The Chronicles of Riddick

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Universal presents a film directed by David Twohy. Written by David Twohy, Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat. Running time: 118 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of violent action and some language)

Riddick is back again despite anyone really caring. He made his debut in Pitch Black, an interestingly photographed knock off of Aliens. The Chronicles of Riddick takes place some twenty years after Pitch Black and we join in on the fun as Riddick is evading bounty hunters, who seem to keep underestimating his talent for escape. Explaining the story would require a visual aid, laser pointer and the writers, so obviously we won’t be having that today. A lot of thought and care went into the crafting of this world and these conflicts. Unfortunately the skills required to make that work on film were lacking. Not that I blame the filmmakers. I’ve learned to judge not the final outcome, but the ideas and the intentions. Granted, trying to see that through the bulbous physic of Vin Diesel was difficult, but through it all, were ideas about religious fanaticism slightly reminiscent to the kind found in the recently reviewed film Saved. Squeezing into the story somehow also was the always lovely Thandie Newton doing her best impersonation of Angela Lansbury in the Manchurian Candidate. Biting from behind her man, she tries desperately to assert him into a higher seat of power.

The problem, in my opinion, is Riddick’s constantly proclaimed detachment from the story. Emotionally, he doesn’t give a shit, so I didn’t bother giving a shit. If you’ll allow a little movie metaphor, the bounty hunters in the movie were really the writers. They are chasing after Riddick to be the hero in their movie, but tragically for them, they’ve created a movie monster, a man who doesn’t want to play in their little saga. So all the while, when there is suppose to be a movie happening, we’re seeing everyone, from the filmmakers to the oppressed characters in the film just trying to convince Riddick that this is a story worth participating in.

I’m told that the Chronicles of Riddick, not Pitch Black, is to be the first in a new trilogy. Yes, that means two more. I’m sure until the film comes out I’ll mock it’s efforts and existence and then break down and see it, but until it’s in a theater near me I’m gonna play that kid who’s seen Pitch Black too many times and has become like the boring hero. Too cool for school. I hate to repeat it, but creating characters that don’t give a shit will only inspire a lack of interest. So I’ll wait. When the day comes when Riddick and Vin Diesel decide that they don’t really have anything else to do, I’ll be back and this time I’ll give a shit. I promise. I’ll give a shit. Yes, I repeated that last line for dramatic effect. Did it work? If no it might be because, at least for now, I don’t give a shit. The repetition and the inability to focus on an end for this review is to illustrate that true sense of watching Chronicles of Riddick. Reading this may take a little longer than it should, but it’s a hell of a lot shorter than the film.

I didn’t really want to write this review, but what the hell.

Charlie Baker

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~ by fumikaelson on June 15, 2004.

6 Responses to “The Chronicles of Riddick”

  1. I think that your review of this movie is completely “Riddick-ulous”.

    Sincerely,

    The bulbously physiqued Vin Deisel

  2. I think that your review of this movie is completely “Riddick-ulous”.

    Sincerely,

    The bulbously physiqued Vin Deisel

  3. Coming from someone who doesnt give a shit, you really made me want to see this movie!

  4. Coming from someone who doesnt give a shit, you really made me want to see this movie!

  5. Mr Ebert Watanabe, You are so wrong this is such a great movie, plus that Vin Deisel guy is one of America’s best actors. This movie is almost as good as “Ginger snaps.”

  6. Mr Ebert Watanabe, You are so wrong this is such a great movie, plus that Vin Deisel guy is one of America’s best actors. This movie is almost as good as “Ginger snaps.”

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