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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.61%
Worth A Look: 22.54%
Just Average28.87%
Pretty Crappy: 18.31%
Sucks: 12.68%

7 reviews, 100 user ratings

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Chronicles of Riddick, The
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by billypilgrimnz

"Passable would-be space opera with decent action scenes"
3 stars

A film with too much on its mind and not enough moxy to communicate it, this is a lumpy ride equally exciting and infuriating.

This is a quasi-sequel to PITCH BLACK, the blatant ALIENS rip-off that had the sense to be quick, hard and brutal (transforming Ripley trying to regain her motherhood into a freaky-eyed sociopath with a lion’s growl voice), and thus mark out a slight niche of its own in the gallery of copycats. Even though there is an extended stay in a prison, this is no claustrophobic, metaphoric ALIEN 3 clone – instead, bizarrely, director David Twohy appears to be trying to make a STAR WARS prequel, or something, mixed with THE GODFATHER. Or, I stress, something.

That it’s better than either STAR WARS prequel is neither here nor there; it’s like saying visiting Siberia is convenient because it’s closer to home than Mars. However, it doesn’t ever really break out as a successful film in its own right, as it is belabored with its own self-importance, a strange occurrence in a film that is a follow-up to a film where people get eaten by moody bats. It’s too cartoony for a start, which doesn’t mesh well with Twohy’s grand vision; we are treated to screeds and screeds of software code, which means it’s hard to take seriously actors stomping around like Al Pacino, with a computer game playing in the background. Maybe it would be trenchant performance art, but here it just comes across as faintly silly.

It doesn’t help that the plot whips around like a bull chasing a little red flag before collapsing in exhaustion at the end; not only are the actors faintly silly, we are not even allowed to understand the reasons why they are there being faintly silly at any given point in time. Dame Judy Dench literally breezes in to act basically as Mrs. Exposition, but it doesn’t really help to have someone who won an Oscar for eight minutes work (how, by the way?) talking about Farillions and Underverses; it comes across as a bad Saturday Night Live skit, more than anything. So let me be Mr. Exposition, seeing as I’m not a Dame or anything: picking up five years after the original, we move from Riddick being chased by bounty hunters on an ice planet, quickly hops to an industrial planet of sorts where an army of galactic warriors with a penchant for wiping out entire civilizations (called – clever, this - Necromongers), moves from there to a prison planet with a fiery hot sun…….you know what, being Mr. Exposition sucks. I’m sure there’s some Dungeons and Dragons guy who could do this better than me, with names and everything.

Basically, Riddick (the gruff – no way! – Vin Diesel, fitting the role like velvet glove) is the only guy who can stop these Necromongers, because a psychic once prophesized that……

Sorry, dozed off there for a second. What ultimately lets the movie down is that there is no genuine sense of fun, no little-kid wonder at everything that’s going on; it’s a po-faced, middle-aged geek’s idea of a sci-fi movie. You’ve got the arse-kicking, don’t give a fuck woman sidekick; the slutty, devious, sexy Lady Macbeth type; all mixed up with people burning to death and the like. But there is no simple playground fun to it; we are supposed to take all this seriously, and it’s damn impossible to do. Say what you like about George Lucas, but back when he did the Original Trilogy, he still had a child inside him that counterbalanced his over inflated estimation of his own importance. This produced a film that traded in the same broad, “important” ideas as RIDDICK does, but was crammed with pointless wonders and a true lightheartedness that comes mainly from the unsophisticated acting and writing. In RIDDICK, the one-liners are forced and calculated; they stand out as simply screenplay constructs to manufacture “personality” rather than organic products of the narrative.

Twohy is better off taking the Jonathon Mostow route, helming straight-ahead actioners shot with clarity and a nice, solid craftsmanship. He can certainly direct an action sequence – the run from the prison to the airport hangar is in actuality a propulsive, coherent and most importantly, genuinely exciting piece of work. And, in fact, the film is not a total loss at all; when it’s not sticking to the plot, it actually has some sequences and moments that stick in the memory (for example, the strange creatures that act as heat-sensors for the Necromongers are quite eerie, and I would have been nice to see more of them, and the last walk of one of the Necromongers into the sunlight is kinda cool, in a morbid way). These things drag your attention back from the fog of proper nouns and keep the film watchable most of the time. But it really can’t stand up to the weight of the directors intentions.

All in all, Twohy has talent, but needs to recognise the limits of it. TERMINATOR 4?

