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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » The Chronicles of Riddick » User review

You keep what you kill

  • Nov 14, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Even if I have to apologize to my Friends and Favorites, and my family, I have to admit that I really liked this movie. It's a Sci-Fi movie with a "Mad Maxx" appeal that, while changing many things, left Riddick from `Pitch Black' to be just Riddick. They did not change his attitude or soften him up or bring him out of his original character, which was very pleasing to `Pitch Black' fans like myself.

First off, let me say that when playing the DVD, the first selection to come up is Convert or Fight, and no explanation of the choices. This confused me at first, so I will mention off the bat that they are simply different menu formats, that each menu has the very same options, simply different background visuals. Select either one and continue with the movie.

Chronicles Of Riddick takes place after Riddick's escape from the planet of monsters on Pitch Black, starting out with his recapture after being in hiding for many years. Now we are going to get a glimpse of just what is going on in the universe during the futuristic time frame of `Pitch Black'.

A large sect of religious fanatics called Necromongers are moving from planet to planet, converting others to their faith and killing those who will not convert. Necromongers are half-dead beings from many different original planets, kind of like Star Trek's Borgs except they do not loose their individuality when they are converted. Some are made into "Lensors", very cool effect of once-humans with these round blue shields over their faces, under which their faces look a little skeletal and decomposed.

Riddick gets caught up with the Necromongers after he is taken to the prison planet of Crematoria, where daylight, rather than nightfall, is the killer. Here he finds a grown up Jack (the girl from Pitch Black), now using her real name of Kyra. The girl Jack was a strong addition to Pitch Black, the adult Kyra is rather whiney and annoying, and my one complaint would be that they should have done better with Jack's development. He has to escape Crematoria and help Jack off the planet also.

Truthfully, the entire plot is Riddick running from people who want to capture him, but it's still a good movie made interesting with the addition of the half-dead race. The Lady Vaako of the Necromongers is a very `Cleopatra' type of character, with her own Marc Anthony in the form of Vaako, one of the Lord Marshal's fiercest warriors.

In some of the scenes the Necromongers almost come across like Televangelists, wanting converts so badly, and desiring entire populations to kneel before them. Just a funny comparison to mull over while you watch. There is also an Elemental in the movie, a race of beings who can phase in and out of dimensions, whose job it seems to be not to inform the Necromongers but to distract them from Riddick, at least that is the feeling that I got.

The special effects of this movie make up for the slower parts about three quarters of the way through the movie, stunning visuals of cities that are half gothic and half futuristic, great flight scenes (including a cool shot of the underbelly of one of the ships), the sunrise over the planet Crematoria is spectacular (but not quite as good as the nightfall effect in Pitch Black), the power going out all over the city, the half metal-half squishy mind readers, and that is barely skimming the effects.

The costume and set designs are visually stunning, well made without going too far over the top, and the editing is not as choppy as David Twohy warns us about at the beginning of the Director's Cut.

My one other problem is that with a loss of midrange hearing, I had to use the English Subtitles to hear some of the conversations, so if you are slightly hard of hearing you will want to use that feature. The battles are rapid and a bit confusing during the use of strobe lighting, but that is what the slow-mo button is for. ;-)

All in all, this is a pleasing sci-fi adventure movie, not to be confused with a work of art or a lesson in any socially redeeming values. It is good old-fashioned fun and a relief to us sci-fi fans who tire of critics blathering on about how sci-fi and fantasy are not worthy forms of entertainment. These are the same critics who thought The English Patient was a good movie. (gag)

As the Necromongers say, "Humans are an unguided mistake."
Enjoy the movie!
The Chronicles Of Riddick

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January 26, 2009
Didn't like it at all, but I confess to wondering where he was going to go with the next in the series.
 
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More The Chronicles of Riddick reviews
review by . December 01, 2009
Set five years after the events of the movie Pitch Black (2000), escaped convict Riddick (Vin Diesel) is being hunted by two forces: Necromongers on a quest for universal domination being led by the Lord Marshal (Colm Feore), and bounty hunters after the price on his head.      The Chronicles of Riddick embraces the characters we were introduced to in Pitch Black, and develops them even further in this futuristic action movie.      Directed by David Twohy, …
review by . December 09, 2008
This movie pretty much did a complete 180 degree turn from Pitch Black.  Although the visuals were stunning and Vin Diesel did a great job, I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy this one as much as Pitch Black. 
review by . April 27, 2006
I thought this movie wasn't bad. It did start a little slow, but soon thereafter caught my full attention. I had to change mental gears from expecting a Pitch Black sequel/clone, but not in a bad way at all. And there ARE tie-ins with Pitch Black plainly evident unless you aren't particularly observant or haven't seen Pitch Black. I thought the special effects were some of the best I have seen quite some time, and after I began to become adjusted to the more involved background story, I found it …
review by . May 15, 2005
I'm a girl but I'm still a huge fan of action, fantasy, martial arts and even war movies, but this one almost put me to sleep.    I have seen Pitch Black, even though this is a sequel, the story is so intertwined and a bit boring that I didn't care how it ended. I did not feel any real interest in it, no connection!  I felt like my eyes were gliding over pictures on the screen, and not much was absorbed, my eyes weren't hungry for this movie at all.    The …
review by . September 04, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Vin Diesal has made some pretty good movies (Boiler Room, The Fast and the Furious, XXX). This unfortunately, is not one of his better acting efforts. The story has a lot of action though and some of the fight scenes are good. Diesal's character is has a smug attitude that sometimes makes it difficult to root for him. He does have an intimidating pressence that makes the bad guys miss, or perhaps they are all just bad shots.     The special effects are not high tech but they …
review by . June 10, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Diesel and great FX     Cons: Drags a bit in parts.     The Bottom Line: A very pleasant surprise that is better than the original film in the series.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. In a distant region of the galaxy, a massive armada is consuming entire worlds in a religious crusade of death and destruction. The army is that of the Lord Marshal (Colm Feore) and his Necromongers who are …
About the reviewer

Ranked #48
I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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About this movie

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Starring Vin Diesel, Thandie Newton, Kieth David, Colm Feore
Directed By David Twohy
Writer:  Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat
2004

Product Description
An escaped convict with the ability to see in the dark finds himself in the middle of a conflict between two galactic powers.
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