MOVIE REVIEW: “The Chronicles of Riddick” star Vin Diesel (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Fast and the Furious), Colm Feore (Chicago, Thor), Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II, Crash), Judie Dench (Skyfall, Notes on a Scandal), Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), Alexa Davalos (The Mist , Defiance), Linus Roache (Batman Begins, Non-Stop), Yorick van Wagenigen (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , The Way), Nick Chinlund (Training Day, Tears of the Sun), and Keith David (The Princess and the Frog, They Live). It was written and directed by David Twohy (The Arrival, Below). Wanted criminal Riddick (Diesel) finds himself in a fight for the universe when a warrior priest named Lord Marshal (Feore) arrives to destroy planets in hopes of gaining followers.
Vin Diesel flicks: if it isn’t “Guardians of the Galaxy,” you won’t find anything extraordinary about them. Granted, I enjoy Diesel as an actor. He’s made some entertaining movies that I have had fun watching, like “The Fast and the Furious” and “The Pacifier.” He seems like a nice guy, it’s just a shame that most of his intense pieces, like “The Chronicles of Riddick,” fall short of anything spectacular. Then again, did I expect much? After seeing his first venture as the character of Riddick in “Pitch Black,” I didn’t think the follow-up would be anything spectacular; what I was really looking for was some action-packed, mindless entertainment. For the most part, that’s what I got. The stakes are raised ever so high in this adventure as Riddick is tasked with saving the whole world from falling at the hands of a psychotic, ghost-like tyrant (similar to an “Avengers: Infinity War” situation, but this one has a weaker villain than Thanos). He travels to many worlds in his quest, and CGI is used rather heavily to paint the many landscapes that are shown on-screen. Being how this was made in 2004, I tried to give it some leniency in my analyzation. However, it’s hard to ignore the gluttonous amounts of poor computer animation reminiscent of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequels; some of it was fine (and made for awesome moments), but for the most part I was cringing in its blockiness. If there’s anything to be learned from this flick, it’s that you don’t cross Vin Diesel. The story gives Riddick overwhelming power that hardly ever sees him struggle or lose. What you pay for in seeing this piece of cinema is him scaling mountains and killing people in cool fashion. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy any of this. Overall, the story is entertaining if anything. I loved how it explored several planets and gave time to develop in each one of them, regardless of how the plot solely rested on Riddick’s shoulders. They even tied this into “Pitch Black” well, bringing back characters that were in that movie and giving them closure. I wouldn’t say that “The Chronicles of Riddick” didn’t deserve to be made. This character can go on several adventures to keep fans and moviegoers satisfied; I just think that this movie could’ve been better. The villains are rather lackluster, as there are around four of them that are pulling for time in the spotlight. I’m sure the writers did all they could to balance them out, but by the end none of them were that fleshed out for me to really care, as for the rest of the characters in this flick. You could say Riddick was, but he cares about no one. All he wants to be is left alone, and when he throws himself into this action without being harmed, how should I feel? At least he looked cool while doing it, I guess. On top of the characters, there were quite a bit of moments of lunacy; parts where you would shake your head at how silly they are, both writing and visual effects taken into account. You can tell the stupid moments are written so we can get a good action sequence out of it, but that shouldn’t excuse it. In the end, if you enjoyed “Pitch Black,” you’ll enjoy this just as much. I don’t think it’s better than it’s predecessor by any means, but it still provides some solid action that should keep you satisfied in that regard. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time. FINAL SCORE: 72%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: