Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action and some language.
Directed By: David Twohy
Written By: Ken Wheat and Jim Wheat
Staring: Vin Diesal, Thandie Newton, Karl Urban, Colin Feore, Judi Dench, Alexa Davalos, and Linus Roache
Sister, they don’t know what to do with just one of me. -Riddick
5 years after Pitch Black, the wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe.
I caught this one back in the theatre back in 2004 and for some reason I forgot how much I enjoyed it. It’s possible Pitch Black was still incredibly fresh in my mind and I tried to hard to compare the two. If you compare “Riddick” to “Pitch Black”, Riddick is going to be half the movie each time, but a film on it’s on with one of my favorite science fiction character’s ever, The Chronicles OfRiddick was an wicked fun action packed Sci-Fi movie.
There were a few places of weakness in this film. While some of the special effects were just sick, some of the one on one combat lacked realism and theCGI came off as too fake. Most of the action down in Crematoria was where this faltered. The “Hell Dogs” or whatever they were, lacked a feel of being a part of the live action, and thus killed their fear factor. Kyra’s flying all over the place also suffered the same error. It was bad enough to be distracting. In contrast, the seven hundred degree sunset was incredibly impressive, as well as the entire planet surface of Crematoria. Another great moment in the special effects was the attack on Helium Prime at the beginning. TheNecromonger ships were this sinister design of ancient bad ass with the daunting futuristic intimidating look with it’s huge weaponry. Even those cool moments weren’t as sweet as the opening scene with Riddick jumping the catechisms on the frozen planet he hid on. That was simply awesome.
Bringing the character Riddick back and tossing him into a story with an epic feel rather than the isolated terror in Pitch Black, was difficult to adjust to at first, but then actually became fun watching him interact with an army of sanctimonious zealots. His sarcasm and indifference to everything played perfectly against their passionate campaign to make the universe one full of nothing other thanNecromongers. As an army they managed to destroy planet after planet, system after system, of those unwilling to be tolerant of their religious oppression, yet they meet one rogue bad dude, and can’t seem to stop him. The best part isRiddick is entirely a reluctant hero. Even at one point his friend Kyra announces that she “hates not being the bad guy”. It’s funny.
If you try comparing this to Pitch Black, you’ll probably find yourself disappointed, because The Chronicles of Riddick is nothing like Pitch Black. It is a completely different movie that they put a pretty sweet character in. With another lead anti-hero this film may not have been half as entertaining. The charisma of VinDiesal as Riddick and his dark unbreakable persona is what makes this movie exciting. If they put “Riddick” in a film and Vin Diesal plays him, I’m there, plain and simple. The Chronicles was a wicked cool addition in my science-fiction film collection.