Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Chronicles Of Riddick: Director's Cut (2004) Film Review
The Chronicles Of Riddick: Director's Cut
Reviewed by: Gator MacReady
As incredibly silly as it is, TCOR is actually entertaining enough for the running time to breeze by without you realising. Afterwards, though, you'll notice how desperately it wants to be the next Dune, but actually comes across as a futuristic Conan, instead. Which isn't bad. The Director's Cut, as expected, beefs up the storyline with more established characters and small scenes to make sense of previously disorientating sub-plots.
Richard B. Riddick (Mark "Silly Voice" Vincent in the only role he seems natural in) has been hunted by mercenaries ever since the events in Dark Fury (a surprisingly good animated short bridging the gap between Pitch Black and this) and has been cornered on a snow covered planet by relentless bounty hunter Toombs. Not taking kindly to being captured, Riddick nicks his spaceship and sets off across the galaxy to find Imam (the super-cool Keith David) to settle a score. Once on Imam's home planet of Helion Prime a supernatural race of half-dead Space Nazis, called the Necromongos, or something, shows up and starts killing everyone. Just because they're like that.
Yes, it's a rather stupid plot, but that's about as silly as the whole film gets. The rest is far above this.
Riddick legs it again, but is caught once more by Toombs and thrown into a hellish prison on a hellish (remote) planet. Do you think he can escape and save what's left of Helion Prime? I must say I was disappointed that Riddick was portrayed as a hero this time round. Judi Dench's character describes him as "a different kind of evil," but I didn't see him that way. Self-serving he may be, but I never got the impression that he was a baddie forced into doing good things.
The story structure to TCOR is rather episodic and comes in three distinct acts, each one giving us a new situation and loads of imagination. You can't blame David Twohy for giving us a dull franchise with his Chronicles of Riddick. The entire film was shot on a studio set, or against a green screen, giving it a pretty unique look. The production design is brilliant and reminded me a lot of Jim Henson's Labyrinth. The faultless SFX doesn't ever come across as indulgent as they seriously help create a convincing universe teeming with life. Even in just over two hours enough is established to make loads of little movies.
Since the film bombed, I don't think we'll be seeing more of Riddick in the near future. It's a shame, because one film every two years (a la James Bond) would have been quite appealing.Reviewed on: 03 Sep 2005