Riddick, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Blind: films on TV today

A butt-kicking actioner, a bell-ringing weepie and a thoughtful meditation on the loss of sight: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




Riddick ★★★
9.00-11.20pm Film4 

There’s a fourth part of the Chronicles of Riddick franchise in the pipeline, according to a January Facebook post from star Vin Diesel, thanks to almost $100 million at the box office and brisk DVD sales for this third instalment. Writer/director David Twohy continues to steer the ship, as the 26th-century saga unfolds with Diesel’s musclebound, deep-voiced recidivist receiving a promotion along the way. He now commands the Necromonger fleet (go with it) and rules over restive subjects and everything. A voyage to an arid planet leaves Riddick injured and under attack from “night creatures” and inclement weather, then marauded by bounty hunters. This motley, multi-ethnic crew has the ring of Alien about it – and Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff is a welcome, Ripley-like addition – but it is mainly a sequence of attacks, both internecine and external, and what we might call hardware porn. The design is excellent, and Diesel holds the whole space opera together with his booming baritone.

Blind ★★★★

1.05-2.40am C4 

Is the action taking place in reality or in the mind of a 30-something seeking to come to terms with her recent blindness? Memory and imagination collide in this mesmerising Norwegian drama.  

The Hunchback of Notre Dame ★★★★

4.30-6.35pm Movie Mix 

Anthony Hopkins is Quasimodo in this under-regarded 1982 adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic about the mis-shapen Parisian bell-ringer and his love for gypsy girl Esmeralda (Lesley-Anne Down).  

Sleepers ★★★

11.10pm-12.10am ITV4 

Brad Pitt and Jason Patric are two of the now-adult children taking revenge for deeds committed against them long ago. Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Bacon round out an impressive cast.  

Patriot Games ★★★

11.20pm-1.35am Film4 

Harrison Ford is Tom Clancy’s agent Jack Ryan, foiling an IRA splinter group in a thriller whose aspirations to real-life relevance don’t get in the way of big Hollywood finish.    


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