9 September 2013

Space Is No Place For Women Or Gays!


If I were you, I would seriously see the film Riddick as soon as you can. Not because I thought it was very good but because the special effects will be dated to shit by the end of next week. This is the third film in the franchise with each instalment following the on-going adventures of a supposedly psychotic potato that can see in the dark. However after the previous film in which the title character was wrapped up in some big, shitty, fantasy bollocks, this new release has scaled things back to the simplicity of the original Pitch Black. Vin Diesel's big bald vegetable of the night is stranded on a desert-planet and wants to get off before too much sunlight leaves him either dead or nicely baked. That's pretty much the whole plot really with the rest of the running time being padded out by some bad effects, a voice-over that states the obvious and a refreshingly blatant theme of sexism. 

Riddick wasn't a bad film particularly, it's just that it seemed a bit lacking in the brain department. As I mentioned, the first third is pretty much just him alone in the desert and titting about with some crappy looking dog that he's found. The problem with this bit though is that as an actor, Vin Diesel is about as charismatic as a lightly-cooked turd on a stick and I say that as a huge fan of Fast 5 and Furious 6. I loved those films because of how fucking ridiculous they were and how obliviously serious he seems to take them. Here however, there's no stunt too dumb to laugh at and if we're to compare the two franchises then Riddick seriously suffers from its lack of The Rock... although so do most films to be fair. Watching Vin pissing about on a lonely planet for a while is made worse by how contrived the appearance of the mongo-looking dog actually is. Not only does the creature look like it was created by a blind animator with stumps for hands but it's blatantly only there to provide Riddick with some motivation later on. Not only that but the dog also obviously exists so that he has something to react to during these scenes when surely the logical thing to do is to just fucking eat the thing. I know that everything in a film tends to be there to progress the story of the main character but usually it's done organically and in a way that feels at least a little more subtle than a bite to the cock. 

"This ain't nothing knew".
To its credit, the second two thirds of Riddick do deliver on Diesel’s promise of returning to the franchises stripped-back roots however it kind of cheats by just remaking Pitch-fucking-Black. So basically what you get is him running about trying to convince people to trust him whilst fighting a bunch of demonic, space-cunts in the dark. It might seem that the obvious issue is that retelling that story is kind of lazy however the real problem is actually the few things that they've decided to add to it. This time Riddick is fighting against the monsters with a gang of bounty hunters who, with the exception of one woman, are all male. None of the guys here have an inch of depth to them with each actor playing a character that has about as much memorability as a background shadow in a shit level of Gears of War. Pretty much every line of dialogue that's spoken is clearly just copy and pasted from the 'Twats Guide to Speaking Grunt' and that's when it's at its best. Diesel spends most of his time silent which is probably a good decision if his voice-over is anything to go by which is itself about as insightful as listening to a teenaged simpleton play 'no shit Sherlock' on his own.

When Diesel does open his mouth however he randomly turns out to be a little bit rapey by aggressively threatening to shag a lesbian in a fairly graphic way. This next bit probably counts as a spoiler alert but really, that's only because it kind of spoils the film. As mentioned there is only one main female here and interestingly she claims not to be into guys. Usually this would be an opportunity to add depth to a character or at least explore issues of sexuality and independence in a dystopian future. Instead however the makers decide to go down a more homophobic path of simply making her a prize to show how amazing Riddick actually is. By the end of the film not only has his manliness managed to bag him a girl that would be unobtainable to the rest of us but it's also implied that he's about to succeed in fucking the gay out of her as well. What a guy! Personally I'm not a lesbian but it does seem pretty offensive to treat homosexuality as a condition that can be cured with just the smallest of pricks.

There is of course an alternative possibility that the character is not really a lesbian and has just claimed it to help stall any advances from her fellow horny crew members. Although to be honest this would be crediting the franchise with more intelligence than it has so far displayed in all of the three films. If this ruse is true then it might go towards excusing the film from being homophobic but it's still a sexist bag of wank. I think there are five female characters in total with one being the probable lesbian who falls for the rapey Riddick and at least three more being naked orgy members near the beginning. Obviously I'm not against sex scenes in films but these three women literally only seem to show up to be objectified by treating us to a cheeky bit of nipple and flashing their neatly combed lady vadge's. The final woman is a prisoner of the bad guys who is raped and killed within the space of about two minutes and again simply to provide Riddick with some anger related motivation. This is made worse by the fact that she and his dog exist for the same reason but with the shitty looking pixel-pooch getting a significantly more memorable character arc. So according to this film the ranking of importance is men at the top with space-dogs next and then finally women at the bottom. If you see this film at the cinema and there's a loud buzzing sound then please don't worry. It doesn't mean that the speakers have broken it's just that the corpse of Emily Davison is somewhere spinning in its grave at about four thousand rpm.

It's a shame about all this too because before it crossed into this bizarre world of misogyny I was kind of enjoying it. I mean yes, it's just a retread of Pitch Black and dragged out for about thirty minutes longer, but it was okay I guess. There's some fun action in it and enjoyably gloopy gore so I certainly wasn't too bored anyway. If I were to guess, I would say that the main problem is that the whole thing just feels like it's been made by a teenage boy whose in-between playing Xbox and tossing off for the fourteenth time that hour. I think the design of Riddick himself is kind of evidence of this as he's basically just some boring as fuck, bald cunt with a green vest and some snazzy, swimming goggles. You can imagine a kid in school drawing something as dumb as that and being as proud as tits with his moronic creation. This apparently infantile outlook might also explain the complete lack of understanding on gender equality and the very clich├ęd characters and action. You know those annoying moments that pop up in all shit action films from time to time? Well, expect them all here but only as a bit of light relief from all the lady-bashing.

Nice tits...
Shame about the existence of equal rights! 
So yeah, to kind of conclude, this was a half decent-ish movie that was completely killed by being at best sexist and at worst homophobic. Riddick tried to be First Blood meets Aliens but ended up being Commando crossed with Alien: Resurrection and only if it was written by Jim Davidson. I suppose you've got to admire Vin Diesel’s love of the character but at the same time I haven't got a fucking clue as to what he sees in him. If we're being generous then Riddick is just a shaven Snake Plissken if he over-dosed on steroids and suffered from a bad case of brain damage. However if you like the idea of a genuinely scary R-Rated movie then I suppose I can't recommend Riddick strongly enough. It's just such a shame that all of the horror comes from its completely chauvinistic depiction of women in a 2013 film that has no excuse not to know better. I guess Diesel is just lucky that the only people who would think this movie is an acceptable thing to make are those who are clearly so stupid that they really can't be held responsible for their own confused thoughts. Plus his next film will be the inevitably amazing Fast and Furious 7 so even if he has just insulted half of the human race, I won't be able to stay too mad for too long… which is lucky because with something as truly offensive as this movie, there really aren't enough horses for Diesel to throw himself under in apology anyway. The shitty special effects might be out of date by the end of next week but I'm pretty sure that its gender politics have been stale since at least 1928.

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