Finding Dory

Vampire Owl: You remember what I had told you earlier, right?

Vampire Bat: You keep telling me so many things of no significance. Which of them are you mentioning here?

Vampire Owl: About finding Nemo the fish!

Vampire Bat: Yes, it was one of the best animated movies of that time.

Vampire Owl: Well, I am talking about us helping to find this Nemo boy.

Vampire Bat: You went to find a fictional fish out of an animated movie?

Vampire Owl: It was a competition in Finding Nemo Extended Vampire Edition.

Vampire Bat: And you found the fish in the end?

Vampire Owl: No, we found some Mackerel and Sardine instead. We had them for dinner.

Vampire Bat: So, the time was well spent. It is good to have happy endings.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with the Book of the Undead].

What is the movie about? :: We see the little fish, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) with a short-term memory loss getting separated from her parents. She asks many other creatures of the sea about her parents, but due to her memory problems, she is not able to connect well enough to direct them to where she came from. This turns her into an orphan, and also recluse until she finds Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his son Nemo (Hayden Rolence) during an adventure to find the missing boy who was captured by scuba divers. After this long and successfuly journey, she has joined Marlin and Nemo, having forgotten about her past and the lost parents for some time. But at some point, she does have a certain flashback coming to her, and remembers something, which she decides to chase, in an attempt to get herself back to the family.

So, what happens next? :: In this journey, she doesn’t go alone. She is accompanied by her partners of the last adventure, Marlin and Nemo. But this journey not that much of a peaceful one, with them immediately being in danger. With Marlin blaming Dory, she swims to the surface, only to be caught by the staff members from the Marine Life Institute which is nearby. There, she is placed in the quarantine with a tag. There she meets an octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill) who wish to go to an aquarium in Cleveland rather than live in the ocean, a life which he detests. Therefore, he decides to help Dory in exchange for the tag which would help him to live the life that he wished to. At the same time, Marlin and Nemo are planning to rescue Dory from outside, and for the same, they come up with a rather strange idea. With time running out, can Dory find her parents, and can Marlin and Nemo find Dory in the end?

The defence of Finding Dory :: There is nothing much being lost from the first movie in this second one. They have once again made a simple, touching movie with enough humour to keep you going. It is also an amazingly beautiful world under the sea, with so many creatures and plants; the life forms under water immediately catching our attention, and we want more and more. There is cuteness all around, and kids will love it more than anyone else, along with someone with a kid’s heart. With each character being remembered and loved for one thing or the other, the Finding Nemo effect is carried over to this movie – if you haven’t watched the first movie, there will be absolutely no repetitions, and there is the chance that you will love Finding Dory even more. Well, it has been so long, and there is more possibility of you having forgotten a lot of the first movie by now; still there is the certainty of the essence being always there in the mind – Finding Nemo was that good.

The claws of flaw :: One thing that this movie follows correctly without doing anything special is to do what Finding Nemo did, and up-to an extent, repeats the same, just like the title suggests. Maybe the fishes going missing and being found is quite natural in the sea community. This is surely a step down from Finding Nemo, because we were always expecting more, to have the sequel come up with new ideas and move forward, or maybe even make the franchise better with second one. Instead, this one chooses to have the blue fish being lost instead of the orange one, and therefore the short-term memory loss is with the lost fish rather than the saviours. This is certain to make one wonder if the next movie will be Finding Marlin – we see that there is a huge world under the sea with so many creatures around, and these immense possibilities need to be explored; otherwise the franchise can’t raise the bar.

Soul exploration :: Finding Dory is all about going on even with disabilities or whatever comes in between in your life. There is the need to find a way, and our protagonist here finds it despite always being on the back foot. Alone or with the help of her friends, she never backs down, and moves on to achieving her target – it is more of a risk in our world full of chaos compared to this little world of fish; but there is no success without trying. Finding Dory asks us to go on, forgetting our limitations, and achieve what seems impossible to many others in the society. With Dory being the protagonist, it is the kind of extra inspiration that we have here, and it is what makes this movie better. What we need is more of the motivation, and all the support that we can get, and not that which we keep asking for and not receiving. All these makes Finding Dory another inspirational movie with different characters in a different world.