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10007&reviewer=397
originally posted: 02/01/05 03:31:01
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User Comments

6/07/09 Vince Some of the worst camerawork ever recorded 1 stars
5/03/09 Heap Saw the Directors Cut, and it was better than expected 4 stars
10/06/08 Will it's CONAN IN SPACE 5 stars
4/03/08 nickoree dickoree muffled dialogue, strobe seizures; good action and music; nice effects, setting almost cool 4 stars
3/20/08 Gazza Will be a bigger cult classic than Blade Runner!! 5 stars
12/14/07 Jason Good movie, if a little cliched. Great on PSP. 4 stars
11/17/07 tammie I loved the imagery involved, script was sucky. 4 stars
6/11/07 al smith very underated take it for what it is a kick ass sci fi movie 5 stars
4/24/07 Indrid Cold Riddick is a cool enough character to keep things watchable, but ultimately it's just dumb. 3 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK Watch it again? I'd rather lick my own arse if you don't mind. 1 stars
9/21/06 ProSneakyD A few mistakes, could do better but come on its awesome & no it is not rubbish. 4 stars
6/11/06 Dan loved it 5 stars
6/08/06 William Goss Slick-looking but self-important space opera, yet I will give props to Diesel for Riddick 3 stars
6/02/06 Cammy Saw it, liked it. Recommended it to others who also liked it (but didn't think they would) 5 stars
5/06/06 Barbara Loved it. Watched it several times and will again. 5 stars
4/13/06 Gar Exciting and visually stunning good chars 5 stars
3/02/06 Tanya I am a fan of vin but this is not as good as the first part 4 stars
12/08/05 JM Synth The opposite of everything good about PB. Seems to be aimed at fanboys, ala Matrix 2/3 1 stars
10/27/05 Jonathon Holmes FUCKING ROCKS...for a fucking idiot 1 stars
10/10/05 Tom Burns Very cool movie. I loved the action scenes it. 5 stars
8/23/05 Sylvanthunder A good anough Movie 4 stars
8/12/05 ES it's about a war, no a prison break, no an bald guy= the chronicles of idiot 1 stars
5/07/05 Lucky I loved it. 5 stars
4/25/05 Pippin007 It is soooo boring!!! 2 stars
4/24/05 Dan FUCKING ROCKS 5 stars
4/23/05 Quigley this film is atrocious! it is a gilded cat turd with a sign saying "please buy me." sick. 1 stars
4/20/05 DJ Great ass friggin movie! 5 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Has some great moments but I expected more. 3 stars
2/09/05 Kelly Greenwood I didn't care for it 3 stars
2/03/05 Dan AWESOME! 5 stars
2/03/05 ss Good movie 4 stars
2/02/05 Clifford C Gardner It has its moments 3 stars
2/01/05 Philip Taylor it rocks 5 stars
2/01/05 Joe Kolarz The original is better and Vin Diesel could have been meaner in it. 3 stars
2/01/05 lisa w In the beginning it showed promise, at the & I thought that was it. It was missing somethin 2 stars
2/01/05 Alice Colwell Well, at least my 10 year old son liked it ;) 3 stars
1/24/05 M Awesome! If only it was given a fair chance, You go VIN! 5 stars
1/19/05 American Slasher Goddess Dull and boring mess 1 stars
1/14/05 Devin Knox so awfuly gay 1 stars
12/24/04 Freddy weird movie but great effects! 4 stars
12/23/04 Cool Leather Jacket I did not planned on liking it after reading the reviews 5 stars
12/16/04 tatum Plays like an overbudgeted SciFi Channel Original movie 2 stars
12/12/04 Sweetgrrl1972 What the fuck was that? They took the Pitch Black universe and crapped on it. 1 stars
12/10/04 Vince After Pitch Black, this comes as a disapointment 3 stars
11/27/04 Matt F. not overwhelming but still pretty good 4 stars
11/26/04 A Scott Good movie. Lots of action. 4 stars
11/22/04 Caiphn Entertaining, not as bad as everyone says. 3 stars
11/21/04 ad long and boring, just went for sake of sci fi 2 stars
11/17/04 Max Sexy, sweaty, action packed!! 5 stars
11/08/04 Da Brother Good but 2 computer generated 4 stars
11/05/04 brad black this was an awesome movie, couple of mistakes but all movies have those. really good plot. 5 stars
8/02/04 P.Rodriguez SHould've been called, 'The Chronicles of Snoring' 1 stars
7/31/04 Alex Dankmyer if you look deeper into the movie you'll find a jewle 5 stars
