Cast: Vin Diesel, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton, Judi Dench, Linus Roache
Director: David Twohy
Writer: David Twohy
Genre: Science Fiction/Action/Adventure
Rated: M medium level violence, low level coarse language
Running Time: 125 Minutes
All The Power In The Universe Can't Change Destiny
'The Chronicles Of Riddick' action takes place five years after the end of 'Pitch Black' and finds Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) facing off against the Necromongers, conquering warriors intent on killing or converting all human life. Riddick's one-man rebellion eventually leads him to the Necromonger command ship, where he is pitted against the supreme Necro leader, the Lord Marshal (Colm Feore), in an apocalyptic battle with possibly the fate of all beings-both living and dead-hanging in the balance. The 'The Chronicles Of Riddick' boasts a strong ensemble cast, including Vin Diesel, Dame Judi Dench, Thandie Newton, Colm Feore and Karl Urban.
'The Chronicles Of Riddick' is a follow-up sequel to 2000's 'Pitch Black', which was also written and directed by David Twohy. This was a relatively low budget movie shot in Australia that went on to have a cult following and also helped cement Vin Diesel as an actor, but you wouldn't have to have seen 'Pitch Black' to appreciate 'The Chronicles Of Riddick'.
The movie starts with Riddick trying to outrun some bounty hunters on a distant planet. Of course, he outwits his would-be captors, and 'persuades' them to divulge who has the bounty on his head, a type of 'take me to your leader' situation. Riddick is a loner of few words and this is perfect for Vin Diesel - he has that perfect deep voice. Too much dialogue from Diesel is not good, and here he can choose carefully and actually comes up with some great lines. Riddick then sets about to save 'Jack' (who has now become Kyra) whom he left behind from 'Pitch Black' and also to avoid being caught by any more bounty hunters and the Necromongers. No surprise that he does ultimately get caught, but along the way he manages to indulge in numerous fights, and escape from seemingly impossible situations, such is his super-strength. The fight sequences are very fast and edited such that they are very hard to distinguish what is happening, one fight even taking place under strobe lighting which really was overdone.
It is hard to know whether to like 'The Chronicles Of Riddick' or not. Visually, the production and design are outstanding, the story, well. Still, storyline aside there is much going for this movie, which is almost reminiscent of 'Dune' in terms of scale and grandeur - the costumes are a designers dream, the sets large and majestic and there are special effects in abundance. Dame Judi Dench looks gorgeous in her costumes and it is a little out of her usual style to be in such a movie. Diesel, as a producer was adamant she play the role of Aereon and was relentless in winning her over - thank goodness he did as she is another saving grace. Overall, this movie will appeal to any science fiction fan and anyone who likes plenty of action. For all those Vin Diesel fans, this is very much his movie and a real showcase of his brute strength and ability to last the distance in tough situations. It's hard to imagine him doing anything else.
Rating : B-