How it finishes :: The level of Finding Nemo was so good that it surely deserved an even better sequel. But Finding Dory happens to be almost there, and will work for all kinds of audience with its simple tale and nice humour, as well as those lovely animations and a wonderful world. The level of animated movies have improved, and it no longer remains how it was when Finding Nemo released in 2003. If you consider the two movies which battled so hard for the Academy Award for the Best Animated Film, Moana and Zootopia, there is so little that differentiated the two, and we just can’t stop loving them both. Then you look at the years before, and see Inside Out, Big Hero 6 and Frozen, and you see the level – along with Kung Fu Panda and its sequels, this franchise also needs to make sure that there is no going the Ice Age way – there are five movies, and rather too many of them going a step down each time. Finding Nemo won the Oscar, and Finding Dory never came close.

Release date: 17th June 2016
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Bob Peterson, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver, Alexander Gould, Torbin Xan Bullock, Andrew Stanton, Katherine Ringgold, Bennett Dammann, John Ratzenberger, Angus MacLane, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis, Jerome Ranft



@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

A Monster Calls

amonstercalls-2

Vampire Owl: Do you know that a monster did call me before?

Vampire Bat: Yes, the potato chips monster.

Vampire Owl: No, a real monster.

Vampire Bat: What did he say?

Vampire Owl: He said that he would eat me for dinner.

Vampire Bat: Oh! A monster that eats the undead for dinner. This should have been in the news.

Vampire Owl: Yes, but it was April Fool, coming right from Uncle Dracula.

Vampire Bat: According to the humans, we are surely monsters. So, from another perspective, it is true.

Vampire Owl: But we are vegetarian.

Vampire Bat: Yes, that is indeed our specialty which is to remain the same.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with potato chips].

What is the movie about? :: A young boy named Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is in a state of worry due to his mother Elizabeth Clayton’s (Felicity Jones) cancer. She keeps telling him that she is getting better, but the truth is that she is not. It is only getting worse, and she is slowly and steadily moving towards her end. It is difficult for him to accept the same, and with his father Mr. O’Malley (Toby Kebbell) being separated from him and living far away from them, he has not many people to look forward to. He is also targeted by Harry (James Melville), a bully at the school, and he is asked by his grandmother Mrs. Clayton (Sigourney Weaver) with whom he doesn’t have a great relationship, to move to her home with her. But Conor is more frustrated by the idea of moving to his grandmother’s home than about being bullied by his classmate and his friends.

So, what happens next? :: One night at exactly 12:07 a.m., Conor comes across a strange tree-like monster (Liam Neeson), that tells him it is going to come up with three stories, after which Conor has to tell the monster his own story, which is the truth behind the nightmare that he keeps seeing. The first story is that of an old king who has lost all his sons battling giants, dragons and great wizards who led men and creatures of darkness. The only heir he had was his grandson who was loved by all people of the kingdom. But at his old age, he gets married to a beautiful woman, after which he falls ill and dies. With the prince not old enough to claim the kingdom, the queen becomes the ruler, and the prince runs away with his love, a farmer’s daughter who seems to be murdered. This queen who is claimed to be a witch, is supposed to be behind the death of both the king and the lover, is saved by the monster, as he claims – Conor wonders why.

So, how do things go from here? :: The second story is that of an ill-tempered, greedy apothecary who follows the old ways of medicine, and pesters a local parson to let him cut the yew tree in the churchyard. The parson who is a man of strong faith is against the apothecary who grows in hatred towards everyone around. But when the parson’s two children gets ill, he asks the apothecary for help, and even offers the yew tree and a change in his own belief. But the apothecary refuses to help him, and the children die. The tree then takes his monstrous form and begins destroying the house of the parson, much to the dismay of Conor who doesn’t understand why the creature is not destroying the house of the apothecary instead. As the third tale nears, Conor’s relationships with his father and grandmother worsens further, and his mother’s disease also gets worse – now, the question remains if the creature can actually heal his mother.

