I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Riddick

tn_riddickThe first time we see Riddick in his new movie RIDDICK he’s buried under rocks, okie noodling a dumbass flying space lizard that mistakes him for a corpse. He’s been left for dead on the planet “not Furya” by the Necromongers from CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, just like the planet earth tried to leave the Riddick series for dead after they found out it was the type of movies that had bad guys called the Necromongers. But as he’s demonstrated before, Riddick and his series are survivors. (Don’t get him started about it though, he’ll narrate your ear off.)

Ever since CHRONICLES in 2004 some of us have wanted to see that sequel set up at the end, where (NINE YEAR OLD SPOILER) Riddick has accidentally become the king of the aforementioned death-worshipping, statue-shaped-spaceship-flying warrior race. This is not exactly that sequel. We just find out through some awkward narration and a brief Karl Urban cameo that they got rid of Riddick by pretending they’d bring him to his birth planet and then bringing him to a different planet and breaking off a cliff that he’s standing on. Ha ha! Riddick fell for a Wile E. Coyote.

The last third of this movie is a pretty fun, mildy anti-climactic rehash of PITCH BLACK – Riddick and mercenaries declare an unwieldy truce and earn each others’ begrudging respect while fighting CGI alien monsters on a dark rainy dirt planet. But the first 2/3 is easily the best of the series so far.

The first section approaches instant classic status. It’s a long no-dialogue stretch of Riddick trying to find water, defending himself from alien beasts and performing crude self surgery. Fuck Rambo sewing up a wound – Riddick resets a compound fracture and screws in bolts by hand to hold it together. Doesn’t even get to use a screwdriver!

One little character moment I always loved in CHRONICLES was when a scaley CGI dog monster thing came at him and instead of running or fighting he stared it down, petted it and earned its respect. That’s the kinda guy Riddick is. Riddick the animal lover is even better in this one because after protecting himself from a pack of hyena-like monsters he takes one of their pups and keeps it locked under a human rib cage. At the beginning of CHRONICLES they showed that a bunch of time had passed by having usually-bald Riddick with a shaggy hobo beard and dreadlocks like he’s in a Rob Zombie movie. In this one we see that time has passed when his dog is still at his side but as a full grown beast.

He’d never go for this, but Riddick would be really good for some kind of a wildlife documentary or survival TV show. I’m not sure if they even have TV in this future, but if not maybe he could start it up again. If he ever clears up his debts and goes back to civilian life maybe he should look into it.

mp_riddickRiddick’s relationship with this unnamed dog is the best thing in this series, and I was really impressed by the realistic animal movements and behavior of these things. All the monsters in the movie are a big step up from the ones in the earlier installments. Creature designer Patrick Tatapoulous, you are on your way to redeeming yourself for that wack ass Godzilla you designed that continues to shame America any time it plays on cable.

This is a low-mid-budget movie by science fiction standards, a little lower than SERENITY or PREDATORS, a little higher than PANDORUM, alot higher than LOCKOUT or MOON. I wish there were more tough guy movies being made in this range or lower. I will gladly forgive some iffy special effects for a movie that isn’t trying to please everybody from all walks of life. RIDDICK has some fake looking green-screening that you’re not gonna have to deal with in an ELYSIUM or OBLIVION or what have you. Especially in the Necromonger scene where they can’t hide not having the same budget they did when they introduced that world. But I was really impressed by the look of these early scenes, very cinematic alien landscapes and spacewildlife, really enhancing the space-western feel of the whole thing.

For the second section of the movie the quiet goes away because a bunch of fucking humans show up on their space ships. Instead of getting eaten by swarms of space snakes Riddick decides to trigger a beacon that gets two teams of bounty hunters (including Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista and Bokeem Woodbine) on his ass. But Twohy cleverly lets Riddick be an off-screen presence throughout this section as the two teams stand off. The rapist asshole guy that got there first (Jordan Molla) calls dibs on this bounty and the other team leader (former rugby player Matt Nable, the most impressive newish face in the movie) hangs around to watch, amused that the other guy clearly has no idea what he’s dealing with. Meanwhile Riddick becomes Jason Voorhees, hiding in the shadows, stalking and intimidating and setting traps for the mercs.

Because of the structure of the movie it does feel like you don’t get quite enough time with some of these characters, particularly Sackhoff as Dahl. She seems like she’s supposed to have some depth to her but we don’t really get into it, it’s mostly implied. Also Bautista does well with some funny lines but could use more screen time. Actually, Woodbine gets the worst deal, he has a really funny smartass moment and then he doesn’t really get to do anything after that. Still, they make an impression. That’s a good thing.

One problem: Riddick is much cooler when he keeps his fuckin mouth shut. Sometimes he starts narrating or talking shit to somebody, and he almost always seems way more proud than he should be of the stuff he’s saying. There’s alot of legitimately funny dialogue between the bounty hunters, but the narration parts are straight up bad writing. He says shit that doesn’t make any sense, convinced he’s being really clever. I mean, unless you can explain to me what he means when he says something like “The question isn’t what happened, it’s what happened to me.” Or the one about “I don’t blame him for dangling Furya in front of me… But I do blame him for what happened next.” Which was that they purposely stranded him on some planet by pretending they were bringing him to Furya. “Dangling Furya” and “what happened next” are part of the same plan, what the fuck is he talking about? Alot of the movie has a nice “we’ve been planning this for 10 years and we came up with all kinds of good shit!” feeling to it, but this narration seems like it never even got proofread.

I wish he came off better, but I also get a kick out of the dumbness of the character. After all, you mention CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK to me the first thing I’m gonna do is quote the part where he says “It’s been a long time since I smelled beautiful.” Is it worse that he’s bragging about sniffing Thandie Newton, or that he doesn’t know that it sounds like he’s talking about wearing perfume?

Trick question. Neither is worse. Both are better.

Also, Riddick being an asshole kinda returns him to his roots. In PITCH BLACK he was talked up as this horrible killer, and he was proud of it. In CHRONICLES they’re always saying how evil he is, but maybe due to the PG-13 rating, maybe due to they’re trying to make him the good guy, he never really does anything evil at all. In this one we side with him because he has a puppy and everything but then he’s taunting this poor guy who’s upset about the death of his son, and he’s sexually harassing an innocent lesbian, who may or may not smell beautiful (she does have a shower scene). Why you gotta peep on her and then talk to her about her nipples later? I mean it’s maybe not evil but it’s not cool, Riddick. Be nice.

