It was in February of 2000 that we first met Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), a highly dangerous convicted killer being transported to prison aboard a spacecraft in Pitch Black. After crash-landing on a deserted planet ruled over by alien creatures that thrive on darkness and human blood, Riddick turned out to be the least of the surviving crew members' fears, and ended up becoming the badass antihero in the end. With his ability to see in the dark and kick alien ass like no other, Riddick became an instant cult icon, and the box office success of the film ensured that he'd be back. Diesel reprised the role four years later in the sequel Chronicles of Riddick, and the franchise is set to head back to its R-rated roots this weekend with a brand new installment simply titled Riddick. For more Riddick goodness, be sure to read Scott Weinberg's review, and check out our video interview with Diesel and his Riddick co-star Katee Sackhoff.
You can bet your bottom dollar that a whole lot of human and alien ass will be kicked up on the big screen this weekend, and that Riddick will further cement his status as one of sci-fi cinema's top heroes. But before you head into the theater with your bucket of popcorn, let's take a look back at Riddick's most badass moments from his first two theatrical outings...
After the ship crash-lands at the start of Pitch Black, Riddick is captured and handcuffed to a metal pole with his arms behind his back, so that he poses no threat to the others who were lucky enough to survive the ordeal. At least, that was the idea. Though the shackles would be enough to keep most men down, Riddick is of course far from "most men." It doesn't take him long to escape, and he does so by dislocating both of his shoulders so he can bring his arms above his head and over the top of the pole. It's a pretty tough scene to watch, and it's all the more badass considering a large portion of the stunt was actually pulled off by Diesel, with special effects only being used as an aid... and here I am crying about a paper cut!
Sometimes it's the little things that make a badass such a badass: for a cowboy, it may be striking a match on his chin scruff and lighting a cigarette with it; for Riddick, it's shaving his head with a knife. Before he embarks on any monster-slaying adventures, Riddick decides early on in the film that his head needs a good clean shave... and so he smears some DIY shaving cream on his dome and scrapes his fuzz off with the same big-ass blade he later uses to spill monster guts. So much for being the best a man can get, Gillette.
Cole Hauser's character William J. Johns in Pitch Black turns out to be a much more evil man than Riddick – a bounty hunter who frees him from his shackles (for the second time) once he realizes he may be his only chance for survival. Later on in the film, Johns proposes to Riddick that they kill the little girl in their crew (Jack) and drag her behind them as bait, to save their own asses from the vicious alien predators. Riddick may be a bad dude, who's done some really bad shit, but even he is having none of this plan. After remarking that they should maybe use a bigger piece of bait, Riddick kicks Johns' ass and leaves him for dead, watching his brutal demise in Riddick-vision. Riddick tells Johns he should've killed him when he had the chance... the last words he hears before Johns gets his head chomped clean off. When Riddick tells you to kill him, you'd better listen.
When one of the beasts sets its sights on Jack and is just seconds away from tearing her apart, Riddick steps in and saves the day by grabbing the creature with his bare hands and holding it at bay. Once he's got it under control, he carves the beast up like a Thanksgiving turkey, and doesn't stop cutting into its belly until his feet are covered with alien innards. Not making the mistake that most movie characters do when they've gained the upper hand on a monster, Riddick then grabs the alien's head and snaps its neck – a final bit of badassery that ensures it won't be getting back up. "Did not know who it was fuckin' with," he exclaims. You can say that again!
At the very end of Pitch Black, Riddick and a couple other survivors have finally made it to safety, and are about to escape the planet on a ship left behind from the previous crew. As he prepares for take-off, Riddick changes his mind and turns off the engine and all the lights, and a horde of the creatures begin to attack the ship. While the other characters are fearing for their lives, Riddick calmly tells them that they can't leave without saying goodnight, and fires the engines up again. Since the creatures are now directly in the path of the engines, the scorching hot flames burn them alive, and Riddick blasts the ship off into the night sky. Mmm, deep fried alien!
In Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick does battle not with alien beasts, but rather with the Necromongers – a vicious religious group that believes in either converting or killing everyone. Naturally, since they're either going to consume your soul or murder you, they strike fear into the hearts of everyone they come across... but not Riddick. When the Necromongers invade the planet Helion Prime, and the Lord Marshal starts threatening the citizens, Riddick calmly waltzes into town, picks a fight with one of the biggest and baddest soliders, and totally wipes the floor with him. Convert or kill, eh? I think Riddick chooses kill.
Riddick spends a portion of the second film locked away in Crematoria, a prison planet considered to be a worse place to visit than Hell itself. As punishment for the prisoners, tiger/reptile creatures called Hell Hounds are released into the prison every so often, presumably serving as population control. It's called "Feeding Time," and Riddick is warned by one of the other prisoners not to make eye contact with the hounds. So what does Riddick do as soon he comes face to face with one? He stares it down, and the thing ends up becoming his own personal little pet. Gone is the viciousness of the beast, tamed by Riddick's badassery and turned into a cute and cuddly dog. "It's an animal thing," he tells one of the other prisoners, referring to his bond with the Hell Hound. Would anyone else love to see a spin-off film with Riddick just chilling at home and watching Jeopardy with his Hell Hound pet? Because I totally would.
Later on in the prison, a bunch prisoners are beating up on Kyra, who is actually a grown-up Jack from Pitch Black (Chronicles takes place five years after the events of that film). Riddick approaches the gang of thugs and tells them to stop, in his own Riddick sort of way, but they're unphased by his initial attempt. They ask Riddick what he's going to do if they don't obey his orders. Riddick, sipping on a cup of tea, tells them he'll kill them all with... his cup of tea. Obviously they're not threatened by this, and force Riddick to make true on his promise and embed his metal tea cup directly into the chest of one of the prisoners. Needless to say, his pals run off like little bitches. If you can't kill 'em with kindness, kill 'em with tea!
After storming the Necromongers' lair and wiping out a handful of them, Riddick gets caught and finds himself on his knees, with two guns pointed directly at him. It seems he's finally found himself in a situation that even he can't escape... that is, until he harnesses the power of the entire Furyan race – a power he didn't even know he had. After a surge of electricity violently courses through him, a big-ass blast explodes from his body, leveling every Necromonger in sight. Only you can kill an entire army without even making contact with them, Riddick... and that's why we love you.
Throughout the film, Commander Vaako plans on killing the Lord Marshal, and taking over as king of the Necromongers. Only problem is, Riddick has other plans. Just as Vaako is about to kill the king, Riddick steals the kill right out from under him, embedding a knife directly into the top of the king's head. Since the Necromongers have a "keep what you kill" belief, Riddick's final act of murder in the film makes him the new king of the Necromongers, and he takes his rightful place on the throne. All the Necromongers, who had previously been trying to kill Riddick, kneel before him and bow to their new king. Becoming a king when you're not even trying to be... you can't get more badass than that!
Of course, limiting Riddick's badass moments to just 10 is a bit like trying to pick out the best-tasting marshmallows in a box of cereal, so please feel free to add to this list with more badass moments by commenting below and listing your favorites!