Netflix added new movies this week on the 18th and 19th of March 2023. Among them is the Riddick series which comprises three movies: Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Riddick.
The franchise centers on the character Richard B. Riddick, a crafty escaped convict with surgically enhanced night vision, who must navigate perilous situations in various parts of the galaxy. Each film in the series possesses its distinct tone, pacing, and style, setting it apart from conventional science fiction fare.
Vin Diesel is a name that has become synonymous with the prosperity of blockbuster franchises. He has established his reputation as an action film icon through his performances in The Fast and the Furious, xXx, and Guardians of the Galaxy. However, Diesel’s career skyrocketed in the early 2000s when he featured in three series-launchers within three years.
While all three movies had varying degrees of success, the Riddick series is the most fascinating of Diesel’s franchises due to its unconventional storytelling that breaks away from the typical formulaic approach employed by the industry.
Pitch Black, the inaugural installment in the series, is a minimalist science fiction film that shares similar conceptual themes to other sci-fi films released in the late ’90s and early ’00s. The movie tracks Riddick and a group of survivors who are marooned on a planet infested with flesh-eating creatures that only come out at night.
As tensions heighten, and allegiances are forged and broken, the group relies on Riddick’s night vision to survive. Pitch Black is an intense, claustrophobic, and darkly humorous film that establishes the tone for the rest of the series.
The Chronicles of Riddick, the sequel to Pitch Black, takes a divergent approach to storytelling, focusing more on world-building and mythology. The film introduces new characters, locations, and factions in the Riddick universe, and expounds on Riddick’s backstory and destiny.
The Chronicles of Riddick elevates Riddick’s character from an antihero to a superhero capable of superhuman feats. While the movie received criticism for being excessively intricate and grandiose, it still managed to deliver exhilarating action scenes and a broader scope than its predecessor.
Riddick, the latest addition to the series, reverts to the stripped-down approach of Pitch Black, with Riddick marooned on another hostile planet and forced to fend off human and alien threats. The film brings back the survivalist aspect of the first movie while also exploring more of Riddick’s character and motivations.
Despite receiving mixed reviews and subpar box office numbers, the franchise has managed to enrapture its fan base and pave the way for a potential continuation.
What sets the Riddick series apart is its unconventional approach to storytelling. It seamlessly fuses elements of science fiction and action genres, concocting a captivating narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Each installment builds upon its predecessor, constructing a compelling universe that beckons audiences to immerse themselves in its world.
At the core of the series lies the eponymous character, Riddick, portrayed masterfully by Vin Diesel. Riddick is a multifaceted and captivating protagonist. Despite possessing a strong moral compass, he is not averse to embracing his darker side when the situation calls for it. His nuanced character progression is undoubtedly one of the franchise’s greatest strengths.
Despite facing opposition from some quarters, the Riddick series boasts a fervent fan base that values its distinctive storytelling and captivating lead character. This cult following has kept the franchise alive and generated rumors of a potential sequel.