Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

Vacuum Energy rating: no stars
Background information about "The Chronicles of Riddick" is available at The Internet Movie Database

"The Cronicles of Riddick" is the sequel to the 2000 film "Pitch Black". Our hero this time around is the interstellar fugitive/Nietzchean superman Richard B. Riddick, who is presumably the last survivor of the race of Furians. The Furians are presumably so named and feared throughout the universe because of their excessive fury. The movie doesn't get any better than this.

As we find out later in the film, Riddick always has a price on his head which drives people to capture or kill him. On the other hand, this comes in handy since the idiot bounty hunters that come after him invariably supply him with free transportation to someplace important that Riddick can escape to. Riddick thus quickly commandeers a mercenary spacecraft to escape his five year sojourn on a godforsaken ice planet, before setting out to discover who has offered the latest price on his head. Within minutes of screen time, Riddick has tracked the source of the bounty to the Imam from "Pitch Black" and a mysterious Air Elemental, who used Riddick's inevitable pissed off fury at being hunted to lure him to their planet to save it from the evil planet-killing Necromongers. And when Riddick decides that maybe he doesn't want to save to universe, the wily Imam trots out his wife and young daughter to win the hardened loney criminal over to the side of goodness with a charm offensive.

If you're Janet Reno or Rosie O'Donnell, I'm sure that you will be galvanized into implacable, remorseless opposition to the Necromongers at this point. For the rest of us, once you've escaped from the fetal-positioned cringe that a new instance of the "little girl in trouble" cliche has inflicted upon you, you can rest assured that at least the Imam's daughter does not travel with Riddick for the rest of movie.

But, the tricky Imam has also lured Riddick to the planet just in time for the Necromonger attack. As expected, the Necromongers use overwhelming force and a complete disregard for their own lives to swiftly overpower the planetary defenses. The remaining humans (with the exception of the Imam's wife and daughter, whose charm offensive on the audience has only begun) are corralled up and relentlessly propagandized for a whole minute before the Necromonger Lord Marshall decides an object lesson is required. The Lord Marshall, who has become superhumanly enhanced as well as half-dead by a trip to the dread Underverse, thus proceeds to rip out some poor loser's soul and dangle it front of his face before he dies. Again, I'm convinced that the Rosie O'Donnell types out there would be horrified at this unthinkable brutality, but watching a man get his soul ripped out and shoved in his face didn't seem to impress anybody very much.

Certainly Riddick is not impressed, and in the two seconds it takes for him to kill one of the guards, he learns about the Necromonger motto of "you keep what you kill". Riddick does his best work when he gets captured, so after letting one of the Lord Marshall's buxom female courtesans (who says being half-dead, half-alive makes you a stiff?) guide him into being captured and mind probed inside the Necromonger mothership, Riddick quickly finds out that he is the last remaining Furian, and thus destined to be the only person who can actually kill the Lord Marshall. The conclusion of the film will therefore be completely obvious and immediately follows from this five-minute set of scenes. To fill up the dead time until then, the last half of the film thus sends Riddick (courtesy of mercenaries provided transportation) on a side trip to the prison of Crematoria, where it's 700 degrees during the day. But hey, it's a dry heat.


Blogger Chus said...

Here's a great rundown!: The Chronicles of Riddick

5:02 AM  

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