Episode 271: Riddick: His Brow Heavy with the Weight of His Goggles

The Overthinkers tackle “Riddick” and its predecessors, “The Chronicles of Riddick” and “Pitch Black.”

Matthew Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, and Mark Lee overthink Riddick and its predecessors, The Chronicles of Riddick and Pitch Black.


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Your Panel

14 Comments on “Episode 271: Riddick: His Brow Heavy with the Weight of His Goggles”

  1. Arden #

    Yet to listen to the podcast, but I am giddy with excitement. Every time Fenzel mentions his love for the Riddick franchise, it brings a huge smile to my face.


  2. phizzled #

    I haven’t listened all the way through yet, but regarding your description of the acts, Riddick felt like watching three episodes of a deserted island drama. It found it pleasant, because television (notably breaking bad and justified) is now essentially making movies. I think it was a smart choice and I’d probably watch a serialized Riddick show (lost in space with bounty hunters) on Tuesday nights after Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.


    • Rambler #

      I would definitely watch that as long as there’s guaranteed to be a meth/cryosleep hallucination episode that merges the 3 series.

      Boyd – “Why hello Raylan!”

      Raylan – “Hello Boyd.”

      Boyd – “Now, Raylan, I’d like you to meet Mr. Heisenberg. I’ll be helping to negotiate his enrollment in witness protection.”

      Heisenberg – “Love the hat.”

      Raylan – “Pleasure to meet you. Do you like kids? I’m picturing you as a suburban father of four.”

      Hal – “I love kids! I’ve always wanted to have a girl named ‘Francis’, and an adorable little scamp named Malcolm…”

      Raylan – “Sounds blissful. Now I’m here about a fugitive…”

      Riddick – “You made 3 mistakes merc…”

      Raylan – “Marshall, U S Marshall.”

      Riddick – “First, you took the job. Second, your gun is still in the holster. Third… I’ve got a teacup.”


  3. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea that Riddick is all about establishing the Social Contract. It starts out with Riddick as a caveman, making his own tools and domesticating animals. Once other people show up, everyone is in a constant state of war. Mercs hunt Riddick, Riddick hunts them back, women are preyed upon and everyone is generally miserable. But then things get interesting. There’s a greater threat and everyone realizes they have to establish some trust and work together. At the end, Riddick, Johns, and Dahl all choose to help each other not out of necessity but out of mutual respect and fellowship. They all survive together when couldn’t make it alone.

    It’s not an original story by any means (hell, it’s basically how Pitch Black worked). But in the context of Riddick’s betrayal by the Necros and his yearning for his homeworld, I think the themes of individualism vs. civilization are really interesting.


    • Mark Lee OTI Staff #



      119 Minutes Short.

      This Summer…

      Vin Diesel Rewrites the Social Contract…

      In the Blood of His Enemies…

      And Aliens.

      With a Dog by His Side.



      • Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

        There should be a character called John Locke, who is a knife-wielding, bald, survivalist badass.


        • Gab #

          And another named Rousseau who’s a gun-weilding, brunette, survivalist badass.


  4. Mark #

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet (I’m a month behind), but I just saw ‘Riddick’ last night and my initial reaction is that, especially compared to the other action movies I’ve seen this summer (e.g., Elysium), this one was pleasantly slow-paced. I really enjoyed how they let the camera just linger on his eyes several times, likewise on the stingers of the mud creatures, the sniper bullets, and a lot of other things.


  5. Gab #

    Goodness gracious, I’m sure it’s just my bias, but this discussion made the movie sound WAY rapey. I haven’t seen it yet (sigh), but it sounds like y’all have already done some RCG analysis.

    I will say, though, if Vin’s character was, uh, the cure for the lesbianism of that Doll character, that’s… Apart from being inconsistent with the rest of the movie, rather a problematic message to send. Reinforces the pervasive notion that you’re not a real man unless you’re hyper-aggressive, and that you aren’t a real woman unless you submit to male dominance. But I’ll shut up now since 1) I haven’t seen it, and 2) I’m getting dangerously close to sounding like I’m espousing the F-word. Gasp.


  6. Gab #

    Also, the above comments about new Riddick movies based on Hobbes and whatnot made me think, “By jove, wouldn’t it be funny to come up with Riddick crossovers?” Some titles I just thought of:

    Saving Private Riddick
    Riddick’s Day Out
    Finding Riddick
    Good Riddick Hunting


    • Phizzled #

      I just want him to have a kid and name him/her “Ulous”


  7. the Bhajan #

    I strongly believe that alot of this film hit the cutting room floor (yes I am aware the expression is dated, I like it still) and I’m very interested in seeing the director’s cut when it comes out. That being said – Riddick was a fine little sci-fi/action flick. It’s a nice survival story of a man that has to learn to depend on others. Sort of like 127 Hours. Minus the critical acclaim. And with a CGI dog. Damn this is a Lethal Weapon, Hurt Locker complex all over again…


  8. mezdef #

    It didn’t get mentioned since it was rightfully left behind for the Dhal conversation etc, but I’d just like to talk about the opening act of Riddick. There was (what felt like) a good 30-40 minutes of almost near dialog-less scenes only punctuated by Riddick’s soliloquising and a few flashbacks. How often do you see that in an action film? Or any major studio film? Only Wall-E comes to mind with a similar fist act. I was just waiting for one-liners or shoddy jump-cutting to ruin the introspection and desolation and it just kept not happening. Glorious. But more than anything, this film is just fun.

    @Gab, the film certainly had some questionable male gaze (I’m not sure we really needed to see Katee Sackhoff’s breasts) that made me inwardly groan a little. My undertinking surface reaction was to not really notice the ‘conversion’, I got the impression that it was more of a playful respect. The Dhal character never really needs saving at any point (assuming she saves herself during the sexual assault, of which we only see the aftermath, not the action), and regularly verbally and physically dominates the other male characters, especially the one who assaults her. There’s a lot going on under the surface here that is only briefly touched on, and rape is implied twice, but I would definitely not describe the movie as ‘rapey’. Then again my feminist lens abilities are likely to be lacking.

    Surrounding the “Riddick isn’t evil, most of the destruction surrounding him is other peoples reactions to him” conversation, I want to compare Riddick to an Anime / Manga character previously discussed in a guest article on OTI: Vash the Stampede from the series Trigun. Not in the sense the (great) article suggests, as Riddick seems to exist on a more primal and less existential level. In this comparison I see Riddick as the 21st century dark american hero to Vash’s 20th century sunny optimistic one. Vash was taught to love, Riddick learnt to survive. To get to my point, they both seem to cause the majority of their destruction in the same way: Humans and nature pursue them, and it is the sparks that fly as they rebound in their attempts to contain or subdue the main characters will that results in the whirlwind (stampede) of destruction that seems to follow in their footsteps. In the first and third movies, it is the monomaniacal pursuit of the reward that Riddick represents that ultimately gets them into trouble with his force of nature. I was reminded of the sixty billion ‘double dollar’ bounty placed on Vash when the base scans Riddick and offers a ‘double reward’ for his death.

    We could probably go further and liken this to a redemptive Moby Dick tale, where Riddick (the White Whale) is the force of nature pursued by Johns (Ahab) for the loss of a limb (Son), and is accompanied by Starbuck! Instead of his technology hanging him however, it is used to connect and build a contract with the whale. It would have been the icing on the cake if one of the ships was named the Pequod. Do we ever find out their names by the way?


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