Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Chronicles of Riddick (15)
Directed by: David Twohy
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

Set five years after the cult success Pitch Black, Chronicles sees Vin Diesel reprise his role as the murderous anti-hero Riddick. The film opens with Riddick being chased by a group of bounty hunters across an icy planet, where he has been hiding for some time. The reason for his hermit-like behaviour is explained later in the film, when he meets up with a girl called Jack, one of the few survivors from Pitch Black.

Confused by the confetti, Riddick lashed out at his cousin's wedding
Confused by the confetti, Riddick lashed out at his cousin's wedding

Rather than being stuck on a dark planet with monsters hunting him, this time Riddick has to contend with a Borg-style race called the Necromongers, whose goal is to take over the galaxy (what else?) by killing or assimilating everyone. Riddick tries not to get drawn into this religious struggle, but is forced to when the leader of the Necromongers discovers that Riddick might be one of the last remaining members of the Furian race, and that he should be killed (no assimilation for him).

At this point, you’re probably thinking "Necromongers? Furians? Riddicks? Assimilation? This sounds a bit geeky to me". Well, you’re right, it does sound like a nerdy concept, but thankfully the film is a good piece of action-oriented science fiction and manages to be enjoyable rather than a history lesson about some imagined universe.

David Twohy stays on as writer and director for this film, so the settings and the characters have the same feel as Pitch Black, but everything is bigger and better this time. The special effects are very good indeed, which is quite a contrast from the low budget effects in Pitch Black. Also, the fight scenes are excellently choreographed, even though the makers have avoided using Eastern martial arts as is so popular in Hollywood recently.

Vin Diesel is certainly not the best actor in the world, but if there’s a film he could be good in, this is it. He’s really made the role his own, and is very watchable and charismatic here.

Unfortunately, it’s not all plus points. There are several lines in this film that are supposed to sound cool, but just come out as clichéd, tacky and cheesy. In fact, several parts of this film are tacky, but somehow it all seems to work, and as the action is non-stop, it just doesn’t seem to matter.

Overall, this is a fun film and it’s good to see a new sci-fi franchise instead of tired prequels and sequels to Star Trek, Star Wars and other series beginning with "Star".

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Length: 115 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 27th August 2004

Top Five Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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