Chronicles of Riddick is entertaining in that leave-logic-behind kind of sense — a sort of style-above-substance approach that’s heavily (and perhaps detrimentally) prevalent in the action genre. Things explode, people are killed, and the hero — or Riddick (Vin Diesel) as the lesser of two evils — gets to punctuate the end of scenes with a pointed one-liner that sums it all up. One might say the experience is entertaining. Someone else might say, This movie is Riddickulous.
Following the events of 2000’s Pitch Black in which space criminal Richard B. Riddick saves a group of stranded people lost on a hostile alien planet, he somehow becomes involved in an intergalactic struggle between the Necromongers, a race of imperialistic religious zealots, and the rest of the universe. A prophecy holds that a Furyan will bring balance, and Star Wars influences aside, CoR becomes a movie that’s a little bit of a lot of things without bringing too much of its own to the table.
Diesel holds his own as a capable action hero, and CoR as his pet project doesn’t lack in passion. The movie feels like it could have been a modern epic with the many location changes, the grandiose costumes, and the ensemble of solid actors filling out the various supporting roles. It’s interesting that Riddick, semi-blind, can see in the dark — his vision works by catching the light cast off of subjects. It gives him more dimension, but the story could have used a steadier pace and heavier steps to compensate for the meager Necromonger backstory and carrot-on-a-stick character motivations.
Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Directed by: David Twohy
Written by: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Colm Feore
Rating: 2.5 / 5