The defence of A Monster Calls :: There is sadness in A Monster Calls, and you can feel it all the way from the beginning to the end. The monster has the message to move on with one’s life, and survive through the unexpected pains – on what it takes to live through the certainty of losing a loved one. It uses all the available themes to its advantage, and tells the message with ease. All the characters used here points to that one message. It has all which are needed to strike you emotionally, and at the same time, despite being a fantasy movie, has more of real life in it with all the fiction that seem to be part of the world. It becomes more of a fairy-tale for the adults rather than children, as each point that its main characters make is worth pondering about. It makes one turn into one’s own mind and ask the same questions about humanity again and again, and at the same time, we get to see the nice creature detail to go with it.

The claws of flaw :: You can keep feeling a certain amount of drag throughout this flick, and those who are looking for the usual kind of fantasy movies are going to feel strange. If you can’t take some preaching, this one is going to be not the movie for you. There also seems to be an attempt to get more and more emotional with things, but that was really not needed, as there was a lot of the same, which came naturally. This is also based on a novel of the same name, written by Patrick Ness, and so it is up-to the author who wrote the screenplay for the movie as well as the fans to decide on how it did justice to the work. There is also the chance to miss out on the symbolism that one comes across in the movie, and so maybe the flick could have hinted on what it was planning to do – a lot of people should have felt that the monster is the usual one, but this one is not just a monster, but much more than that, and one needs to take that.

How it finishes :: The fangs of the message here is quite strong, and it is the performances which support the same more than anything else. You will see how well Lewis MacDougall takes the protagonist to the viewers so well. There is no doubt anywhere about how Sigourney Weaver gets us closer to things, and Felicity Jones makes us feel the pain. As the movie deals with a situation which most people will face in one way or the other, one can be certain that there is the need for A Monster Calls at some point, and we will have to take these messages from the movie right back home. Well, above them all, there is Liam Neeson as the monster, and there is nobody else who could be a monster who provides us with the best messages – proven here without doubt. What would you do when your own monster calls? Well, it is something to keep thinking about.

Release date: 23rd December 2016
Running time: 127 minutes
Directed by: J.A. Bayona
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall, Liam Neeson, James Melville, Geraldine Chaplin, Max Golds

amonstercalls

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Chappie

chappie (2)

Vampire Owl :: I thought you were going to watch Cinderella.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, but then Chappie was there and that show started earlier by ten minutes.

Vampire Owl :: That name actually makes me depressed.

Vampire Bat :: It happens when you say that in Malayalam.

Vampire Owl :: Do you know that India actually lost against Australia?

Vampire Bat :: Did they? I thought some extra-efficient online Keralites once again saved India by abusing Mitchell Johnson and the Australian Cricket Team.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, just like Maria Sharapova lost to Serena Williams and the Pakistan Hockey Team played bad after the abuse by Keralites.

Vampire Bat :: Dude, everybody losses to Serena Williams. It is quite natural. And Asia is not a hockey powerhouse anymore.

Vampire Owl :: Damn! The cent percent literacy is wasted.

Vampire Bat :: Cent percent literacy! It is the literacy for abuse!

[Leaves for the tea shop].

What is it about? :: As the South African police at Johannesburg a group of advanced robots from weapons and ammunition manufacturer called Tetravaal, the crime rates are brought to a new low, and as expected the criminals and their bosses are concerned. The inventor is Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) who seems to be getting most of the appreciation much to the dismay of another engineer, Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) who wishes to send his own robot model named Moose into operation. But as it is very costly and is highly equipped with too much firepower needing full human control, it is rejected until further notice. But when our inventor creates an artificial intelligence which is rather too human, things take a twist, and things are no longer in his control. A group of criminals also decide to take control of a robot.

The defence of Chappie :: There are some good ideas running through this movie, and it becomes evident right after the first few minutes of Chappie. The robot instantly becomes interesting even with the scope for improvement always there. There are lots of action sequences in the movie, and there is a certain amount of emotional strength whenever a different kind of thing comes to existence and tries to cope with the world around, which works in this one too. There are thoughts left behind, and there is the social message which we can take home, even though it rarely becomes the big thing in this movie. There are surely some good performances to support this one.

