The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
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Those who found the movie itself disappointing, I would guess would be: 1) Hardcore sci-fi, or action movie fans who spent way too much time making mental comparisons to their favorite storyline/universe, or acting star during a movie to actually just enjoy the movie. 2) People who just wanted straight up action without all of the intricate details of a sci-fi storyline. 3) People expecting a sequel to Pitch black that didn't grow or expand on the storyline or character, who couldn't switch gears.
I took this film as THIS film, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did not spend the entire movie making mental comparisons to other sci-fi or action movies or stars. Yes some of it's ideas have been used before. So what? Plumbing was an idea used by the ancient Greek and roman civilizations. Should we not use plumbing, because someone else used it before? If you spend all of the time during the movie making comparisons, then you might not give the movie the full attention it deserves.
For any who enjoy a good sci-fi action movie with a little thought behind it, and don't have some holy grail to compare it with, I would highly recommend this one.
I was surprised at the depth of the story line, almost inspiring me to go read the books (except I don't have the time :) Sure, some of the one-liners were corny, but Vin Diesels usually similar style actually fits the role of Riddick quite well.
One caveat, I went in with low expectations which may have boosted my overall impression. And while there are a few references to Pitch Black, I wouldn't call it required viewing to see this movie. They carried over a few relationships but at least gave a bit of background.
This movie is almost superb. Kind of LOTR meets Star Wars, with more humour (intentional British spelling by the way).
The direction, special effects, plot, music, screenplay, cast performance, and entertainment value are all truly fabulous! I suspect that those who went to see it had decided beforehand that it would be rubbish in the way of a self-fulfilling prophecy. That does sound a bit smug, but this film is way, way better than 6.1! It will be something of a travesty if Riddick and Pitch Black before it, are not built on with the other, previously planned, releases.
If you haven't seen it, please do so - enter uncommitted and leave smiling knowing that you spent a good $ or £ or whatever! Don H.
Reading some of the other reviews, it seems that people are fairly polarized in their opinions of this film. Like most pulp science fiction, it takes a different sort of suspension of belief from that which makes usual films work. However, the action makes it a fair bit easier, and I found it a lot more engrossing and convincing than any of the five (ridiculous but entertaining) Star Wars films, the uniformly unwatchable Star Trek stuff, or, for that matter, most blockbusting light entertainments. But that is just me. If you hate Dune, exaggerated action scenes, or (minor) plot inconsistencies, then you probably won't like this film. Otherwise, chances are good that you will.
This one is on my library list. My only regret was that I did not see it in a theatre. I hesitate to call this art, but it has been a long time since a movie has entertained me so much.
A week after watching "The Chronicles of Riddick" I also watched Solaris (2002). I am a big fan of science fiction and I also read Stanislav Lem's novel. After watching both movies I asked myself which of them is "more Sci-Fi" and which of them I liked more. I admit that from a point of view "Solaris" is a more "scientific" Sci-Fi (it even features a dialogue mentioning "subatomic particles") and also is psychologically more complex, but I really liked "The Chronicles of Riddick" more. Because watching this movie made me really feel like watching a Sci-Fi movie, while Solaris looked to me more like a psychological drama and almost not at all Sci-Fi.
Some of you could think I'm too kind and nice in judging this movie. O.K, Vin Diesel is maybe not the most expressive actor but it is kind of "cool" and is suited for playing Riddick. And maybe Jack/Kyra character is superficially built. And I'm sure there are a lot other things to be said against this movie. But what really counts is if you enjoyed watching the movie. And I did, So it's a 10 of 10 from me.
The thing that pleased me the most was that there were people of color in central key roles who were not stereotypes. The main hero was not the buff blue-eyed white man out to save humanity that we have been feed by Hollywood. And the female characters seemed to have more sense at times than the male characters. Thandie Newton's character had a much better grasp of court politics than her husband and Dame Judith's character wasn't just the stereotypical "wise mystical being", she was politically savvy as well.
The only problem I had with the film was the lack of development for Linus Roche's character. I just did not believe his actions toward the end of the film. But, that is trivial.
All in all, it was a good way to spend about an hour forty five on a Saturday evening!
Vin Diesel's character is very well explored in this movie and I guess this is the only Vin Diesel performance that I enjoyed at all. The Necromongers are a very curious and interesting "race" (they have an evil charm, something like the Borgs) and I would like to see more of them and more about Riddick's past.
