Newest Review: ... to Riddick who is a convicted murderer and is stranded on a planet with people who are holding him prisoner for a reward. However, that... more
The Chronicles of Riddick...There must be more to him than this
The Chronicles of Riddick (DVD)
Member Name: jonnyfun06
The Chronicles of Riddick (DVD)
Advantages: Action All the way...a Thrill Ride
Disadvantages: Thats all there really is to this film
Riddick was the gravel voiced antihero of Pitch Black, an effective sci-fi horror that became the surprise hit of 1999. 5 years on, Universal saw a potential franchise on their books, and a sequel was commissioned.
Five years have passed since the events of Pitch Black and Riddick is living in self-imposed exile on the dark planet of UV6. A massive bounty has tempted bounty hunter Toombs to track him down, much to his eventual regret, as it isn't long before Riddick is taking his newly acquired Skiff to track down who wants him that badly. The trail leads to Helion Prime, and a familiar face.
Imam has made his home on Helion, and it is he who arranged for the price on Riddick's head.
The universe is facing the deadly scourge of the Necromongers, a race of warriors who deal in death, searching for their prophesied Underverse. The choice is simple, convert or die, and when their Conquest Icons have the power to destroy whole worlds, the decision become a simple one. Another prophecy tells of the extinct race of the Furyans, and when Imam told the elemental, Aereon, of Riddick, she realised that Riddick, as the last surviving Furyan may be the only one with the power to defeat the Necromongers.
Riddick isn't convinced though and he's about to leave when Imam reminds him of Jack. After Riddick left, Jack felt abandoned and went searching for him, in the process she was captured and sent to the high security Slam, Crematoria. Before the guilt trip has a chance to take effect, the Necromongers arrive in strength, overwhelming Helion. Riddick will have no choice but to fight back.
The 2.40:1 anamorphic image is crystal clear, and reproduces the colours with stunning vibrancy. With recent films like this, it becomes exceedingly difficult to find fault, and perhaps the only really jarring moments were that of some ill judged CGI, and an occasional poor choice by the director. A case in point being a strobe lit action sequence that was decidedly indistinct.
The design of Chronicles Of Riddick is certainly special, from the worlds to the technology and the costumes. I loved the planets in this film, from the sheer alien-ness of UV6 to the fiery if implausible hell of Crematoria. Through tints and shades, each world takes on a character of its own, and each is as unearthly as you can imagine.
The Necromongers take the best of fantasy in their design. Chainmail and armour from the middle ages informs their costumes, and the look of their ships and technology also looks backwards instead of forwards. The towering totems that are their Conquest Icons is perhaps the most obvious example of this, but set in the fantastical world of Riddick it seems to work.
There is only a DD 5.1 English track on this disc, but it is a powerful one that makes plenty of use of the surrounds to convey the oodles of action in The Chronicles Of Riddick. From hand to hand combat to whooshing spaceships and deafening explosions, this is a film that thrives on action and the sound is more than acceptable in that respect. The music is unmemorable but drives the story and action well.
Inserting the disc, you get to choose between two menu schemes depending on whether you wish to Convert or Fight. Both present the same options.
The Virtual Guide To The Chronicles Of Riddick is a little video glossary that has character voice-overs explaining the meaning and background to several of the terms, worlds and characters in the film. Each of the items is presented in the form of a hologram with images from the films and artwork.
Toombs Chase Logs lasts 10 minutes and it consists of a series of graphics and a roughly digitised image of Toombs, with the characters voice-over explaining his hunt for Riddick up to the point where he found him on UV6.
Riddick Insider is a subtitle trivia track. As you watch the film, various snippets of information are provided regarding the production as well as the background of the characters and the story.
Visual Effects Revealed is a 6-minute featurette that gives a glimpse at the greenscreen work and the CGI used in the film.
Riddick's Worlds, begins with a 3-minute tour of the otherworld sets as presented by Vin Diesel. There are also 8 of those nifty 360° photographs that let you explore 8 of the sets from the film with your remote control.
There are trailers for Pitch Black, Dark Fury, Van Helsing, The Bourne Supremacy and Billy Elliot: The Musical.
The Chronicles Of Riddick is fun but little more than that. If mindless entertainment is what you desire, then this film will give you plenty of nail biting action, beautiful visuals and adventure. It fulfils the blockbuster requirement quite happily, and doesn't achieve anything more than being the generic thrill ride it is.
Unfortunately it has pretensions for much more. The script, the story and the characters attempt to paint a picture that is intricate and detailed on a vast canvas. The Chronicles Of Riddick attempts to occupy the same sort of ground as Star Wars and The Matrix. These are all films and franchises that have lush back-stories, they are richly drawn and each of the characters and situations has a presence that extend beyond the screen. Riddick fails to emulate this. Watching this film, you get the feeling that the story and characters exist for this film only, and it's stretched tenuously thin at that.
Riddick is one of the few iconic characters to have come out of cinema in recent years, and Vin Diesel certainly makes the best of him despite the thin script. Indeed he is perhaps one of the few memorable things about this film. It's just a shame that the story doesn't live up to the character.
The rest of the cast is quite frankly wasted, especially Judi Dench as the elemental Aereon brought to vivid CGI life. Her character is there primarily as an ecplanation device, but as the explanation is so poor, her absence wouldn't have registered. Poor Karl Urban was not given much in this film, and Thandie Newton continues a career of insipidness with another forgettable performance as Dame Vaako.
Despite an interesting premise, reminiscent of the Hades myth, The Chronicles Of Riddick fails to register beyond any level but the immediate. Almost two hours of eye-candy and action will certainly entertain, but make as much impression as a damp sponge on concrete. This disc boasts impressive visuals and sound. if you want to put your brain in neutral and just coast along looking at the pretty pictures, this film will suffice.
Summary: If you lick Riddick then watch Pitch Black