The Chronicles of Riddick
Film: The Chronicles of Riddick
Director: David Twohy
Writer: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Judi Dench and Colm Feore
This film begins with a woman narrating, who is played by Judi Dench. She informs us of this race of people that are partly dead. They are called the Necromongers. Their leader is played by Colm Feore. He moves from planet to planet, taking over, converting all of those are willing and then moving on.
We then shift to a man fleeing from a ship full of mercenaries. The man who is fleeing is Vin Diesel. The head of the mercenaries is played by Nick Chinlund. They chase him to a cave as they are unable to capture him in a net. Inside this cave, Diesel has the advantage. He isolates Chinlund and then asks him about the bounty on him. It appears to be up to 1.5 million and he learns that the person who put this bounty out was the only one who knew where he was. Diesel steals Chinlund’s spaceship and flies to confront this man.
This person is from the previous film, played by Keith David. David takes Diesel to meet the others in a secret group who are trying to save not only their planet of Helios Prime and New Mecca, but all remaining worlds. Dench is a member of this group; she is an elemental who has the ability to figure out the odds of situations around her. As they are talking, the Necromongers show up. There is a comet that precedes their arrival, which actually are their ships. Diesel learns that the young girl who posed as a boy from the previous film, Pitch Black, is still alive, but she has been taken to prison on a desert planet of Crematoria.
The Necromongers then attack and we see that their numbers are too great, as well as their weaponry. Diesel is captured and brought before the Lord Marshall Feore. He has gone to the Underverse, which seems to be hell and has learned the true ways. He moves very fast and his soul actually leaves his body when he moves. This allows him to be invulnerable until his body catches up. He also has the ability to pull souls from people’s bodies. Among his people is his best general, played by Karl Urban. Urban’s wife is played by Thandie Newton. He also has a man known as the Purifier, played by Linus Roache.
Feore watches as Diesel kills one of his best warriors and then decides that he wants him to join his forces. He is willing to force him on to his personal ship to convert him, but Newton uses her beauty to get him to come willingly. While there, they try to brainwash him, but it is revealed that he is a Furyan. There is a myth that a furyan would kill Feore as they are the fiercest warriors in the universe. They were supposed to be wiped out though. Diesel then escapes from the ship.
As he does, he is saved by someone with a rocket launcher. It takes out the ship that is pursuing him. It turns out that Chinlund got off the ice planet and has captured Diesel with a new crew. One member of this new crew is played by Christina Cox. It is decided, with a savvy trick played by Diesel, to take him to Crematoria.
Chinlund takes him there and tries to work a deal with the leader of the prison. He is getting well under the value for Diesel due to how dangerous he is, how many prisons he has escaped from and how risky it is to have him, so they decide to stay while the leader reruns the numbers. Diesel is held with his hands handcuffed to a wire and his feet off the ground. He gets free and finds Jack, the woman he saved when she was younger. She is played by Alexa Davalos. She isn’t happy to see him and they fight.
Urban is tasked with finding Diesel. He doesn’t want to do it, but Newton convinces him that it is the best for him going forward. It gets Urban in better standing with Feore, makes him the heir and allows him the opportunity to kill him as their society allows you to keep whatever you kill instead of punishment.
Can Diesel get himself and Davalos out of this prison and off this planet where it is 300 degrees below zero in the shade and 1000 over in the sunlight? Can he get away from the Necromongers or will he decide to fight them save the remaining free planets? Can Feore be killed?
I first saw this film when it came out in theaters and I really liked it. I had never seen the prequel, Pitch Black, all the way through. The good thing about this film is that you really don’t need to watch the original to enjoy this one, because I saw them out of order. My favorite part about this film was the Necromongers. I love that this group goes from planet to planet, conquering and converting. I like the idea also that you keep what you kill, so it actually encourages their followers who are stronger to take whatever they want. They pretty much ‘kill’ and brainwash their soldiers, so they have an endless supply. I also love that Feore has been to their hell, seen and learned so it makes it a much scarier leader in the changes it made. I thought the acting was good across the board. The concept and story are solid as well.
The only thing that really brought this film down to me was that it is an action film. Don’t get me wrong, those sequences look great, but some of them are unrealistic which you have with a lot of films from this genre. I thought the idea of Crematoria is good and it would make for a great prison, but the problem I had is that the temperature in the shade would be unbearable for the people as well. There is no way they could go outside like the film states. I also feel like the film was a little bit boring for a stretch. Not enough to completely ruin the film, but I was waiting for something to happen. Now I didn’t want it to be action across the board, but not enough of the story is driven during it which hurt the film.
I am adding this film to the horror film research due to the fact that we have a race of half-dead warriors that are conquering the world. This to me is a horror film element and this could be almost considered a space slasher film. Riddick could be considered in this respect to be one of the best on screen killers and his body count is impressive.
Now I would recommend this film if you like action or liked Pitch Black. This film continues the myth of Riddick. Diesel is great at the portrayal of this character. The acting, concept and story of this film are all solid. The action sequences are good as well. This film does have a lull that I wasn’t a fan of and felt it hurt the film. This is a good sequel and I also viewed this as kind of a sci-fi horror film. If this sounds good, then I would tell you to give it a chance. This one can also be viewed by itself and watching the prequel is not required.
My Rating: 6 out of 10