Tuesday, December 10, 2013

'Riddick' - a masterpiece of ridicule


Even before Paul Walker died, 'Fast and Furious 6' was screened twice at Majestic City cinema in Colombo's Bambalapitiya ward, with the phrase 'BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND' posted on the billboard the second time it was erected on Galle Road in Sri Lanka's busy main street. But now I understand why no cinema in the whole island was interested in screening the definitively named 'Riddick' - though however outrageous Vin Diesel's testosterone filled films usually are, they are thronged by millions of females attracted to an alpha male like moths to a moon.

But calling Diesel's latest vehicle riddick-ulous may be giving it more credit than it deserves because sometimes the more outrageous a film becomes, you could actually enjoy it - like I having watched 'The Core' more than one time. Sure, the third film still has retained its classic inter-planetary look but, call it a cosmic coincidence, the big budget 'Riddick' suffers from a lack of credible visual effects that, if the movie was any brighter, I am sure it would have revealed the defects of his improperly rendered pet which itself is an undecided crossbreed between a wolf, a tiger and Ridley Scott's alien planted with Avatar-esque ears.

Whenever I list 'Pitch Black' as one of my all-time favorite movies, my "intellectual" friends always joke about it but then that film had an engaging quality not least because of Diesel's gigantic presence. But the one-liners/monologues/soliloquies of the third sequel is so sickening that you wonder whether this was a world record attempt to make a Razzie-deserving worst movie of all time. Only a true artist could come  up with a textbook case like this film which should be taught to budding filmmakers and students in all film theory classes of the 1001 Things To Avoid When Making A Feature Film. Diesel may be perfect as Riddick because his glow-in-the-dark eyes have an arresting ethereal quality to them but anyone who ever had any respect for a thing called a 'screenplay' should definitely avoid a crash course with this runaway engine.