The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
The Chronicles of Riddick looks better with each subsequent trailer release. The first teaser was interesting, but failed to capture any sort of epic feel. Follow-up trailers have however been all of that, big, epic, and deliciously Denchtastic.
Riddick is sort of a sequel to Pitch Black, the story of a crashed prison barge on a dangerous planet of man-eating buggers who have an aversion to light. On the ship is a condemned criminal named Riddick, of undetermined species, but with the useful ability to see really well in the absence of light. People die, but Riddick escapes, leading us to this pseudo-sequel picking up Riddickís tale years after he survives the first film.
What Chronicles of Riddick looks to offer is what the advertisements for Starship Troopers promised all those years ago and didnít even come close to delivering on: Epic, adult, world spanning space adventure. It hopes to deliver hardcore Science-Fiction that for once, if weíre lucky, wonít involve obligatory time travel. But beyond sharing a main character, it holds little in common with the first film, which while entertaining sci-fi, was hardly a galaxy trotting adventure. The main character may be the same, but expect just about everything else to be totally different.
What I hope to find is an R-rated Star Wars, Dune if someone had ever managed to make a decent adaptation out of Frank Herbertís original masterworks (which they havenít). For me, this is a chance to see someone properly revitalize epic sci-fi which has so recently been badly overshadowed by the fantasy revolution sparked by Peter Jacksonís Lord of the Rings. For Riddickís bald-headed anti-hero Vin Diesel, itís a chance to breathe a little more life into a somewhat lagging career that once held nearly unlimited promise.
Maybe thatís a bit much to expect of such a CGI-centric film, which no doubt will suffer all the same problems that most CGI-driven films do: It doesnít look very real. CGI sucks and thereís no getting around it. Name a film which has gotten CGI right and I bet it will be Lord of the Rings. Riddick wonít reach those levels, that much is clear from the trailer. Like the recent Star Wars movies it appears to be almost wholly reliant on fat guys eating chips and swilling coke in front of a computer to create its more visual thrills. Thatís fine in moderation, but Chronicles of Riddick is a summer blockbuster and as such cannot afford moderation.
MPAA Rating: [ R ]
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Release Date: June 9, 2004
Starring: Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Colm Feore, Alexa Davalos, Karl Urban, Linus Roache, Nick Chinlund
Directed by: David Twohy
Produced by: Vin Diesel, Scott Kroopf
Written by: David Twohy
if you're excited for The Chronicles of Riddick