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Vin Diesel (XXX, The Fast and the Furious) stars in this electrifying, special-effects-fuelled action spectacular!
After years of outrunning ruthless bounty hunters, escaped convict Riddick suddenly finds himself caught between opposing forces in a fight for the future of the human race. Now, waging incredible battles on fantastic and deadly worlds, this lone, reluctant hero will emerge as humanity's champion - and the last hope for a universe on the edge of annihilation.
Powered by groundbreaking visual effects and pulse-pounding, thrill-a-minute action, The Chronicles of Riddick is "a roller coaster ride that leaves you kicking and screaming for more!" (Hollywood Hotwire)
The pleasure of The Chronicles of Riddick comes mostly from the fascinating and outlandishly detailed production design, which sprawls across the screen in nearly every shot, with the Necromongers' gigantic starships looking similar to those strange stone heads on Easter Island. Diesel is fine in a role that requires little of him...And Feore, as the soul-sucking Necromonger overlord, is equally engaging in a Darth Vader sort of way, as he orders his clanking minions to "kill them all" and other nefarious platitudes. But perhaps the most daring bit of flimflammery in this bloated-but-enjoyable production is the (perhaps unconscious) allegorical allusions to the United States' current imperialist mindset toward the globe. The Necromongers' cry of "join or die" echoes President Bush's "You're either with us or against us" foreign policy, and Riddick's bad guys, intent on forcing their own brand of "old time religion" on the rest of the universe are a clear parallel to the Bush administration's view that Iraq (and presumably the rest of the Middle East) needs democracy whether they want it or not.
With a title like The Chronicles of Riddick, one can assume that David Twohy's movie comes with lofty aspirations. Indeed, there are hints of a complex, involving story here. Unfortunately, too many of the nuances are drowned out by incessant, repetitive action, pointless running around, and computer graphics overindulgence. So, although The Chronicles of Riddick offers its share of solidly entertaining moments, it doesn't hold together as a single, coherent motion picture experience...The Chronicles of Riddick boasts a striking look. The cinematographer is different (Hugh Johnson), but he follows the approach of Pitch Black by employing various color filters to indicate mood swings and lighting changes from planet to planet...The Chronicles of Riddick proves how valuable a commodity Vin Diesel can be when he is used properly. Recently, with duds like A Man Apart, Diesel has been losing both popularity and credibility as an action star. But, once again playing Riddick, he has returned to top form - the charismatic anti-hero who can growl one-liners (most of which are expectedly cheesy), snap bad guys in two, out-grunt his opponents, and accidentally save a civilization or two. Diesel understands this character, and, despite the lapse of four years, he hasn't missed a beat.
Riddick, played by Vin Diesel, is a character we first encountered in "Pitch Black," the 2000 film by the same director, David Twohy. Although a few other characters repeat from that film, notably Abu "Imam" al-Walid (Keith David), there's no real connection between them, apart from Riddick's knack of finding himself on absurdly inhospitable planets. Here he fights for life on Crematoria, a planet whose blazing sun rockets over the horizon every 15 minutes or so and bakes everything beneath it. That you can shield yourself from it behind rocks is helpful, although it begs the question of why, since the atmosphere is breathable, the air is not super-heated..."The Chronicles of Riddick" is above all an exercise in computer-generated effects, and indeed the project represents the direction action movies are taking, as its human actors (or their digital clones) are inserted into manifestly artificial scenes that look like frames from the darkest of superhero comic books. The jolly reds, yellows and blues of the classic Superman and Spider-Man have been replaced in these grim days with black and gunmetal gray...Vin Diesel was born to play a character like Riddick, and he growls and scowls impressively. I like Diesel as an actor and trust he was born to play other, better, characters, in movies that make sense. None of the other actors do anything we couldn't do if we looked like them.
DVD, Unrated, Dolby, Digital Audio, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, Spanish
Devin Gordon, NewsWeek
Twohy knows how to shoot tense, bare-knuckle action, and his towering, gunmetal gray world is a fun sandbox to play in for two hours.
...a roller coaster ride that leaves you kicking and screaming for more!
...spectacular costumes (by Ellen Mirojnick and Michael Dennison) and production design (by Holger Gross).
Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
...fascinating and outlandishly detailed production design, which sprawls across the screen in nearly every shot...
A fantastic mix of visual effects and live action shots.