Surly Curmudgeon

   The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
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    Monday, January 5, 2004

    Pitch Black Two: Electric Bugaloo

    A sequel has been made to Pitch Black, that under-appreciated sci-fi movie of a few years ago. The Chronicles of Riddick stars Vin Diesel reprising his role as Riddick, the neato anti-hero from the original. There's a chick who is supposedly the girl who lived in the first movie, but for some reason her name has changed to "Kyra". I hate continuity holes.

    The original movie was standard monster fare, with the following plot elements:

    1. Remote location
    2. Monsters
    3. The need to get to some distant safe haven to be rescued
    4. Large obstacles to overcome, which will allow aforementioned monsters to pick off members of the group one by one until only the "real heroes" of the movie are left.

    It's pretty standard stuff, ripped off from the Alien franchise and a thousand more like it, but it does have one thing that really stood out to me, and that's the character of Riddick. Unlike characters in other movies, he's actually capable of surviving and saving himself, and as introduced he has no moral qualms about doing just that. The other characters actually hamper his survival, and he's further ahead to just leave them. The interesting part is that he doesn't. It makes his character multidimensional, which is a rarity in Hollywood these days, and hints at something in his character that never gets displayed overtly for the audience, but is hinted at through his actions. We never really discover his motivations, and that makes him enigmatic and intriguing.

    Whether the character gets done justice in the next movie remains to be seen, though I'm not holding much hope given Diesel's somewhat less interesting characters in fluff like XXX and Fast and the Furious. However, even in those films and Boiler Room he does have a habit of playing the "bad boy" who has a hidden, almost secret moral core that causes him to do the "right thing", so I guess I should give him credit for that. I just hope they don't screw up Riddick in this next movie. He's the most interesting character I've seen in a long while.

    Posted by Tom, 1/5/2004 3:40:00 PM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...