The Claws of Flaw :: Chappie doesn’t really use its strengths to its advantage, and has problems with dealing with its central ideas – not really there in making them work completely and bringing things to the right finish. Instead, the movie is too addicted to consciousness, a lot more than Transcendence did, and it is like one can never die as the same keeps getting transferred from one body to the other. The character of our dear robot never really gets to display the awesomeness, and the criminal characters are not really up-to the mark either. Along with reminding us of Transcendence, this one has its own Robocop elements to add to the same. It is a big surprise that still this couldn’t better than what it really is.

Performers of the soul :: Sharlto Copley gives voice to biggest performer of the movie, which is the one robot with its name as the film title. He was there in the same director’s District 9, Elysium and now this one – here in the non-human form for the first time. Hugh Jackman is good, but in a different avatar, and doesn’t impress at all times – still, makes a fine villain. Dev Patel is so natural in this movie, and as he plays the second most significant character in the movie after our own protagonist robot, does very well. This role seemed to suit him so well, and he manages it with ease. Yolandi Visser was nice in a special avatar, and Sigourney Weaver leaves no impact in her less significant role.

Soul exploration :: Chappie does focus so much on the soul elements. There seems to be questions asked, but none of them are direct, and the answers are never really there. There is the talk about making the robot which is more like a human, and also the transfer of human consciousness to robots as well as the consciousness of one robot to the other – they seems to get things working all of a sudden and keep doing the same without fail. The idea of the robot consciousness developing from nothing to a new thing is interesting, but one has to wonder if that was given enough significance in the right manner and was portrayed with enough attention to the details. It is like they speeded up a few things to reach the desired end, which is not what the viewers really wanted.

How it finishes :: Chappie doesn’t finish that strong as expected, and it leaves me with the thought that may be Cinderella or Focus might have been a better choice. They are still running though, and the choice stays. As the maker of District 9 and Elysium, this is another step downward for the director, Neill Blomkamp – it is also evident in the opinion of the critics. In the movie poster, they label Chappie as humanity’s last hope, but that makes one wonder if that really matches the movie. No, this robot is not really humanity’s last hope; there is no point at which he proves to be that unless you take a few characters as “the world” – yes, there are things that he can do, but in his absence, may be things would have just gone on and on. You can watch this one for the ideas, and not for many other things.

Release date: 20th March 2015 (India); 6th March 2015 (US)
Running time: 120 minutes
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Watkin Tudor Jones, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, Brandon Auret, Anderson Cooper

chappie

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Exodus

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Vampire Owl :: No, I have suffered too much with that earlier movie called Noah. No more!

Vampire Bat :: But, I would say that Noah has set such a terrible standard that it will be almost impossible for any other Biblical movie to come under it.

Vampire Owl :: I doubt that. The worst movie in any category is yet to come. There is always disaster in waiting. It is like a werewolf waiting for a full-moon when getting the release date.

Vampire Bat :: I see that your negativity about movies is increasing like your zombie minions’ doubts about your inability to owlify the world.

Vampire Owl :: I don’t understand why you doubt about categorizing Noah as the worst movie of the year. Along with bringing an aversion to Darren Aronofsky, I don’t see any other movie which put Christians, Athiests, Hindus and Muslims in the theatre to sleep with no discrimination. It has done India some favour with reflecting the unity in diversity, but in the end, it is just boredom for everyone, even for the categories with reservation.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, I did see the reaction in the theatre, but as you said, the worst movie list is still open.

Vampire Owl :: I think that you should close the yearly list right now. Now we know what movies to watch each weekend, and I don’t see any other movie coming close to as ridiculous as Noah.

Vampire Bat :: But we are not sure about it yet. There are some differing opinions…

Vampire Owl :: I shall hear nothing of Exodus anymore. I am going to some place peaceful; like a cemetery, I guess.

Vampire Bat :: I think that it is a pretty good idea.

[Starts the car].

