Had to road trip for work last week. You know what that means...binging.
Flipping through Netflix they highlighted Vin Diesel's Riddick series, which I watched all of long ago and liked, so I dl'd them and took them on the road.
Pitch Black (2000) <Netflix>
The original. VD is Riddick, a convict being hauled across space by his arresting cop, everyone is in cryofreeze for the trip except Riddick because he's special, animalistic. Ship gets hit by meteor storm, kills captain, and the asst captain crash lands the survivors on some god forsaken rock. As they try and survive, we find the cop is actually a bounty hunter willing to double cross anyone to survive; meanwhile this planet has 3 suns and is a desert 24/7 ... until once every 22y when the planets align and the native dinosaur flying things come out and eat whatever they can find. VD, being a career convict, had eye surgery to see in the dark, giving his eyes that special night shine like some animals have, so they lean on him to get them to safety. Not all make it, but to spoil this for anyone who hasn't seen it, VD makes it and gets two civilians off planet. The end. When I watched this originally, I probably would give it a 6-7 for cool concept and stuff. Now, watching it on ultra HD LED whatever the hotel had to project it on....I came to two conclusions. First, I have no idea how new tvs can make such an old film look absolutely incredible. I mean, how did the film have that image quality back then? I never knew. Secondly, the film really, really sucked. Poor plot, dialogue, action, characters...3/10.
Chronicles of Riddick (2004) <Netflix>
So, I intended to watch the full series given I was bunkered in the hotel every damn night for the week. Nostalgia outweighed my realization of the first film being crap, so on to the sequel. Plot here is there is a race of 'necromongers' enslaving/killing all the planets and a Furyan is the one prophesized to end it. Guess who happens to be a Furyan? He is sought out by the man he saved in the first film to fight them, doesn't want to, but the kid he rescued in the first film gets captured by the necromongers so in he goes. This plays a bit more soap opera drama with different parties wanting to take over the necromonger legions. However, yes I will spoil this too, Riddick kills the leader and takes the thone, and that's kinda where we leave it. Again, amazing images on the hotel tv reveals a slightly better but still bad movie. 4/10
Riddick (2013) <Netflix>
I watch bad movies. It's what I do. We pick up Riddick trying to survive on yet another barren planet. He does a little rewind to catch us up how he handed off the necromongers to the second in command and asked to be dropped at his home planet of Furyan. Double cross, the team that drops him tries to kill him, so he kills them but ends up stranded in the process..yada yada yada...here we are in animal survival mode again. This time, he raises a wild hyena type animal and then stumbles onto a remote station and sends up the SOS - knowing it'll be picked up by bounty hunters to collect him. First team arrives, includes David Bautista as a thug; shortly after a second team arrives headed by the father of the original bounty hunter that died on Riddick's initial plant wanting to know about his son, oh and he has ZBokeem Woodbine as one of his thugs, and a kinda hot lesbian 'Dahl' (Katee Sackhoff = one minor boob shot in the shower). Team one fails to catch Riddick, losing men in the process. Team two takes over, directs the remainders of team one, and Riddick turns himself in. Why? There's a rainstorm coming, and Riddick's the only one that knows it will unleash the dino-monsters of this particular planet. Riddick kills a few more, cuts a deal for one of the ships and works with the team to get off planet. Dino-monsters attack, kill a few more. Riddick and a few escape closing the film with a pretty weak and cheesy 'you the man' between him and the bounty-hunter-dad. Once more, stellar tv picture reveals a bad movie. 4.5/10
Why did I spoil these for you? Partly out of bitterness of something I thought I liked turning out to be utter crap. Partly because I wouldn't want to inflict any of this series on you.