, interstellar killer and antihero supreme, back for another adventure in the harsh universe that he calls home. Having been made Lord Marshall of the Necromongers, a fleet of killer nomads who worship death as being a new life in what they call the ‘Underverse’, Riddick has grown so tired of fighting off countless assassination attempts that he cuts a deal with Vaako (the always good Karl Urban).

The only place where the fish goes fishing for you! Vaako claims to know the location of Furya, Riddick’s long-forgotten home planet, and agrees to have him brought there, if Riddick forfeits the throne to him. Yet when Riddick does this, he’s dumped on an unknown world that’s a wasteland, where he barely survives yet another assassination attempt, only to be forced to survive the animal predators on the planet, once the human predators leave him for dead. For the first half hour or so, Riddick is a superb ’man vs. nature’ film as Riddick struggles to survive the various critters that try and make a meal out of him. One really nasty species is confined to the ponds and lakes of the planet--until Riddick notices the rain season is coming.

Whazzat? Can we shoot it? Huh? Can we shoot it? With the landscape soon to be overrun with these vicious monsters, Riddick calls for help on a beacon that he finds. This brings not one but two mercenary teams, both looking to bag the legendary Riddick. Let the games begin. Written and directed by David Twohy, who also handled the same chores on the first two films, Riddick is a more stripped down film that harkens back to the first, Pitch Black. However, do yourself a favor and skip the theatrical version completely. The Blu-Ray director’s cut offers a much more well-rounded and satisfying film that also advances the story of the second film’s Necromongers, thanks to several added and extended scenes.

So help me, if I hear just one more Battlestar Galactica joke.... Vin Diesel is in fine form once again, bringing both menace and coolness to his character as only he can. Watching Riddick, I came to the realization that he’s basically an intergalactic version of Conan, which works for me. A new and extremely welcome addition to the cast is Katee Sackhoff (nuBattlestar Galactica), who exudes her own toughness and easily holds her own amidst a testosterone-heavy cast that includes WWF wrestler Dave Bautista. The third film is so self-assured, its story playing out slowly and carefully, that it’s just a pleasure to watch. Welcome back, Riddick--here’s hoping you get a fourth movie. --SF

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Riddick (Unrated Director's Cut Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet)