I took in "The Chronicles of Riddick" yesterday at a 2:00 PM showing, and figured I'd share my thoughts, being a fan of the "Pitch Black" franchise.
I went expecting absolutely nothing, and I was very pleasantly surprised! The characters were extremely interesting and reminded me of something closer to "Dune," with some H.R. Giger inspired sets. Very elaborate, very futuristic.
While I really didn't see the point in Thandie Newton's character, Dame Vaako, I think all the other characters played into the story well, especially the converted Necromongers who had some very morbid, yet futuristic costume designs.
Vin Diesel as Riddick was on point, as he was in Pitch Black. There were merely a couple of dodgy one liners, which are to be expected in a summer blockbuster w/ an action hero, still few and far between.
To be absolutely honest, I think the best part was the end, knowing full well there was already going to be a sequel, it was a very big emotional Catch 22 for Riddick, one that should be interesting to see over the next two movies.
I don't think I was ever bored with the story itself! There were a few elements to it. An evil Lord hell-bent on conquest, another Lord who wants to steal the crown, with a new Queen in the wings, and a new hero who has to get himself out of the stickiest situations, and is expected to save the planet.
The characters didn't seem flat at all. There were a lot of different walks of life. Overlords, criminals turned heroes, whimsical beings, all of which played their parts quite solid. Dench, Diesel, and Urban especially. Very believable.
The CGI was actually quite impressive. The Lord of the Necromongers, Lord Marshall has the [SPOILER - highlight to read]: ability to steal peoples souls, and the CGI during those times was very interesting, and what I thought, well executed. It was similar to [SPOILER - highlight to read]: the soul stealing scenes in Prisoner of Azkaban for those who have seen it.
Some of the supporting background characters kind of overplay their roles, especially the "Mercs," and the crooked prison wardens. There is such a thing as being too creepy, thus uncredible as a bad guy.
The CGI during the "wolf raid" was just kind of stupid. Just poor execution when it comes to the CGI beasts.
At times, the dialogue was a bit choppy. i.e. the lead Merc advised his crony to "put on a fresh pair of panties." It wasn't so bothersome as it was just overkill for the character.
If you do go see this movie, please don't be so analytical of it. Keep a couple of things in mind, especially when viewing any "Summer Blockbuster" such as this.
One, it's a big budget Sci Fi movie based off of a cult classic hero. It's made to appeal to a summertime crowd, it's safely rated PG-13.
Two, the dialogue isn't going to be that of some magnificent screenwriter. This is a cast of virtual unknowns, save Diesel and Dench, who nail their roles. The dialogue is going to be like that of Star Wars, Dune, Highlander. Just typical, grand scale science fiction, dealing with a hero, a villain, and a plot to take over the world.
Lastly, keep in mind that this being the initial installment of a 3 part franchise, much like Harry Potter, there is going to be a lot of set up in this movie. Lots of characters, less character development, and it will seem stuffy. That's to be expected. It's not worth breaking down, just have fun with it!
So, leave your brain at the door, suspend reality, and give Riddick a chance!
Last edited by Cory Chaos on Jun 12th, 2004 at 07:13 PM
I saw it on Saturday, and Cine-man pretty much described it accurately, especially about not expecting too much.
A few things to note, though: I didn't do too much research on it, but I thought it was R-rated until I was buying my ticket. I hate PG-13 summer movies, but I still saw it anyways. Glad I did, but nothing more than a B-minus for me.
Also, I wasn't expecting anything more, budget-wise, than Pitch Black, but it looks to me that the budget expenditure of Pitch Black was spent in the first 15 minutes of Riddick.
I saw it today, I agree with BackFire. It was entertaining, had some fairly good action sequences... But it wasn't anything really special.
I actually thought the ending was a little lame... Sure, there's going to be a sequel... It still seemed like they were trying to sort of conclude things without really concluding things. I don't mind cliffhanger endings, but when they do one that's not really suspenseful at all, it's a little dumb.
Riddick just came off of [SPOILER - highlight to read]: defeating Lord Marshal, head of the Necromongers. Keeping in mind, these are the same Necromongers who were 1 minute away from destroying his homworld and it's people, instead, now, all aforementioned things considered, HE is the Lord of the Necromongers!?
That wasn't suspenseful enough for you? It's the biggest Catch 22 imaginable! It's like what Palpatine did to the Republic in Star Wars, except he didn't have to trick anyone!
i saw it on thursday and it was very good. Vin diesel looked very pump in this film. I didnt like that prison warden but he wasnt very interesting as a character. I agree it did have some cliff hangers which was okay. I hope that there more sequels i might become a fan of pitch black ill give it 4 stars out of 5.
Well yeah but [SPOILER - highlight to read]: he already defeated Lord Marshal, so all the good suspense was already over. If it had ended before he had gotten on the Necromonger ship or something... It would have been more suspenseful. I have to admit that it was an interesting twist of the plot to have him become the lord of the Necromongers, but I would have liked it better if it had ended either before that happened, or if they had shown more of what he did in that position.... I dunno, there's nothing wrong with the plot itself, I just think they picked the wrong place to end the movie.
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Can't believe I saw this tragedy of a film after my Thanksgiving dinner. Yuck! Talk about indegestion! Well, here is my review...
Just like Van Helsing and AVP The Chronicles of Riddick is driven by that incredible wave of CGI that has drown Hollywood these days. The problem about films with CGI is that is about givin audiences more eye impresions than story telling. Here in Chronicles of Riddick the case for the storyline SHOULD be ignore and people should pay more attention about the art of the film (Especially for Giger fan like myself)
Let's see, if this film was consider a title change it should be rename to "The Crusades of Universe far beyond" (clumsy title but it suits it better than Chronicles). Come on! A race that goes to different worlds to convert races into their own faith! Why not just called them the Spanish Inquisition and get it over it with? Even more obvious these people go to a world that is full of Mecca believers! I dunno what the director intentions were, but if he was trying to knee jerk Christianity it was rather lame! Using Sci-Fi as his way of story telling is simply an insult!
Of course don't think that because of that I dislike the film. Not at all, what make me nearly puke my turkey breast with gravy was the boring fight scenes involving Vin Diesel. Pathetic, not even a scratch in his body even when he fights so many soldiers and the bounty hunters. I really do like Vin Diesel. I even think he is a cool guy. But if he EVER plays the role of hero again he can kiss my......(leaves it to the imagination of the reader).
Now, I dunno why this crappy film is up on the top with Star Wars or Dune? My gosh! I wouldn't categorize this film anywhere near the two great ones of Sci-Fi. Uh-uh, nope....no way! Basically the film didn't capture my interest after half an hour of watching it. I even had hope that the Unrated Directors Cut would bring a promise of some neat looking bloodshed. Unfortunally it didn't and I was really looking forward to a cool Sci-Fi flick. This movie gets a very low review from me. No doubt about this film gets:
2 out of 5
Last edited by WanderingDroid on Nov 26th, 2004 at 07:27 PM