out of 4
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The Chronicles Of Riddick
Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4
In this sci-fi action-adventure, Vin Diesel reprises his "Pitch Black"
role of Richard B. Riddick, a gritty anti-hero who can see in the dark. An
escaped convict, he's spent five years skulking around planets, like icy UV6 on
the outskirts of the galaxy, eluding the mercenaries on his trail. When he
arrives on the planet Helion, he discovers a progressive multi-cultural society
that has been ravaged by the sixth Lord Marshal (Colm Feore), a despot waging
the 10th Crusade in the 26th century. From his baroque Basilica flagship with
its strange army of warriors known as Necromongers, the Lord Marshal targets
humanoids for subjugation. (For "Star Trekkers," this evokes the Borg
invasions. But the Necromongers are not robots; they're a race of
In the Slam, a dark subterranean prison, Riddick finds Kyra (Alexa
Davalos), an embittered warrior; she's the lone survivor from his previous
life. And he discovers his surprising Furyan origins with the expositional help
of ethereal Aereon, the elusive Elemental race's ambassador (Judy Dench,
shimmering in crushed Swarovski crystals). Keith David reprises his "Pitch
Black" role as the cleric Abu 'Inam' al-Walid, and Thandie Newton slinks in as
ambitious Dame Vaako of the Necromongers. Predictably and inevitably, there's a
big battle and overblown climax.
Written and directed by David Twohy, based on Jim & Ken Wheat's
characters, it was first rated R for intense violence/language but Universal
appealed for PG-13. With teenage boys as the target audience, they'll like the
realistic special effects, although art direction is derived from "Dune." On
the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Chronicles of Riddick" is a fast-paced
5. For sci-f/horror fans, it's a cool popcorn picture with the conclusion of
the trilogy yet to come.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger
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