7/30/04 Natalie Stonecipher What is JudiDench doin in VinDiesel's worst movie? She shoulda just vanished from the start 1 stars
7/30/04 Candace Troy Powers Needs a sequel, to be released for Christmas: THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK--YULE 1 stars
7/25/04 Diesel. Thats d stuff! 5 stars
7/25/04 Pure RAGE... it was crap cuz' they edited out 1hour & 50 mins of the original film ofr a PG-13 Rating! 4 stars
7/23/04 Sandy Turynowicz Very interesting 5 stars
7/23/04 alien assassin I've seen worse films than this 4 stars
7/20/04 arctic Impressive start to Riddick universe & myth (I hope there is more) 4 stars
7/19/04 N. Christopher Bell Not the best sci-fi flick, but It sure as hell beats STAR WARS: Episode Who Gives A Shit!!! 4 stars
7/18/04 malcolm everything to love and hate about summer popcorn action movies 3 stars
7/17/04 legend Moremoney, better cast but a better film than Pitch Black? No! No script. 2 stars
7/14/04 Haggis Had good things..worth Watching 4 stars
7/13/04 Rej its not crap, but had i known, id have waited patiently to see it on TV 3 stars
7/13/04 Alfred Guy Action packed, but lacks the edge that made Pitch Black great. 3 stars
7/10/04 ANDREW GIVENS great movie worth spending money on 4 stars
7/09/04 Saigo ABORT! ABORT! Massively dissapointing 1 stars
7/09/04 danny.w.yates best action moive 5 stars
7/09/04 Diesel Relax. Give it a chance! 5 stars
7/08/04 The Grinch A good turn at an original Sci-Fi Actioneer...whaddaya want, MORE comix movies!? 4 stars
7/04/04 nick2k i hate this fucking movie...how many incomplete plotlines can you fit into a movie?!! 1 stars
6/29/04 spinz this movie was so average it hurts :( 3 stars
6/24/04 John middle was boring but average movie overall. 3 stars
6/19/04 Homer Sehekual Not worthy of being a sequel to the decent "Pitch Black" 2 stars
6/19/04 Spiderfan50 Seamy effects, bad acting, and a story that would make Kickboxing Academy look great. 1 stars
6/18/04 tehman i had a sezior from all the strobe effects 2 stars
6/18/04 Emily loved it 5 stars
6/18/04 vagile I wanted to like it. II really did.. 1 stars
6/18/04 M VIN!!!!!!!! yummmmmm 5 stars
6/17/04 maxomai Good campy sci-fi. I'd love to see this as a trilogy. 4 stars
6/17/04 samantha lovelace biased - am an action flick/fantasy/fightfest/sci-fi-geek/vin-fan 5 stars
6/17/04 rameh This movie was actually fun to watch. I mean it wasnt that original but it was entertaining 4 stars
6/17/04 Unanon Go with low expectations and be satisfied. Not too terrible overall. 4 stars
6/16/04 Codeine519 I actually liked it. Not Oscar material, but then, how many action scifi movies are? 4 stars
6/16/04 Paul Some parts were bad ass. Some were not. Pretty good overall. 4 stars
6/14/04 whatevr do yourself a favor... 2 stars
6/13/04 max zhang If you keep what you kill, someone kill this movie and keep it from the rest of us. 3 stars
6/13/04 asdf The action was a little too fast, but still a fun movie. 4 stars
6/13/04 othree ok sci fi fix, Diesel played up to his role, photography work wasn't great, liked the end 4 stars
6/13/04 Vicious More fun than the reviewer here say, but yeah it was over edited and at times unclear. 4 stars
6/13/04 sue You can see where they edited for either rating or time and I am looking forward to that re 4 stars
6/12/04 Wyatt Earp Good movie 4 stars
6/12/04 Wolf Satisfied my expectations, for the most part. 4 stars
6/12/04 Nikolai Satiated my eye-candy addiction for a month. World needs more bouncers like Vint Petrol 4 stars
6/12/04 jestyr go in expecting a decent action flick and you wont be disapointed. 4 stars
6/12/04 djacosta I was sleeping during boring shit 1 stars
6/11/04 Bobby da Squid Muddled & confusing; reasonably interesting visuals; not completely unfun 3 stars
6/11/04 LusT4DetH Lots of Word Points for "Riddick-U-Less" 3 stars
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  11-Jun-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 16-Nov-2004



Directed by
  David Twohy

Written by
  David Twohy

  Vin Diesel
  Thandie Newton
  Karl Urban
  Colm Feore
  Keith David
  Judi Dench

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