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‘Riddick’ (David Twohy, 2013)

For anyone who thought the Fast & Furious franchise was Big Vin’s paean to his closeted homosexuality, his five films as Dominic Toretto don’t even come close to the penchant for man love displayed over two hours of this third entry for Dicky B RideDick, cutely titled after its rapey lead. When Riddick isn’t whispering seductively at muscle-bound mercs or trying to chat up hardass lesbians, he’s casting his memory back to the overwrought ambition of 2004’s Chronicles of Riddick, ignoring the allure of a bedfull of Necromonger escorts in favour of more time with Karl Urban’s buff military commander.

I’m staggered this film exists. Chronicles crumbled under its own pretensions, losing a small fortune on cinema release, a significant enough financial failure to (under other circumstances) banish the character forever to late night ITV2 screenings of Pitch Black. A revitalised career and a slashed budget go a long way though to heal the wounds of commercial failure, and the Diesel/Twohy power team are back for a third stab, stripping back to the culty, B-movie heart of their strange mythology and pumping out a workable, meaty little genre picture. This allows for a sense of fun completely absent from the previous film, letting Diesel’s peculiar sense of humour off the leash and dropping quips as he dispatches bad guys in a film that best resembles a madcap combination of an 80s slasher picture and Robert Zemeckis’ Cast Away. Diesel, in a move built to later tear out hearts, even has an animated alien dog thing as a pet. Yes, it’s really that level of crazy silly. I’m there already for Riddick IV: Generic Subtitle.

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