Actually I guess I need to address this. There have been rumors over the years about Diesel allegedly being gay. I figure #1 if it was true I wouldn’t care, in fact it would make the FAST AND FURIOUS series a little funnier, #2 he has a wife and a couple daughters though so it would be extra sad if he felt he had to hide his true self, #3 either way it’s kinda shitty for people to be gossiping about it. Dom would never talk about you behind your back.

But just between me and you, there was a time when I figured it was true, and that feeling was 100% based on this part in xXx:

I mean, he looks like he doesn’t want to kiss Asia Argento! Or doesn’t know how to. What the hell is that!

But after a couple years of believing that argument it occurred to me wait a minute… you bet your ass Asia Argento is a heavy smoker. She could’ve had horrible breath. And probly b.o., too. There’s no way she smells beautiful. That actually seems like a more likely explanation than him not enjoying women. Not to mention Diesel is famous for being into Dungeons and Dragons and video games and shit. It is possible that he was as horny for the ladies as anybody but just had not had any hands-on experience at that time. Your honor, I would like Exhibit xXx stricken from the record.

The reason I bring this up is because there is some weird sexual stuff going on in this movie that I didn’t know what to make of, and I’ve seen a couple reasonable arguments that it’s kind of a TRANSPORTER deal where they’re trying to imply that Riddick (not necessarily Diesel) might be gay. The strongest evidence of this is the scene where he sits on his throne ignoring 3 (or 4?) hot naked chicks rolling around in front of him. (I didn’t know what to make of this because the narration is talking about some vow that I figured was something I forgot about from the Necromonger mythology.)

I don’t know. The jury is out on this. I honestly have no clue why it is a major theme that Riddick vows to go “balls deep” into a woman who is very clear in stating “I don’t fuck men,” and I don’t understand the way she reacts to him either. I’m sure you will all have interpretations. I hope there will be many an academic paper written on the subject.

But anyway, whether he’s closeted or he’s Chasing Amy or whatever is going on I love these type of characters that are always six steps ahead of everybody else, outsmarting everybody, outfighting everybody. He’s always in control, moving around enacting plans without having to explain it to the audience, you just see him digging a hole or building a thing and then you wait to find out what he’s up to. In each of his movies he gets captured and tied up and is still in control, ready to escape when the time is right. He always has something up his sleeveless shirt and a couple other things hidden in his boot. My audience gave this one plenty of laughs for his badass tricks and even applauded one scene. This is a character we can always enjoy watching, it doesn’t really matter that much if he’s flying from planet to planet in a big fantasy world full of mythology and prophecies or if he’s just out in a rocky wasteland fighting some guys over an engine part.

But I hope he can continue to do both. This might be my favorite of the series, but I still kinda miss the scope and higher levels of ridiculousness from the last one. RIDDICK should be profitable (it’s already made headed towards making back its production budget on the opening weekend) so the next one gets a bigger budget, but it doesn’t do that well, so Diesel mortgages his house again to do another low budget one, and that’s a hit so they get a bigger budget again, and then…

And I hope he gets a new pet in each one.


VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 8th, 2013 at 3:13 pm and is filed under Action, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

80 Responses to “Riddick”

  1. “(it’s already made back its production budget on the opening weekend)”

    Vern – Not quite. $34-38 million budgeted movie, opened to $18 million reportedly this weekend. But that’s just me being picky. This will break even at least, most likely a profit ultimately worldwide a little bit here and there kinda like HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS earlier this year. I think its credit to RIDDICK that this works on its own without having to see PITCH BLACK or CHRONICLES beforehand.

    Still its weird Deadline is more or less (without actually saying it) calling this a flop and calling Diesel “stupid” for getting this passion project produced by mortgaging his house at one point. Did Diesel leave a burning bag of dogshit on Nikki Finke’s front door once or something?

    Anyway I liked this and I do agree the last section is the weakest bit, in fact I think it kinda runs out of gas near the end. (What’s with the many movies lately that keep dropping the ball at the end?) But regardless Vern you must’ve liked how it tied up alot of questions that I was having with the plot up until the monsters arrive, and you realize Riddick’s grand plan to get off the planet and more or less fucks everybody else. I think Twohy deserves credit for more or less making 3 different movies within one and somehow making it (mostly) work as the same film.

    Its weird how critics and folks whine about the over the top spectacles and the wham bam! of the blockbusters and all that. Here we have the first two acts where Diesel’s physical charisma is essential to make it work and without too much CGI. (That key moment when we can’t see his eyes because of those dumb goggles, you can read the emotions running through his face: But one especially.) In a way I’m reminded of CONAN THE BARBARIAN where Arnold had what, at most 10 lines in that whole film so he had to carry it on big biceps? That also had a classic moment where the hero kills a vulture in a badass fashion despite being in a predictament. Point is this movie is functional because RIDDICK was forced to go low budget with its John Carpenter storytelling that maybe never would’ve happened if this had the budget of say R.I.P.D. Of course this was still shat on by those critics and folks regardless so yeah why even try sometimes?

  2. my only experience with the Riddick franchise is the ESCAPE FROM BUTCHER BAY video game that came out to tie in with CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK and I have to say, it’s probably the best movie based game that came out at the same time as the movie ever made

    but this looks like a really cool movie, I’ll check it out at some point

    by the way, I never got the impression that Diesel was gay, he seems like maybe he’s just a nerd trapped in a muscleman’s body

  3. Question: Wee can see good old Mr. Riddick burying them stolen power cells thingies. Now, is it only me not paying enough attention or did he really bury them some other place than the one he came later on with the mercs to pick ´em up ?
    Btw: Vern, on the account of smoking hot, naked ladies in Mr. Riddick´s bed, keeping him cold, distant and gloomy, the number is 4…

  4. Terrible narration is one of my bugbears, so hopefully it won’t spoil the movie for me. I’m definitely going to see it, because I really think they should be making more of these mid-budget action films. The first part of this movie sounds a little like a great Image Comics series called PROPHET, which you should definitely check out if you like the idea of Conan the Barbarian in space.