What is it about? :: Ancient Egypt had grown vast and wide beyond the banks of the river Nile, and was going through its best times, but mostly based on the blood and sweat of its Hebrew slaves. As much as the great Egyptian Empire spreads and developed, so much more pressure came on its slaves who continue to suffer more. Under the rule of the Pharaoh Seti I, the empire continues to thrive. There seems to be glorious days which goes on and on. Moses (Christian Bale) and Ramses (Joel Edgerton) grow up like brothers in the palace even as it is certain the latter shall go on to become the Pharaoh. It is like they do have each other’s back until that realization come upon them one day. The truth that was hidden for long will come to light, and being considered a Hebrew spy won’t do Moses much good. He would soon be banished from his world, but that wouldn’t be the end of him, as God has plans for him and his people as he will liberate them from the yoke of slavery and lead them to the promised land. But what does the Pharaoh say about this?

The defence of Exodus: Gods and Kings :: It is our duty to support the big epic stories on the screen, and in that case, we have an automatic self-defence here. We need our faith, the beliefs of the past to keep us going, and I am sure that Exodus: Gods and Kings will only be a positive factor in the same unlike Noah which came up with so much negativity about the same. This is also a visually stunning movie, unlike any Biblical movie that has come so far, and the splendour and awesomeness of the Ancient Egypt is shown with full strength like never before. The cities, the statues and monuments, the troops, the Pyramids and the location near the Nile – they are all breath-taking. There is a good amount of detail put into all of that. The plagues are also nicely shown on the screen with the visual effectiveness, especially the river of blood and the thunderstorms. The cast also works nicely. There is an effort taken to add some imagination and more realism too, even as not all of it have worked. Still a spectacle is guaranteed on the screen, and God is clearly shown to be on the side of the poor and the powerless.

Claws of flaw :: The inaccuracies are there; yes, there are too many liberties being taken, especially with the portrayal of God (somehow reminding me of Waiting for Godot) and the way in which the plagues appear, rather like intending to connect them in one way or the other to various other factors. There are many moments which got the differences seeming easy to detect here, and the certainty is there about criticizing the same – but nothing really in a bad way (Noah had brought new “bad” or the “terrible”). I won’t list them here as I would continue this one as more secular than religious in nature. I am not an Old Testament expert anyway. The biggest problem after the God depiction is the Red Sea scene which had a lot more scope as a direct miracle with the special effects. The characterization is also incomplete; there is no real effort put into concentrating on Moses as a person, and that affects most of the other characters too – but they are not strangers to the audience, are they? The ending is also not where it should have stopped. The ending was to be after the sea-scene, and this one goes on to stop in the middle of nowhere. There was no point in rushing through things here either.

Performers of the soul :: You know that this is supposed to be depending heavily on Christian Bale who has to keep it going, and it does. He doesn’t fail to deliver yet again, and even when the characterization seems to bring things down, he continues to strengthen things. A special mention is needed for María Valverde who looked lovely and too good for her character, even though having a comparatively minor role which she did to perfection and remains memorable. Joel Edgerton does a commendable job the pharaoh, and he has his moments as much as the protagonist has, plus when they are together, there is even more power on the screen. Sigourney Weaver is limited here in another small role. The rest of the actors playing Hebrew characters pale in comparison to the power of Christian Bale’s Moses, even as Ben Kingsley does seem to have the opportunity to be the next most noticed person there, and Aaron Paul comes after that. But this movie is more Moses’ movie than Noah belongs to its titular character, and so we can understand the limitations of the rest of the cast, except for the antagonist.

How it finishes :: Coming from the disappointment of watching Noah, I wondered about the possibility of this being a good one, but I had more expectations about this movie. Noah had hit the bottom of the movie ocean with its terrible attempts to make something ridiculous out of the void of nonsense created by itself. Despite this movie being better, I do wonder why this couldn’t have been even better, coming from a director like Ridley Scott whose Prometheus had me incredibly interested like Alien and there is no need to talk about Gladiator which is there in almost every poster of this movie with the lines “from the director of Gladiator” becoming its biggest promotion. There was going to be believers and non-believers coming to watch this movie, and it had to use its epic elements to better use to make sure that both were nicely satisfied, and this one just makes the touch instead of grabbing and using its available elements. One has to admit that it is still with enough strength to survive though, and when it gets weak, we remember the pathetic and boring experience which was Noah, and we get happier. This time, the one whom I ask to accompany me won’t feel the need to shoot me on the head.

