If you are a science fiction fan like me, you’ve probably been left disappointed by the latest crop of films to come out in the last few years. Too few of them stand out as truly thought provoking or engaging, but that’s nothing new in terms of entertainment from Hollywood. New ideas rarely make their way through to the cinema, and if they do, there’s the issue of how the film is executed.
I recently saw Riddick, and while I enjoy the character, and storylines, this movie felt a bit too anti-climactic. I loved the first two films, and I thought they really started developing the universe pretty well, at least on the surface. However, for the most part, these films are pretty straightforward with the formula, and generally you know what to expect.
The third installment was fun, but there were things within it that just didn’t seem to fit. Not going to give away any major spoilers, but here are the few things that bugged me. First, there was a female prisoner that is shown for just one or two scenes, and the way in which it is presented make it seem like she has some significance, which we abruptly learn otherwise. So, it left me wondering why this scene was there in the first place.
Second, the dog-like animal Riddick ‘adopts’ gives us a view of some man-and-his-canine-friend moments, and we see the soft, playful side of Riddick. While I liked the interaction between these two characters, it may have been a little too drawn out for this story. Perhaps the animal itself was portrayed too dog-like and too playful. A stark contrast to the hell hounds in the 2nd film. I liked those creatures, because they had a more menacing quality and yet, Riddick managed to face it down and have it tolerate him petting it.
My last issue is the way the film ended. It seemed way too easy, and I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for that outcome. It just didn’t add up.
The few movies I have enjoyed are due for sequels, and I look forward to seeing how they turn out.
I really don’t understand why it seems to be nearly impossible to get a decent or even great science fiction movie done these days. The special effects aren’t much of an issue anymore, but the overall plots are. Now, film makers are setting there sites on famous novels to translate to film, and that’s both exciting and potentially disappointing. Don’t even get me started on the horrid attempts at anime inspired films.
I hope that the future will be better, and that some new blood will manage to rise up and knock the old formulas to the wayside to give us something truly great in story, visuals, characters, and creatures. Wish on a shooting star (or a fucking asteroid) so that this may come to pass. 😛
The thing I still love about the old fashioned book isn’t just the feel of the paper, or the cover illustrations, but that fact that the journey of the story feels so much longer and is filled with rich character and atmospheric detail so often forgotten in film.
So, I guess that makes me a bit of a film snob and traditionalist (in terms of physical books anyway).