    Yeah Griff, ESCAPE FROM BUTCHER BAY was a great game. The hand-to-hand combat was a hell of a lot of fun and one of the most immersive and visceral systems outside of the CONDEMNED games.

    I’ve never heard these gay rumours about Diesel, but I guess it’s an inevitability for any celebrity with such an excessively macho image. It would be kind of cool if he was, but a shame that he felt he had to hide it.

  5. RRA – whoops, I misread a figure about the box office total of ALL of the movies this weekend. Still, after its run and coming out on video it’s guaranteed to make a ton of money. Vern will be keeping his house and his hobby of hinting about future Riddick movies on Facebook.

  6. “It would be kind of cool if he was, but a shame that he felt he had to hide it.”

    it’s true, I mean who says gay men can’t be macho? does no one remember Tom of Finland?

  7. Well here’s one that I didn’t see coming. I’d completely written off this movie. I thought the absolute best it could possibly aspire to be was an inferior rehash of “Pitch Black”, the one Riddick movie so far where Riddick was actually a morally ambiguous character and not some kind of accidental Messiah; and now you’re saying that this is GOOD?

    Vern, I know we agreed absolutely on “You’re Next”, so it’s not that I don’t trust you on this… but the other reviews I’ve seen haven’t been overwhelmingly positive, and I want second (and third, and fourth) opinions on this one before I shell out actual cash money to see it. Talkbackers GO! **Snaps fingers.**

  8. I’ve actually met Asia Argento and it was honestly the most starstruck I have ever been in my life. She was so beautiful that I couldn’t function as a thinking human being. I only remember fragments of the meeting too, but I’m sure it happened because I have the picture to prove it. I can relate to what Vin must’ve going through.

    And yes, she smelled beautiful too.

  9. And since when was “Pitch Black” a “Riddick Movie”? True, he was memorable, because 1) he was a badass, and 2) a great deal of the tension in that movie was derived from never quite knowing how far he’d go. But he wasn’t the “main” character – he had less screen time than several of the other characters for most of the movie, although he came to the forefront of it at the end – nor is he even the person with the most attempted kills to their name. Hell, the other main storyline of the movie is the captain’s struggle to redeem herself for trying to “dump the cargo” at the beginning – a move that would have resulted in the deaths of all but one of the other people on the ship, if my memory is accurate. It would’ve been bad, anyway.

    But going back to “Riddick”, it must sound here like I’m whining about a movie I haven’t even seen yet. But honestly, I thought after “Pitch Black” that the absolute worst thing they could do would be to turn Riddick into the protagonist and try and make a movie based around him. I have zero interest in seeing another one of those, or at least I did. Now… I want more opinions, I’ll say that. For the first time in weeks there’s quite a lot on at the cinema and I’m gonna have to pick and choose.

  10. *must’ve BEEN going through. See I can’t even type straight just thinking about her.

  11. Paul – Yes dude, RIDDICK is good and worth seeing, a decent John Carpenter-esque adventure. (The rival bounty rivals certainly remind of Carpenter especially.) Only the 3rd act rehashes PITCH BLACK, and even then its really as a payoff to everything else from the film. Those monsters aren’t the heart of this movie, the heart is “how much of a badass is he?”

    M.A. Lee – No it was the same place. What I don’t get though is *SPOILER* why that one bounty hunter crew took one of theirs out and locked it up in that vault? Seems rather convenient for plot’s sake, no? *END SPOILER*

    CrustaceanHate – I disagree with Vern about the narration. I mean lets be honest, this Riddick fellow isn’t exactly a literate guy. Does one expect him to be a poet with his words?

    Vern – I’ve never heard the Diesel gay rumors but I go to another message board full of gay folk who claim all the time that Leonardo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper and Clooney and Henry Cavill and so forth are gay, crack jokes of their latest “beards” in public (i.e. dating women to fend off those gay rumors). I don’t know if any of that bullshit is actually true, but its what they believe.

    Griff – With the times we’re living in, would these guys really lose their fans if they did come out of the closet?

  12. “And since when was “Pitch Black” a “Riddick Movie”? ”

    Paul – the same way Austin Stoker was the lead in ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, but the character everybody mostly remembers from it is Napoleon Wilson.

  13. RRA: Thank You, now I think I got to see it again.
    Anyway, anybody else noticed a lil´bit of Apocalypse Now in the first part of the movie ?

  14. RRA: I wasn’t aware the dialog was written by Riddick himself. This brings up all sorts of bizarre philosophical questions. Look, I love macho one-liners like nobody’s business, but sometimes people overthink them. The lines Vern quoted just smack of a writer trying to get clever and falling on his face. If your excuse is that your main character is a dumbass then maybe he should shut the fuck up and let his giant biceps do the talking. When it’s narration you’ve got an even bigger responsibility to make sure it’s good because it’s an intrusive device. It’s the writer poking his head in and letting you know he exists, so he better have something damn good to say.

  15. CH – And this is a topic worth talking about, when you actually see the movie.

    Besides I’m not saying they’re good or bad, they just didn’t bother me as much as it did Vern.

  16. It was worth my money for the 1st act alone. Like Vern I really dug that whole section. It was like a sci-fi version of QUEST FOR FIRE.

  17. RRA: The way I understood it they took the power cell out so that Riddick couldn’t steal their ship, and convinced the other team to do the same.

    Also, I wouldn’t say the narration “bothered” me. I got a kick out of it. But I do feel like I’m laughing at it not with it so I need to mention it as something holding this back from being the flawless masterpiece we all know it could be except for Paul.

  18. Looking forward to seeing this this week, maybe. Tried to rewatch THE CHRONICWHAT?CULLS OF RIDDICKYEAH recently, and I had to fast forward through a little bit of the dutch-angled dorky dialogue in parts, but it’s still an admirably original, ambitious work with several moments of impressive badassery & superb filmatism.

    I never knew Vin Diesel was heavy into some nerd shit. Now that I think about it, I don’t know anything about Diesel except his acting/producing work and his name, which is probably a fake name in my opinion so I guess I don’t shit about him except his movie roles, which are also fake representations of people/Riddicks/Doms that don’t exist in my opinion, so I don’t know dude at all now that I think about it, and that’s the way I like it in my opinion. We might share a belief that Asia Argento isn’t that attractive, so there’s something. Also I would like to fight The Rock; wouldn’t threaten dude with a pipe wrench, though. I miss xXx; that movie is great, you’re all wrong when you say it’s not.