A look into the status :: Exodus: Gods and Kings releases in India a week before it does in the United States – well, you know that it is usually the other way around; with rare exceptions like The Amazing Spider-Man 2. You know about the recent ones The Equalizer and John Wick coming late here too. Now that is a twist of events, and it is a good thing as it won’t collide with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies next week, followed by Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and then Into the Woods on the Christmas weekend, even as I am doubtful about the last movie’s fate here. Now you know the schedule for every weekend of December – these are the four movies which we have this month, and with one gone, there are three more to go, among which I hope that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will go on to become the second highest grosser of the year if not the first, as far as it doesn’t go The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 way and doesn’t make that much of an impact. For now, Exodus: Gods and Kings has fertile grounds in the theatre, with not much of a challenge, and hope it makes good use of this advantage.

Release date: 5th December 2014 (India); 12th December 2014 (USA)
Running time: 150 minutes
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, María Valverde, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul, Indira Varma, John Turturro, Hiam Abbass, Kevork Malikyan, Anton Alexander, Golshifteh Farahani, Tara Fitzgerald, Ben Mendelsohn, Dar Salim

exodus

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Riddick

riddck

Vin Diesel is back in a form which is not at all unfamiliar to his fans, for he is Riddick once again, the intergalactic nocturnal criminal of the worst kind. This movie, just like that well known quote “Government of the people, by the people, for the people” is a “film of Vin Diesel, by Vin Diesel, for Vin Diesel”, but that would decrease the scope by a long margin. So, this is a movie for Vin Diesel fans, lovers of Alien sci-fi horror, those not disturbed by violence, and the ones who can wait for some action sequences despite of an initial drag. Yes, it is a huge improvement over its predecessor, The Chronicles of Riddick and a sight improvement over Pitch Black, the first movie of the franchise. But then, questions shall arise, if this was actually needed; is it just made to create another movie in the series, or is it a pre-matured release of something which could have been far better. The movie keeps the questions active, as it progresses in an attempt to re-create the impact of Pitch Black and make it better. Radha Mitchell was quite unsuitable for that movie and she didn’t bend in like she could in Silent Hill, but in this movie, we also have a better and a more suitable female lead, about whom we shall discuss later.

So, the story follows where the second movie of the series, The Chronicles of Riddick had left the plot. Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), the new Lord Marshall of the Necromongers was fed up with his new life and wanted to return to his homeworld of Furya for which he makes a deal with Commander Vaako (Karl Urban); to get to him to his home planet with Vaako being given the throne in return for the service. Riddick and a group of Necromongers go to a planet which he identifies as not Furya, but is trapped under rubble after the ledge on which he stood is destroyed by one of them and he fell to his doom as they guessed. But Riddick survives, as he gets up from underneath the dust and even manages to thrive, after defeating dog-like alien creatures and getting away from scorpion-like aliens. He becomes a Robinson Crusoe of another planet, living life on his own terms. He catches and trains one of the dog-like creatures and with it, crosses the water which had the scorpion-like things, killing two of them in the process, reaching grasslands from the devastated area he was caught in.

As the next phase of his life begins in the grasslands, he locates an abandoned communication station, and as the final and the only possible attempt to get out of the planet, he activates the station’s emergency beacon which identifies him and sends his photos and bounty details all over the universe. The beacon is answered by two ships, one led by a man named Santana (Jordi Mollà), and another led by another man named Boss Johns (Matt Nable). As the first team seems to be full of bounty hunters, the second seems to be of hunters of another type. They don’t seem to get along at all, as Santana and Johns’ second-in-command Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) gets in serious confrontations, and the presence of a second group of hunters is not entertained by the first group, as they were there first and wanted to claim all the bounty for Riddick’s head. Riddick sends them a message to leave one of the ships and go back to their world if they don’t wish to be killed, which they ignore. Three of Santana’s men are killed in the first night itself, courtesy the intergalactic murderer, his pet alien dog and his traps.