And I really liked the twist at the ending. I can't wait to see the third movie of the franchise (if it ever gets released, I hope so).
Why do people insult the Chronicles of Riddick for its plot? Sure, it doesn't have the best plot in the world, but it's half decent. Besides, the Chronicles of Riddick is an action film. What kind of moron goes into an action movie, like the Chronicles of Riddick, expecting an Oscar winning performance? When I go into a movie, I don't care whether the plot is good! I watch a movie to be entertained! Why bother comparing the Chronicles of Riddick to the Manchurian Candidate (Or what have you)? Would you go into a movie for kids and say the movie is crap because the story is cliché? Of course not. So then, why are people dissing the Chronicles of Riddick for its story? Kids movies and action movies don't require plot for them to be entertaining. Drama films, mystery films and romance films all require plot, sure, but why expect an amazing drama out of a film when the trailers clearly show that the movie is going to be a sci fi film? That doesn't make any sense! This movie isn't the best of all time. Far from it. With that said, it is a good sci fi film, and one that is very enjoyable. Don't let the critics fool you. The Chronicles of Riddick is an enjoyable film, that I recommend.
Many have complained about the lack of character development. Fair enough. However, it's not needed, and if you would like, there is an entire film dedicated quite separately to the character development of Riddick - 'Pitch Black'. Still, I would contend that Riddick's character develops a fair bit during the film - for crying out loud the guy is crying at the end of the film! I had hardly imagined that possible even having seen 'Pitch Black', yet I did not question it at all by the end of Chronicles.
As to the weak plot, does Star Wars have a strong one? If you say Chronicles doesn't, then I would argue that few if any sci-fi operas, or epic fantasy films have. I actually found it quite absorbing, and felt the story was very full. Many have complained about the place names, but lets be honest, those are exactly the sorts of names our society would give! Just look at the American West if you want proof! This alone makes the universe in this movie seem more connected to ours.
Admittedly the talent is not taken full advantage of, but as this film was intended as part of a trilogy (as yet unmade), with 'Pitch Black' as a separate but connected tale (like 'the Hobbit' is to 'Lord of the Rings', according to Vin Diesel), it would be expected that more would be seen of these characters in later installments. When taken in this context, the film serves as an excellent introduction to a larger story and some of its principle players. Certainly, Star Wars IV was no better - and perhaps a damn sight worse (acting and direction were not the greatest, lets be fair).
Considering the current state of mind bogglingly unoriginal and empty fantasy and comic book films which seem to have dominated the market for the last few years, it is a breath of fresh air to find a space opera with beautiful art direction and imagery. It's also nice to find a film on such a scale that is not childish, and is wonderfully dark. No doubt this will affect its box-office takes, especially in countries such as the UK where the rating will not allow all ages entry. Still, I hope it passes the fabled sequel money boundary, and we see the other two films made. The story looks to be epic, and I very much look forward to see where its going. It is certainly less predictable than the Matrix trilogy.
"Chronicles" is set five years after the prisoner, Riddick, and survivors escaped the deadly planet in "Pitch Black". Bounty hunters tracking Riddick, bring him out of seclusion and back to civilization on Helion II. There he seeks out his old friend, Iman (Keith David). Riddick thinks that Iman had betrayed him to bounty hunters. He does so, but discovers that the young boy, Jack, with whom they escaped was really a girl, Kyra. Kyra (Alexa Davalos) has the story that Riddick abandoned her, when he had intended to protect her from harm by leaving her and Iman. Kyra in turn has become like Riddick, now a murderous inmate on a planetary penitentiary. This is a rather forced plot twist which works in this story. Having Jack be Kyra lends compassion to Riddick which is a cool character paradox. One of the endearing aspects of Diesel as Riddick is that he does not care about anyone, including himself. Kyra gives him something worth fighting for.
While on Helion Riddick, witnesses the sheer brutality and ruthlessness of the Necromongers. He also demonstrates his fearlessness and awesome warrior prowess. The battle lines are drawn, and Riddick must surrender to his destiny... or not.
Twohy's story is very kluged, though his direction has effective pace and energy. Some of the action is sharply edited in a quick cut style which makes details difficult to discern. "The Chronicles of Riddick" really relies on the powerful presence and intensity of Vin Diesel. Diesel is at his best playing bad boy, loner heroes, and muting the hero's compassion. Really, he is great at underplaying this. John Riddick is just more of an updated gangsta version of John Rambo. Diesel has a great voice, and is in awesome shape to perform the fighting sequences. Colm Feore is a formidable adversary as Lord Marshall. Judi Dench, who is great in whatever role she plays, must have been well compensated for Aereon, because she does not have much to do in this movie. The only other standout is Alexa Davalos as Kyra. She is beautiful, strong, athletic, and full of rage. Her Kyra is a great foil to Riddick; thus, serving to humanize his character.