    #TeamTwohy

  19. Academic papers on the relationship between Riddick and the female mercenary may be brewing after all…here’s a bit from Empire mag here in the UK:

    http://www.empireonline.com/empireblogs/empire-states/post/p1399

  20. I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Pitch Black may still be the most accessible for mainstream audiences, but Riddick absolutely nails the pulp nature of the character.

    Despite the cheap f/x, I actually felt this had better visuals and designs than many superhero films with 4X the budget. There are some fantastic shots that look like they could’ve been lifted straight from the cover of a vintage pulp novel.

    Speaking of the dog subplot, what’s interesting is that this aspect of the character has been present from the very beginning. The original Pitch Black website featured a prequel comic called “Slam City”. (The site is long gone but you can watch the comic on Youtube.) In it, you see how Riddick originally got his eyes shined and also that he has a natural connection with dogs.

  21. I like THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. Looking at it objectively, I understand it’s not a very good movie. But it is a very unique, crazy diamond. Obviously a big budget vanity project for Diesel, it’s not afraid to tread on to some weird territory. Space fantasy with death worshiping sort-of-Egyptians, ghost Judi Dench, and Riddick retconned from a space con into some sort of super warrior special snowflake. It’s pretty bonkers. There’s nothing else quite like it.

    I would have loved to see them to continue that ending straight on. It was our best chance to see some weird, even crazier King Conan in space type of movie. But guess the audience wasn’t on board with Diesel’s vision.

    But tooth and claw he fought, and I suppose RIDDICK is a consolation prize. I don’t think PITCH BLACK is all that great. It’s a competent, low-budget survival horror action movie with interesting twists with the staying in the light, and Riddick’s morally gray character. Otherwise it’s a serviceable romp. Definitely not something to build an expansive mythology on. But that it got, and I thought the sequel at least went to interesting places and deserved to be explored further.

    So I’m kind of disappointed that RIDDICK is more like the first one. I never felt the need for a straight up PITCH BLACK 2. Having left the ambitions of CHRONICLES behind, I think RIDDICK ends up for me the same experience that PITCH BLACK was – see it on the rental, and find it mildly enjoyable.

  22. thenewtransportedman

    September 9th, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Chronicles Of Riddick has one of my favorite pieces of bad dialogue (paraphrased):

    “We don’t see the future, we…calculate.”
    “Is Riddick alive?”
    “Odds are good.”

  23. I hope this makes a lot of money so we can get Diesel’s HANNIBAL movie one of these days. Wasn’t he also working on an online game that let you just walk around and hang out in Punic Wars time?

  24. The Vin Diesel one man show segment is the best part of the movie by far. He has more chemistry with that cg pooch than he does with any human being in the movie. “An escape artist, eh?” It was also nice to see a slightly different side of Riddick. He’s all playful and caring with the dog and it works.

    I think a silent Riddick would be pretty boring. Vin’s super-dramatic, overly-growly DEAR DIARY narration and line readings are a big part of what makes this SAGA entertaining for me. He adds some new slang like “JUHHHHMOKE” to his repertoire this time around.

    The weird sexual stuff plays out a bit differently in the script I read.

    -There’s more to that naked lady scene. IIRC there’s some postcoital dialogue between Riddick and one of the naked ladies. Then she tries to assassinate him. Some of that material showed up in this Riddick MOTION COMIC:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdP2IWkFV7k

    -Dahl reveals that she isn’t really a lesbian and just says that to keep macho mercs from bugging her.

  25. Vern – hey, I think it’s quite possible to make a flawless masterpiece with Riddick in it. In my opinion they got pretty damn close with “Pitch Black”, which I kinda love and think is criminally underrated, even on this forum. The reason it works so well is that the protagonists have to keep weighing up the risk of keeping Riddick around when they believe he might turn on them, or leaving him behind but losing the person most qualified to deal with the threat they face from the creatures on the planet. This creates a huge amount of tension. Plainly this wouldn’t work if Riddick was the protagonist.

    I also think that the absolute least interesting way of repeating the success of “Pitch Black” would be to make Riddick the protagonist. I found “Chronicles of Riddick” completely lacking in the tension that I really liked in “Pitch Black”, although it did have its moments to make up for that; even so, it seemed to prove my point. The moment you take the moral ambiguity away from Riddick, you lose the threat and make him just another wisecracking action anti-hero. Which seems to me rather like having a “Jaws” movie without a shark. I don’t want to see Riddick reduced to that (again). I certainly don’t want to PAY to see Riddick reduced to that.

  26. I really had no interest in watching RIDDICK at first. I did not like the CHRONICLES OF WHATEVER; it was boring and uninteresting but it was at least a bold direction to take for a serquel. Instead of continuing the horror aspect of PITCH BLACK, Twohy took a completely different turn . I really applaud that. I just did not enjoy the end result, that is all. But I may have to give part two a second chance one of these days.It has been awhile. And then as a result I may visit this one.

  27. I saw this at a drive-in as a double bill with Elysium. Only $10. It was everything I wanted and thought it would be: Pulpy, violent badassness.

  28. wade – I agree about Riddick’s narration. Part of the fun is hearing him inject his dialogue with some goofy or unexpected turn of phrase. For example, the way he’ll describe something as being “all back of the bus and shit” or “Not Furya”. This was especially true in Chronicles, where he was surrounded by people who took their world far too seriously.

    If it comes across as bad writing, I’d say that’s consistent with the character. He’s a cocky, uneducated guy who is constantly amused by the world around him. There’s even a moment in Chronicles that acknowledges this: Judi Dench is trying to explain the threat and Riddick says something like, “Why don’t you pretend you’re talking to someone educated in the penal system?”

  29. Hey, Vern, you seen the trailer for the Robocop reboot? Care to write a review of it, perchance? The original Robocop is one of the most badass movies ever, I’m sure you must at least kinda sorta like it… right?

