Vin Diesel let his muscles do the talking in Riddick

If the career of the mighty Vin Diesel has taught us anything, it's that muscle can solve any problem.

With muscles, you can save the world and/or get the girls.

In his new film Riddick, opening in theatres here on Thursday, our titular hero uses his powerful physique to kill a bunch of monsters and a bunch of dudes.

That's pretty much the synopsis right there!

Riddick does have a convoluted and nonsensical back story, but all you really need to know is that he's a wanted criminal who can see in the dark and bludgeon things to death.

The Chronicles Of Riddick sci-fi film franchise, which started with Pitch Black (2000) and continued with The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004), has not been what you'd call hugely successful.

The first two films have brought in a combined worldwide total of just US$170 million (S$215 million).

That said, the character does have a dedicated cult following, and they showed up in strong enough numbers to make Riddick the No. 1 movie in the US when it opened last week with a total of around US$20 million.

These diehard fans may not be as beefy as the star, but they can live vicariously through his beefiness.

While Hollywood has more or less moved on from the muscle-head boom of the 80s, when stars like Stallone and Schwarzenegger reigned supreme, the 46-year-old US actor is one of the few keeping the flame of pumpitude alive.

Here, FiRST examines the fever dream of muscles that is Diesel's life and oeuvre.



There are a lot of big stars out there who may look physically powerful, but most of them have the muscle density of angel food cake.

Diesel has real muscle, not fancy movie muscle.

Before making it as an actor, he worked as a bouncer on the mean streets of New York.

During this time, he also worked out in grimy gyms.

These days, he uses "old-school" bodybuilding techniques mixed in with free running and stuff.

"At this stage in my life, I'm trying to tweak out every body part," he told Men's Health magazine.

"When I was younger, I was trying to gain as much weight as possible. Now I focus on each body part to define it.

"I shock the muscle with two sets of power-lifting and then go into higher-rep sets afterwards." Sounds like a plan, Vin!



The way the universe works is that everything and everyone wants to kill you. And if you're not muscular enough to protect yourself, then you're going to die for sure.

As Riddick starts off, we find our hero on some faraway planet filled with lethal beasties.

First up, there's a dragon-pigeon that tries to bite Riddick's fingers off while he's pretending to be dead.

Riddick chokes the life out of it.

Then he fights hyena-whippets, eel-thingies and giant scorpion-monkey.

If it weren't for his muscles, he'd be a goner obviously.

Next up, Riddick battles two different groups of mercenaries who don't fare much better than the critters.

Some of the mercenaries are very muscular - one is played by former WWE Superstar Dave Bautista - but their muscles are not of the same high standard set by Diesel's.

Female co-star Katee Sackhoff also tries to get in on the action as a girl-with-girl muscles (pfft).

When will the universe learn not to mess with Riddick's pecs and glutes?


Some of you might be thinking that since Diesel is already middle-age that he might be retiring and putting his muscles out to pasture.

That couldn't be further from the truth!

Diesel's muscles will outlive us all, even the cockroaches and ravens.

Next year, he has at least four projects hitting the big screen. He's lending his voice to a character named Groot, some kind of big crazy tree-man, in superhero flick Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Diesel will also star in The Last Witch Hunter, as the eponymous fellow who battles pencil-necked sorceresses in modern-day New York.

There's also going to be Fast & Furious 7, in which the muscle cars can be seen as an extension of Diesel's own muscularity.

Finally, it looks like he's going to be in another xXx movie!

My best guess is that his character Xander Cage will still be as buff as he ever was, though it would be an interesting twist if he was suddenly very skinny and pathetically weak.

All the bad guys would just laugh in his face, and then he'd go home and cry himself to sleep.

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