I enjoyed "The Chronicles of Riddick" and admire the star power of Vin Diesel. "Riddick" looks to be a movie franchise. It would be great if Twohy in the sequel expands and deepens the character, instead of just amping up the action. Vin Diesel is suited for these kinds of movies (I really would not like see him in a romantic comedy); however, he might select more challenging roles and movies that capitalize on his charisma, and develop his range and power. He is already a movie star. I also think he can be a powerful actor.
I really appreciate the depth of the universe that David Twohy and the Wheat brothers create. They show us glimpses of wondrous things and people that I am dying to know more about. There is so much back-story here, that it just screams for a sequel.
Admittedly, I am a fan of Pitch Black, so I came to the theater prepared to like the movie. I had the same reaction to this movie that I had when seeing the first Star Wars movie, Dune, and the Matrix. I was totally captivated by worlds I had not seen on the screen before.
Vin Diesel is more overtly the hero in this movie than in Pitch Black. However, he still has his quiet-spoken, menacing moments that remind us that he is a killer, and is lethal when crossed.
I had not seen Alexa Davalos before, but thought she did a great job, and handled the action scenes and the drama well. Karl Urban (Eomer from LOTR) is very good as the brooding, troubled warrior. I also enjoyed Thandie Newton as the almost Shakespearean character who urges her reluctant mate to take action, and seize the destiny that she believes is rightfully his.
Sure, there were some plot holes, and some hammy acting (mostly Thandie Newton), but it was so refreshing to see an original "hero", one that wasn't a 100% pure teenage boy with magical powers. Sure, Harry Potter and Peter Parker may get tempted by evil, like all proper heroes, but audiences *know* they'll turn good again. Not so with Riddick; he lives in the dark side, making it actually surprising when he does something compassionate.
Also refreshing was a science fiction/fantasy story that didn't involve hobbits, computers, and massive swarms of CGI Agent Smith/orc armies. This movie was more like Dune, with an H.R. Giger edge. My only real complaint was that the movie was PG-13, when it should've been R, like "Pitch Black." And maybe that's why some of the violent scenes seemed choppy and confusing - to show enough to keep it PG-13. But the unrated DVD comes out in November.
Also, the ending of this movie was awesome: just really funny and cool. It left me smiling for awhile afterward.
The scenery, the ideas, the action and even the one-liners are well worth it. It's been a while that I have been to a movie where the whole audience roared of laughter - especially when it was intended by the director.
I won't bore you with the plot, other reviews have done a fine job with that. I liked the ending, too. Should have seen it coming somehow but didn't.
I give it 9 out of 10.
So when i watched Cronicles of Riddick it wasn't with the biggest hopes sat for this film. But i was gravely mistaken.
The plot, the story everything is perfect. Especially as the writers hasn't used any parts of any other sci-fi / space adventure movies like "warp speed" or stuff like that. This one has its own completely closed universe, and what a universe that is.
Okay, maybe some of the story like the "messiah" part could have been in a different way, but still its a great film to watch.
The plot is very good, and everything is explained to you. Some things like the technology is not explained but you get the idea as you go along, which makes the movie even better. Cronicles of Riddick could be the next "dune" and the reason for me comparing these two are that Dune also does not use elements seen before. Everything is brand new, as in Cronicles of Riddick. This is why the movie primarily is so great to watch.
Riddick. Well Riddick is a one man army, and a bit on the psychopathic side. He got some skills, but still he reveals feelings in this movie. The story of Riddick could be put into a lot of good movies and sequels especially if one where to make a pre-story movie that would take place before "Pitch Dark".
This one is one to watch!!
Ignore the mostly bad reviews and see for yourself- this is an adrenaline soaked amazing work. Vin Diesel is the only actor who could fully convince audiences as the supremely cocky and supernaturally gifted killer Riddick. I don't understand how far off base and patently ignorant reviewers can be. One sad case slammed Riddick because the combatants occasionally used battle axes.
OK, that convinced me.
It's a dark foreboding grimy kick in the teeth and won't disappoint action movie fans.
Go see this on the big screen. The DVD experience at home won't do the movie justice!