  30. Bruce, check out the lower end of the comment section here: http://www.outlawvern.com/2007/08/03/robocop-trilogy/

  31. Jake – exactly what I was trying to argue earlier.

    Vern – I think to be more precise, I didn’t think anything of the narration. Honestly I forgot about it until you brought it up.

    Paul – dude, RIDDICK is a good movie, better than some of us were hoping for honestly. Hell I was one of those (i.e. most people) had no interest in another Riddick movie ever getting produced. Yet I enjoyed this. Good job Twohy/Diesel. I don’t know if a legitimate “great” film can be made out of that character, but regardless this was good.

    What’s wrong with good?

  32. I saw Pitch Black way back when it came out in theaters. I remember enjoying it, but I wasn’t sure why until a couple of years ago I was hanging out with some friends and it came on the television. People kept on commenting on the movie and predict what would happen next, who would die, etc. And in most space horror movies, they would have been right. But Pitch Black went out of its way to surprise the audience, and most of what they predicted ended up being wrong. It understood the space horror tropes and avoided enough of them to make it interesting.

  33. I actually haven’t seen PITCH BLACK since it as in theaters. Saw CHRONICLES director’s cut a few years back. I enjoy the series cause it’s pretty harmless but it doesn’t really get repeat viewings from me. This might be the exception again because of Riddick Vs. Nature I’m sure I’ll see this again someday.

  34. I’m pretty sure the whole harem scene was suppose to imply that he was doing too much fucking to take his oath of office or what have you. The line was more or less “I was suppose to take an oath” cut to the naked women “but I never got around to it.” It was done a bit clumsy, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they are trying to infer.

  35. I can’t believe he really says “balls deep” though

  36. John – That’s basically how I interpreted it as well. The implication seemed to be that Riddick was living a decadent lifestyle he had grown tired of, abusing his power as Lord Marshal without really respecting it. Pretty much lifted straight from Robert E. Howard’s tales of King Conan.

    Riddick doesn’t take the oath simply because, by nature, he isn’t a joiner.

  37. I think if you look at Vin Diesel through the Eye of the Nerd, you’ll realize that he’s absolutely a dork trying to be cool. Occasionally it works, but sometimes he goes a liiiiiiittle too far and suddenly there’s this weird energy to scene. Some people misinterpret it as homoerotic but it’s really just a grown-up nerd pretending to be Johnny Cool and not quite pulling it off.

    As for this movie, they need to dial back the “oooooh Riddick is scary” stuff. Nobody kisses Conan’s ass. They assume he’s a big dumb lug and then he surprises them. Same with Riddick. He’s a better character when people aren’t worshiping him.

  38. Correction, RIDDICK did $19 million this weekend. Opened in 31 overseas markets, did $7.4 million. So unofficially $26.4 million WW so far.

    (courtesy ERC box office Twitter feed.)

  39. I like this one quite a bit. The best parts of the movie combined the Frank Frazetta pulp space opera quality of CHRONICLES with the lean, mean monster thrills of PITCH BLACK, which makes those parts the best in the series by far. The ending really fizzled, though. I was hoping the storm had a better gimmick than SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER “There’s a bunch of those things in it that Riddick killed pretty easily earlier.” And is it just me or was there no climax? It just…stopped. When the credits rolled, I could feel the whole audience let out a collective “Huh.”

    Also what’s up with Cole Hauser’s dad being the same age as him? That was a good character but I kept getting distracted trying to do the math in my head. Do people age weird in the future or did he knock somebody up when he was six?

    Griff, you will be happy to know that there is casual nudity.

  40. The character was Johns’ brother in the script. It looks like they cast a guy to play Johns’ brother and then just decided to make him Johns’ father at some point.

    And the ending was definitely sudden and limp. KEEP DAT STRONG SPINE? That’s it? In the script, there’s a scene after that where Riddick goes back and kills the Necromonger guy with the “fucked-up face”. That would have been a much better ending.

  41. wade – Twohy says he’s working on a director’s cut that will end with that scene of Riddick killing the Necromonger who stranded him. I assume he just didn’t want the theatrical version to end on another cliffhanger.

    It will be interesting to see how it works out, since adding the epilogue basically means fans will expect the Underverse sequel. However, Twohy has admitted if they can’t get enough money to pull it off properly, he’ll just go straight to the final movie set on Furya.

    Riddick’s finale is the least interesting part of the film, but it also contains one of the best moments in the series, imo. Riddick is swarmed by the creatures and finds himself cornered on a narrowing rock formation- his options running out both literally and figuratively as lightning flashes all around him. He finally confronts his own mortality and, giving in completely to his animal side, attacks one of the creatures with his bare hands. It’s a pure Robert E. Howard moment straight out of a Conan tale.

  42. Mr. Majestyk – You could argue that cryosleep is the reason for Johns’ dad not looking significantly older. Just as Khan didn’t look centuries older than Kirk, it’s possible aging in Riddick’s time is uneven for those who do a lot of deep space runs.

    If Johns has spent ten years searching for Riddick, it seems likely he would fit into that category. There’s even some nice symbolism there for a man who has literally put his life on hold for a decade.

    Of course, that may or may not be what Twohy intended, but it works for me.

  43. I’ll allow it, although I don’t buy that it was anyone’s intention. Twohy’s a pretty on-the-nose filmmaker, so if that were the case he’d have couple lines in there where Riddick bust Johns Sr.’s balls about how he doesn’t look old enough and for Johns Sr. to say how he spent most of Johns Jr.’s childhood in cryosleep until one day he came home and his little boy was a full grown stranger. It would fit Senior not knowing Junior very well, and make him feel guilt for what a piece of shit his son had turned into.

    But none of that is in there so it’s just a weird miscasting.

  44. This could be a GF3 situation where Twohy had another actor and somehow that casting fell apart so pressed for time and money, he just went for whoever he was able to get and hoped the audience would be forgiving enough. (Except unlike GF3, the casting is fine. Sure its weird about the age difference or lack there of but regardless its not that big of a deal for me.)

    Jake – I like your analysis.

    Also where did you find that bit about this director’s cut? You have a link?

  45. Found the interview with Twohy talking about the director’s cut and sequel possibilities:

    http://comicsbeat.com/interview-riddick-diretcor-david-twohy-on-getting-back-to-basics/

    I have a feeling they’ll just skip to the FURYA movie if they do another one.