The next phase of his time on the planet begins as he manages to steal a power core from each ship which would destroy the ship’s balance and its ability to traverse as it is supposed to. He then approaches Johns and Santana to work out a deal, the same thing concerning leaving a ship behind for him. But it doesn’t work out as he might have wanted, as Santana kills his pet alien dog and their sniper Dahl takes him down with strong tranquilizers. He is chained as Santana keeps asking for his head in a cage. But when the nightmare creatures of the planet, the highly evolved and lethal aliens, arrive in another black moonless night, to save themselves from the pitch black creatures, they are forced to unleash Riddick. He has the power cores, he can see at night and he is one of the most lethal convicts ever, and there was no other choice for sure. But the question remains if he shall be their saviour or their destroyer, as the first thing he does is to cut off Santana’s head, something which he was planning to do to Riddick. He is lethal, no doubt about that, and will he stick to his word? And will the hunters stick to their word after evading the creatures and getting the ship ready to escape?

Yes, this is Vin Diesel’s movie. How often do you have the same lone leading character in a movie which released nine years after the earlier movie in the franchise? There is nothing in the story that doesn’t concern Riddick – the whole thing is about him, as how good is his survival skills, how well he can adapt, and most of all, how well he can kill. Vin Diesel is once again the perfect Riddick, but slightly lesser in aggression compared to what he was in the previous titles. Just like The Fast and the Furious banks on him, and XXX will bank on him again sooner or later, this movie depends upon the man to get itself working, and to give the franchise that life which he gave to that one dying franchise with Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. There is no doubt that this will survive due to him, and might even produce sequels, but how much of a success this would be is still a question. I would guess that some moderate success will be in store, but a sequel would do better both critically and also in the box-office. Dominic Toretto, Xander Cage and Richard B. Riddick, these three will be the names with which Diesel shall always be remembered, and this was that golden opportunity to keep Riddick high over the others, but even as he has done nothing wrong, this character would remain second in the Vin Diesel world.

Karl Urban as Vaako has just a small presence, but we can hope for more from him in a possible sequel. Dave Bautista, better known as Batista, The Animal and The Leviathan for the WWE fans also makes an impact as one of the bounty hunters, as he goes on battle with our own anti-hero, but gets killed unlike how the other former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who jointed Diesel’s character in his most popular franchise. He provides the extra muscle for the movie. Matt Nable as Boss Johns has done a neat job, as the man who has a lot more reasons other than a bounty to come and search for the wanted convict. His character is just the opposite of Jordi Mollà’s Santana, the former matured and showing his experience while the latter showing his greed, ego and recklessness. Both of them has done their characters quite a lot of justice for sure, and the latter upto that extent that the man became extremely annoying. They are all bounty hunters or mercenaries in one way or the another. Katee Sackhoff makes a powerful performance as Dahl, and as she herself is said to have told in an interview that it is one of the toughest characters she has ever played. She is the dazzling badass girl who can play Power Girl or Wonder Woman someday. She is depicted as one of the strongest and able to give away heavyweight punches along with gunshots of extreme accuracy.

Talking more of the Katee Sackhoff character’s strength and durability is certain as she often reminds us of Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, and talking about Alien, the creatures of this movie are not so different from those, except for the fact that they don’t come out of the chests, but rather go through it. The creature imagery formed by the CGI is quite superb. They are still not as frightening as expected, but they keep their level. The one thing about the world is that it is heavily detailed, and one can find so much in the environment, which embraces the beauty of another world perfectly. There is darkness which generates alienation and fear, and the shot of Riddick fighting massive number of aliens on a slope with lightning and rain in the background, is a shot worth remembering, and there are some lesser shots of style when he walks on the scorched areas of the planet much earlier and later as he moves around in he grasslands. There is horror for sure, and there is action with lots of blood and gore, but the question remains if this is John Carter’s Die Hard, as this is more like what Bruce Willis might have done in Mars to save the day, not denying the fact that Riddick is one of his kind. Did Riddick say “I’ll be back” in any of the earlier movies, if not, he has surely meant to say it and make it happen with this movie, and my only hope is that they can actually have a good plot and progress of the story next time rather than thinking like Pitch Black again.

Release date: 6th September 2013
Running time: 118 minutes
Directed by: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine, Raoul Trujillo, Karl Urban, Conrad Pla, Danny Blanco Hall, Noah Danby, Neil Napier, Nolan Gerard Funk, Alex Branson, Andreas Apergis, Keri Hilson

riddick copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.