"xXx: The Return of Xander Cage" hit the theaters last Friday, which could be another box-office hit for Vin Diesel. Donald Trump's inauguration might prompt the public to see Xander Cage one more time. Summer would see the actor in another "Fast and Furious" sequel and his reprising of (the voice of) Groot in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2". The actor, who would turn 50 this year, managed to build a career on three film franchises. It won't be bad at all, which could be an understatement. After all, the likes of Mel Gibson have never been this successful (or lucky).
Vin Diesel's bald head, burly features, and tough-guy persona clicked with the audience. There would be a niche in action films, and Sylvester Stallone may have passed the torch to Diesel. This won't be another case of stereotyping, as the Californian produced many of his films. Why rocked the boat? Diesel tried to get out of his comfort zone, providing the voice of the Iron Giant. But it happened before the production of "The Fast and the Furious" went underway. What would be Diesel's best film to date? It won't be any motion picture featuring Dom.
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer
"Pitch Black", which was released in 2000, seemed to be a long shot to be an acclaimed science fiction film. After all, the trailer featured a photosensitive creature that resembled an Alien predator. (This kind of creature has an elongated head, sharp set of teeth, and a tail that can impale a prey.) Writers Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat penned an unsettling tale of an unlikely group of crew who must keep a wary eye on each other and menacing creatures on a planet with a set of three suns.
Richard B. Riddick was a mercenary-cum-criminal, who had surgically altered eyes that allowed him to see through the darkness. This would give him an advantage over those who held him captive. He was supposed to be the bad guy in this film, yet Wheat and Wheat thought about giving him a conscience. Director David Twohy could have chosen a familiar path, where moviegoers were expecting a decimation of the crew. It happened, but there was a twist. Secrets were revealed along the way, which changed the audience's first impression of them. Riddick became an unlikely hero and incinerating the advancing creatures was the least thing he could do.
"Pitch Black" was a modest hit, but it didn't get unnoticed for several reasons. Vin Diesel came and conquered (the audience). Vin Diesel, who played a stubborn character, learned to listen (and understand) the ones who put him in bondage. (It won't be a case of Stockholm syndrome, though.) Vin Diesel rose to the challenged (and kicked off those pesky creatures). A sequel followed, which the critics pounced on it. (Judi Dench may have regretted it.) Diesel was unfazed by it, as the next installment was a return to familiar territory. (More creatures resembling the Alien.) There was no motion picture about this photosensitive creatures meeting their remote “cousins”. It would surprise some fans, but they shouldn't hold their breath. Vin Diesel won't be too old to play Riddick one more time.