  46. Mr. Majestyk – Yeah, I doubt it was intentional. Just saying it’s easy enough to explain considering the film’s world. On the other hand, Twohy has said he cut about 20 minutes worth of footage, so I guess it’s possible he did shoot something that addresses the issue.

    RRA/wade- Yes, that’s the one. Here’s another where he offers a few more details about the director’s cut.

    http://collider.com/riddick-directors-cut-david-twohy/

  47. Thanks Jake and Wade. And I do think that original ending would’ve been a better, stronger ending than the one we got.

  48. “Griff, you will be happy to know that there is casual nudity.”

    cool, I thought Hollywood stopped doing that

  49. RRA – what’s wrong with “good” is that the money I saved from NOT watching it went instead to something “great”. Dayum it’s been a good year for “coming-of-age” movies.

    “The way, way back” was very good, and the one I just saw was better. I actually thought Vern had reviewed it for some reason (it’s not in the reviews section?) “The Kings of Summer”. Absolutely bloody fantastic movie. Two teenage friends and the class weirdo go into the woods to escape their lives and their parents. Much coming-of-age stuff ensues, but it’s done brilliantly. “The Kings of Summer” strikes a pitch-perfect balance between comedy and poignancy.

    Does this mean I won’t see “Riddick”, given what people have said about it here? Not necessarily… I’m open to the possibility of it being better than I thought it would be… I just honestly do not want to see another “Riddick” movie, as opposed to another movie with Riddick in it. Even if it is better than I thought it would be. Sorry.

  50. “I just honestly do not want to see another “Riddick” movie, as opposed to another movie with Riddick in it. Even if it is better than I thought it would be. ”

    Paul – I know you’ve tried to explain this rationality, but it still makes zero sense to me. Sorry.

  51. RRA: No, I get it. Riddick was the most standout character of PITCH BLACK by a country mile, but sometimes totally self-interested characters like that work better as side characters in an ensemble. They are the impish distraction tugging against the thrust of the main story. It’s like Jack Sparrow in the POTC movies. I got really bored the more he became the focus of the films.

  52. GRIFF: I think you would really like PITCH BLACK and this latest film; they have a strong 90’s monster survival appeal to them. A comparison to TREMORS would not be entirely unfair, they share practical concerns of physical logistics and stuff like that. Like stay off the ground, stay in the light, etc. Mishmash crew trying to cooperate/survive and getting picked off, all that good shit. (they’re a lot less goofy than Tremors though). Check ’em out.

    I was quite dismayed to discover that not only do you guys generally not like CHRONICLES but even those that do like it consider it to be a self-evidently bad film that they like in spite of its short comings. I’m going to have to rewatch the film so that I can attempt to rebut these claims, but when I first saw it, it was the best kept secret in pulp sci fi.

  53. renfield – thanks, I’ll certainly check them out one day

  54. (SPOILERS FOR PITCH BLACK IN THIS POST)

    CH – That’s exactly what I mean, yes.

    Personally though, I really liked the girl who starts the movie by trying to sacrifice everyone else to save her own skin, and ends it sacrificing herself so that everyone else can survive. Now that’s an extreme character arc, if you like, but I think the actress (Radha Mitchell) playing her does a fantastic and quite subtle job portraying everything she’s going through – the guilt, the need to survive, the slow resignation that maybe she shouldn’t. Like many things about that movie, I think this character and performance is really underrated.

    Mr S – thanks very much. I KNEW Vern had done it, I just couldn’t find the review anyway.

  55. Oh and Renfield, I don’t think “Chronicles” was bad. It was just that I went in with very, very high hopes for it, and those hopes weren’t fulfilled. It definitely has good stuff in it, and I like that they don’t just try to rehash the first film. On the other hand, in this particular case I think that might actually be a BAD thing, because Riddick as a character is just so naturally wedded to that one particular film and that one particular situation.

  56. FRUSTRATING INPUT: I wrote a bunch about this, posted it and it ended up complete shit. It did not post for some error bullshit.I will have to re-post what I could remember. Some of it just fell off. This is some bullshit beyond belief…

    CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK was fucking bad.it was a misguided attempt of launching a franchise about a sidecharacter from PITCH BLACK. I hated it because it was unengaging and quite boring becuase of it. An animated mini-series was created and a video game to promote the character. In my opinion, the videogame succeeded most about promoted the character.

    It was placed inside a prison. It utilized Riddicks character traits. His nightvision shit was perfect for stealth, sneaking up on guards and shit. I guess that was just one trait, but what the hell. It really worked and Diesels voice was just perfect subwoofer stuff. It was just more memorable,that is all.

  57. Jed From The Chatroom

    September 15th, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Liked Pitch Black. Chronicles looked silly and wound up being my favorite summer movie in ’04. Space Conan! Figured this was the end of the franchise since the moviegoing public preferred Carporn Bromance–I know this is hallowed ground and I will cede that they have gotten better but I HAAAATE Fast & Furious.

    So I am way disappointed that they get a third Riddick off the ground and they’re scaling it back. Given this, and a sturdy grip of Twohy’s tin ear dialog(“Can of Smashed Assholes”) I meted my expectations.

    Nailed it. If you don’t like the other movies, or if you loved them. I think it’s Twohy’s best work as a director.

  58. box-office update: $53 million global now.

    (circa box office mojo)

  59. I can’t see the big budget “Underverse” RIDDICK film they were hoping to do making it. A shame.

  60. Well it’s definitely going to be a lot more profitable than Chronicles. I never really saw them getting a ‘big’ budget for another Riddick movie anyway. They’re better off keeping things simple and doing that smaller, Furya-based movie.

  61. Pacman – But it looks like they’ll be able to continue the film series regardless, which was the most important goal for Twohy/Diesel going forward.

    I can’t wait for the shit they’ll get if they go Kickstarter for the next one.

  62. I think it would’ve been risky to attempt another big-budget film about Necromongers. Twohy has said the whole point of Underverse is to force Riddick to endure Hell before he can return Home. Based on that concept- and given the genre’s current popularity- it seems to me the safer route would be to make a $40 million horror film.

