The Chronicles Of Riddick

The Chronicles Of Riddick


Reviewed by: Max Blinkhorn

With "Chronicles" in the title, one would expect a historical adventure, a birth-to-death, or happy-ever-after sort of thing.

A bit of biography and a good story do not a chronicle make. I think using the C-word is a way of avoiding the alternative, which is Pitch Black 2, and recycling Riddick's undeniable character qualities from the first film. But, hey, it doesn't work, guys!

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This second "episode" starts as a Seven Samurai rehash, with only one super samurai on call. Indeed, Vin Diesel looks and sounds so like Yul Brunner, I smell an interstellar rat. Yes, interstellar - it's a sci-fi space opera, all CGI effects, neo-Roman space uniforms and Mohican haircuts, plus capes and axe type thingies, too. That's not to say it's not gripping - if you are grippable by this sort of thing.

So who is Riddick? Well, he's a Furian, one of the last of a race of humanoid types that have evolved to the point where they became independent, fearless and physically resilient, as well as subtlety psychopathic - even an ASBO has no effect on them. The villains, however, have wiped out most of the Furians. Reading between the morals, Riddick is mankind's indomitable spirit and will surely save us from the Necromongers who enslave all, as they expand across the universe. The Necros are so powerful, we recognise we must submit to them and accept enslavement. The submission appears to be part of the fun for them - I was at grammar school with these creatures; then, they were called prefects.

In the end the Necros are bound to be undone.... or are they? Watch.

The plot runs along predictable lines and the costumes are great and the effects, well, they're whizz-o, and the style is Caesar's Legions meets Microsoft. A rebel goddess and a bad queen are provided for eye-candy and - stab me vitals! - it's Judi Dench, as a ghosty type entity (does she need the money?), who stands out well in a cameo role.

The ending caught me right off guard. What fickle creatures these Necromongers are! Good result for us humans, though. Phew!

Overall, The Chronicles is an enjoyable film that warps into implausibility. If you create a universe-wide heroic legend, people will come, even though there are so many of this ilk around. From Icelandic Sagas to Star Trek, we love 'em!

So why not go the whole hog?

Reviewed on: 20 Dec 2004
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The continuing story of the escaped convict from the sci-fi thriller Pitch Black.
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Read more The Chronicles Of Riddick reviews:

Jennie Kermode ***1/2

Director: David Twohy

Writer: David Twohy

Starring: Vin Diesel, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton, Judi Dench, Karl Urban, Alexa Davalos, Linus Roache, Nick Chinlund

Year: 2004

Runtime: 119 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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