Year Released: 2013
Directed by: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable
(R, 119 min.)
Genre: Science Fiction
“Never whine, never complain, never try to justify yourself.” Robert Greene
Hollywood, the slick seducer. And Riddick, with his whiskey voice and hypnotic eyes, draws us into his world of swift brutality before we realize its core of degeneracy. What a guilty pleasure!
I suppose that is what we can expect now that the film industry has decided to cater almost exclusively to the 17 to 25 year old market. This is now a town that looks to Marvel and video games for its source material instead of great playwrights and novelists, such as John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath, 1940), Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1958, to name a few), and William Faulkner, (The Long Hot Summer, 1958.)
And the frustrating thing is that the anti-hero Riddick has so many traits of the epic hero. His back story echoes the Greek tragedy of Oedipus or the Bilblical tale of Herod in his attempt to eliminate Christ, a perceived rival to his throne, by killing all the males under two years of age.
But Riddick is no Christ figure. He is a survivalist, a single remnant of a physically gifted race. He is, in fact, Superman’s evil twin. But just when we want to hate this convicted murderer and super assassin, he does something that endears us to him.
In this latest installment of the series Riddick makes friends with a dog-like creature on the hostile planet he finds himself on. Of course, earlier on, when these hyena-dingo-gazelle creatures have tried to eat him, he dispatches several of them with casual lethality. He captures a pup – not to ease his loneliness – but to use it to develop an antivenin for the great slimy alien predators crawling around the “sun-scorched planet where he has been left for dead.” Peta definitely would not approve. Only when the pup escapes the bone cage in which Riddick has left him to die, does he reluctantly befriend the creature.
Conversely, when we start to develop a soft spot for Riddick, at least in this film, he confounds us as well. In particular, his verbal sparring with the female mercenary Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) out to capture him is only one level removed from the actual attempted rape inflicted upon her by a loathsome rival mercenary. A postmodern take on chivalry, I suppose.
At least Riddick is awesome as a serpent killer, almost like Beowulf going after Grendel. But he and the entire cast wield the F word as swiftly as their swords. So much so, that even that profanity loses its shock value. Kind of like a stew where the pepper overwhelms everything else. I had hoped the dependence on that once taboo word, like the obnoxious Tickle Me Elmo creatures from the 90s, had finally faded away from our screens, Now the females on screen use the F word as well – a remnant of the twisted feminist notion that it somehow “raises” them to the macho level they mistake for masculine power.
Go ahead an enjoy this super-charged survivor flick, but beware of that lethal combination of lust, blood, and guts packaged with just the right amount of seeming honor that sucks you into its world of perverted pleasures.
Amanda Just at ecorazzi.com found out the skinny on how Dahl, the female mercenary in Riddick, bulked up for her role.
Many of you know Katee Sackhoff as Captain Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace on “Battlestar Galactica.” Currently, you can see her in the movie, “Riddick,” as the no-nonsense bounty hunter, Dahl. Sackhoff is used to playiing strong characters, but for the part of Dahl, she had to bulk up.
“The director was adamant that he wanted me to look like I could kill any one of these men in the film, and they were all over 6-feet tall and I’m only 5’5”. So we ended up putting on between 10 and 12 pounds, eating over 5000 calories a day, and a lot of it was peanut butter fudge,” she said in an interview.
Of course, putting on weight isn’t a problem for most of us, but our recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge will tempt even those of you who count the calories. Yum!
Peanut Butter Fudge
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter
1. For easy cutting and clean up, line your 8x8 or 9x9 pan with aluminum foil.
2. Bring sugar and milk to a boil.
3. Boil 2 1/2 minutes, remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla.
4. Set aside to cool. When the fudge is completely set, lift aluminum foil and cut into bite size pieces!