    Have Riddick chase Vaako into the Underverse, then let the two of them discover the Necromonger promised land is not all it’s cracked up to be. It could essentially be The Defiant Ones, only with Riddick and Dredd battling the undead. Or Predator, with Riddick, Vaako, and a handful of Necros slowly watching their numbers dwindle.

    The important thing is that the media doesn’t appear to perceive Riddick as a flop. It’s on pace to recoup its budget domestically and may do at least $80-90 million worldwide. Of course, it will also allow Universal to repackage the previous movies yet again. (By my count, Pitch Black and Chronicles have been released in at least 6 different versions: Theatrical, Unrated, Blu-ray, Riddick Trilogy, Riddick Collection, and Blu-ray Steelbook.)

    I just hope it doesn’t take more than 2 or 3 years before anyone seriously begins thinking about a sequel. Vin has suggested he may not return to the role anytime soon, but you’d think he would want to do so before the character and franchise slip back into obscurity.

  63. “I just hope it doesn’t take more than 2 or 3 years before anyone seriously begins thinking about a sequel. Vin has suggested he may not return to the role anytime soon, but you’d think he would want to do so before the character and franchise slip back into obscurity.”

    Jake – He might be able to because of his schedule. This fall he’s doing F&TF 7 and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (which knowing Marvel, Vin will probably have to do reshoots/pick-ups in the spring ’14 for GOTG). He says he’s also attached to a Marvel project* set to be released in 2016, which means probably a ’15 shoot. Then you know Universal will ask for another F&TF movie to come out 2 years after #7 for summer 2016, which means a ’15 shoot as well.

    “The important thing is that the media doesn’t appear to perceive Riddick as a flop.”

    I agree, though Deadline shat on it on opening weekend for some reason. Of course knowing those dipshits, they’ll praise it as genius if indeed RIDDICK does do the numbers that you and I are basically expecting.

    “Of course, it will also allow Universal to repackage the previous movies yet again.”

    Yeah Twohy mentioned that in an interview. I think another obvious reason was that Universal also wanted some goodwill with Diesel, since he is now the leader of probably their biggest franchise. Keep him happy, keep making a shitload of money with him.

    *=Which has not been announced yet and nobody knows what exactly it is. Inhumans? Dr. Strange? a Hulk movie? *shrugs*

  64. RRA – You’re right about the schedule, but Vin has also said the delay is due to the dark mindset he likes to adopt while playing the character. Interesting about the second Marvel project. I had just assumed GOTG was the only thing he would be doing with them.

    I also noticed that about Nikki Finke’s reporting on opening weekend, especially since most reported it as a respectable number for an R-rated flick post-Labor Day. You’d think that the very atypical nature of Riddick’s production would’ve prevented her from trying to cast it as just another Hollywood cgi-fest. Go figure.

  65. Jake – knowing Nikki, he pissed her off somewhere awhile back for something. Or refused to give her “exclusive” scops. Or whatever. Regardless the comments section at least called her out for knocking RIDDICK as a “vanity project.”

    As for Diesel’s excuse, sorry I’m too cynical but that just sounds like a built-in excuse in case it takes years to get Riddick 4 produced. I mean mood wasn’t why it took him and Twohy 9 years to get RIDDICK made.

  66. RRA – I’m not sure I buy the mindset excuse either, mainly because I don’t consider Riddick to be THAT extreme from any other cinematic antihero.

    Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if Vin does feel that invested in the character to try and be ‘method’ about it. After all, most actors would’ve been more than happy to leave Riddick behind after the failure of Chronicles.

  67. Okay, everybody has forgotten this movie existed so it’s time for me to add my two cents, as is my custom.

    I thought this was a solid B-movie. Good action, better special effects than I was expecting and a nice chunky, industrial look to the technology. The narration is pretty bad, but nowhere near as pervasive as I was expecting. It was mostly confined to the opening act, which was otherwise great. It did remind me of CONAN THE BARBARIAN, and specifically the recent comic PROPHET (which is awesome and everyone should read it). Later, when Riddick was being needlessly dickish and rapey I got that nagging feeling that the movie thinks he is way cooler than I do, but mostly the movie and I were on the same page. His coolness levels were sufficient.

    The movie makes Riddick seem like a tactical genius only by having everybody else act extremely stupid, but it mostly works. The only part I rolled my eyes was when they left that locker open and unattended for no reason. I thought they were going to open the locker and discover that he’d cut through the back of it. That would have been smart.

    All the misogyny stuff made me a little uncomfortable. I liked Katie Sackhoff’s character and I like that she genuinely seemed like she could wreck some shit, but the whole thing reeks of a Strong Female Character, where they think it’s okay to have people act like misogynistic assholes so long as she punches a dude every other sentence. Plus her lesbian fakeout(?) was handled in a really weird, ambiguous way that made it seem like Riddick cured her lesbianism with the sheer force of his homicidal, shower-peeping masculinity. Not cool. The only other female characters in the film are sex slaves. Was I the only person who couldn’t help but compare the casual way they treated the death of that escaping sex slave to that of Riddick’s dog? This movie would not only fail the Bechdel test, it’d be held back a year. Room for improvement. See me after class.

    It kind of makes sense that Diesel would really be into D&D, because Riddick reminds me of some players I’ve known that treat RPGs as a creepy power fantasy where they can run amok without any consequences. I bet Diesel’s characters are always Chaotic-Neutral.

    That said, I liked RIDDICK and hopefully Diesel can find time to film CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK 4: RIDDICK 2: RIDDICK’S REVENGE in between the thirteenth and fourteenth F&F movies.

  68. Caught this one yesterday

    I thought it was okay. The marooned Riddick bit is easily the best part, though I did wonder how a man barely hanging on to life in a hostile environment can look as puffy as Diesel does. The guy rocks a vile double chin and, in spite of all the muscles, looks somehow dumpy. It sure ain’t as bad as Gerard Depardieu playing an Edmond Dantes who’s still fat after years of incarceration in Chateau d’If (that really happened), but maybe Vin shoulda gone full Jackman for the part. (I also don’t buy that he has to get into a dark mindset to play Riddick – seriously? It just looks like he showed up, put on the contact lenses and the goggles and said the lines the same way he always does.)

    But man, there’s so much daft bullshit in it that it kinda starts to overwhelm the few bits that are genuinely good. I typed up all kinds of stuff, but what the hell, you guys know all that anyway.

