Trailer Tuesday: Riddick

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found them to be endlessly fascinating.

It’s been 13 years since Pitch Black first introduced us to Riddick, and 9 years since The Chronicles of Riddick expanded his mythology while dulling him down a bit, and now he’s back in the simply titled Riddick, due out on September 6th.  Take a look at the trailer, and read on for my thoughts:

The trailer opens with Riddick (Vin Diesel) narrating: “Don’t know how many times I’ve been crossed off the list, left for dead.  So this, this ain’t nothin’ new.”  We follow a winged creature as it lands next to a motionless hand and goes to bite it, only to be snatched by the throat.  Actually, I need to take a step back, because the trailer actually opens with something perhaps more important: information that the film is rated R.  This is a big deal, considering that Pitch Black was rated R but The Chronicles of Riddick got a PG-13.  The promise of an R rating is good news for fans who were disappointed by the 2nd movie.

In Pitch Black, Riddick was the worst criminal imaginable, a remorseless killer with eyes that allowed him to play at being a savior.  It was a small-budget monster movie with an endlessly fascinating anti-hero played to perfection by Diesel.  It had interesting things to say about the nature of evil and of God, but it never let the tension slack for a moment.  And to top it all off it had a unique aesthetic that magnified the fear and emotion of the film.  The Chronicles of Riddick, on the other hand, gave us a convoluted mess of a messianic plot and Judi Dench as a spirit of air.  It also traded horror for action, giving Riddick an army to fight and making him into a rebel.

Riddick seems to be marrying the two, combing creature-horror with Riddick vs. mercenaries fight scenes.  It’s obviously too early to tell if the depth of Pitch Black (such as it was) will return.  Here are a few things that jumped out at me from the trailer:

1) The creatures seem similar to those from Pitch Black, though there seems to be a greater variety, including some sort of snake monster.  We don’t know if they will be hurt by light like the others were, but it’s clear that they come out at night.

2) We get a good view at the mercenaries that have come for Riddick, including Matt Nable and Katee Sackhoff.  It seems that they capture Riddick, though you can almost bet that he let himself be captured on purpose.  They will all have to trust Riddick if they want to survive against the monsters.

3) We see what appears to be a Necromonger, the fanatical army from The Chronicles of Riddick.  It’s possible this is Karl Urban, as it’s been reported that he’s reprising his role from that film.  It looks like Riddick will be fighting nature, mercs and the Necromongers in this film.

4) Riddick has a dog!  I’m not sure what the story is here, and we only see it for one shot, but I like the thought of Riddick having an animal companion for his exile.  He describes himself as an animal several times, after all.

5) I love the little callouts to Pitch Black, obviously meant to entice fans who were disenfranchised by the sequel.  Particularly cool is the way Riddick bangs his chains, just like in the first film, and the trailer’s closing line, “You’re not afraid of the dark, are you?”

What do you think?  Are you looking forward to Riddick?  Am I crazy if I say I actually enjoyed The Chronicles of Riddick, even though it’s nowhere near as good as Pitch Black?  Let me know what you think in the comments!

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