    The only other thing I wanted to bring up is that I’m sort of confused as to how much money buys you what on a film production these days. I’m hearing RIDDICK cost about $38 million, which seems to have got them a handful of sets, a couple of actors and a whole lot of okay-to good CGI.
    APOCALYPTO, IMDB tells me, cost $40 million, yet it features an entire Maya city filled to the brim with people in costume and complicated make up plus extensive location shooting and good CGI. What gives?

  69. This is a fun movie. It starts strong and flirts with being a genre classic but the ending falls flat. It is not bad enough to ruin the film but it is rather anticlimactic and disappointing considering the quality of the first 2 thirds or so of the picture. I enjoyed the Riddick’s goofy narration and silly wise cracks. He would come across as more menacing without them, but they are consistent with the enjoyable silly tone of the franchise and part of the films charm.

  70. CEPE – Inflation.

  71. RRA:

    $40 million in 2006 would’ve been about $45.5 million in 2012, when they shot RIDDICK. So in that sense, yeah, inflation plays a part. (These IMDB figures might well be bullshit for all I know – I’ve read somewhere that Mel went wildly over-budget on APOCALYPTO, which would of course make it an inappropriate film to compare RIDDICK to)

    I’m just saying that I don’t really SEE where all the money went on RIDDICK. There’s this Russian sci-fi film called THE INHABITED ISLAND, a two-parter, which managed to wrench a whole lot of okay CGI, solid sets, an extensive cast and countless extras from a budget of $36.6 million (in 2008). Never mind that the films aren’t at all good (if slightly Gilliam-esque) and that the lead actor seems to have the IQ of a beetroot – I’m talking purely about the production here. If, as Diesel said multiple times, this new RIDDICK was essentially an independent feature, why not shoot/produce it further abroad where they could’ve got way more bang for their buck?

    I’m not even sure why I’m asking these questions. The film’s probably gonna make its budget back and all will be well in RIDDICK-land.

  72. Box-office update: $73.8 million global

    CEPE – I don’t know mate. It depends also where RIDDICK was shot you know because of currency strength and shit. (I assume overseas but I don’t know.)

    Then again, budgets are notorious for being Enron-like accounting. Usually its hiding a budget going out of control, but sometimes it even be making a budget look much bigger than it really is.

    Go Google up sometime the lawsuit against Franchise Pictures over BATTLEFIELD EARTH. Officially that famous fiasco’s budget is $75 million, and that’s what they raised for it. Turned out that they actually only spent $44 million, and pocketed the rest for themselves. The lawsuit bankrupted Franchise (deservedly so), but that’s what you get when you borrow shameless accounting tricks from the Church of Scientology but without the 1st Amendment protection.

  73. Speaking of box office, I notice that Prisoners opening day/weekend numbers were very similar to Riddick’s. Despite Prisoners costing around $10 million more to produce- and likely having a bigger promotional budget- Nikki Finke is saying the film “broke out”. Of course, when Riddick did the same on what is historically one of the slowest weekends of the year, it was a “weak” performance. LOL

    Anyway, looks like its domestic run will recoup the budget this week and probably end up around $40-45 million. I’m not sure how many countries are left for it to open in, but the worldwide gross should get close to $100 million. I’m so glad this movie didn’t flop the way Dredd did last September.

  74. Plus PRISONERS opened in more screens (153 more to be exact), but to be fair to PRISONERS (which has gotten better reviews) its average-screen OW take is higher than RIDDICK $6,574 to $6,125.

    Here’s a short blurb on RIDDICK’s current overseas work: “Riddick ranked third in its French premiere, bringing in $2 million from 365 locations. The film’s German debut brought in $1.3 million from 350 sites for another third place finish. The top markets for the sci-fi action flick are Russia ($9.8M), the U.K. ($4.3M), and Spain ($2.6M). Riddick has grossed $36.9 million overseas and $73.8 million worldwide.”

    http://www.boxoffice.com/latest-news/2013-09-22-global-despicable-me-2-closes-in-on-500m-overseas-mark

    Yeah this doing gangbusters in Russia is surprising. I wonder what it’ll do in China, if Beijing will actually let it screen. (Which isn’t a guarantee. For whatever reason, they refused a release DESPICABLE ME 2 in China. I guess they were afraid of a billion people screaming “Banana!”

  75. Box-office update: $83.1 million global

  76. Box-office update: $92 million global (50 million of that overseas.)

  77. We’re getting a fourth Riddick movie! (Apparently)

    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=114079

    Diese: “”I’m just excited, and happy, and I’m shouting out to you guys to say thank you. Universal just called me and told me Riddick is number one on the DVD charts. There’s no way Riddick would have been made without you guys. You know that. and you guys have been a part of our page since 2012 and remember how arduous a road it was to get the movie made, and to make it rated ‘R,’ and to do it with such a low budget. It’s a win for all of us and I really, really thank you so much. Yeah, I’m excited, and of course, Universal also says they want to develop the next one.””

    Good for him and Twohy.

  78. Man, this was actually pretty great. CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK was sadly part of a cockamamie scheme of transforming Riddick into a cross-media franchise. And that´s why I think the film failed. It wasn´t the neat little genrefilm that PITCH BLACK. Instead it went DUNE in its pretensions, giving the audience quite a weird universe that felt completely unlike PITCH BLACK. I didn´t care much for the universe of RIDDICK at this point. For me it has always been the character,not the universe. Just like JACK REACHER,JAMES BOND,etc. You don´t really read or watch any of these characters for its continuiing subplots and characters.

    Until RIDDICK came along, it turned out that the videogame was the best Riddick experience that felt more in tune with PITCH BLACK than the overblown space opera that was CHRONICLES, by focusing on the character and skip all that usual mythology that I can do without.

  79. Shoot— I hear ya. I thought the second movie failed because it put the Riddick character adrift, orbiting around all the BS that was the larger concern; total waste. Make his character the nucleus of the movie (as in PITCH BLACK and RIDDICK), hang him back in the first movie, place him front & center in the third, and it *all* works. I like Vin Diesel not because he’s an “actor” (isn’t, never really has been), but because he’s this subdued, insolent force of nature. He does that really, REALLY well… when he’s on.

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