Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movies Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004).

First movie was interesting scifi survival horror movie. This went into epic scifi fantasy territory. This time Vin Diesel was big name actor and he was clearly in main role. They made right choice by not making Riddick too heroic, even when he was main character. He still cares only for himself and other survivors of first movie. He wants to be left alone, but bounty on his head keeps bounty hunters after him. This time bounty is set by Imam, another first movie survivor. Imam's planet Helion Prime is on eve of invasion of Necromongers. Necromongers are religious fanatics, who want to destroy all life from this universe to go to UnderVerse. All Necromongers are people, who have converted to Lord Marshal's religion.

Imam thinks Riddick might be able to stop Necromongers because he is Furyan. Pitch Black didn't have Furyan angle. It was made for this movie. Lord Marshal has heard, that he will be killed by Furyan. Because of this he has killed all Furyans. Riddick has survived Lord Marshal's attack and have forgotten it. His dreams try to remind him of what happened. Director's cut has 15 minutes of extra content. If I remember correctly theatrical cut didn't have these dream sequences. I can't remember what else director's cut added. It has been a while since I saw theatrical cut.

Riddick doesn't see Necromongers as his problem. Imam mentions another survivor of first movie trying to make Riddick care. Jack, Riddick's fan girl, has gone after Riddick and ended in high security prison planet Cermatoria. Prison is underground and ground is molten lava on day side and cools down during night. Another world with interesting characteristics, which was used to its full potential during the story. Jack was sold to slavery. She changed her name to Kyra and become female version of Riddick. Except the eyes. She wanted same kind of eyes, but couldn't find anyone to do it.

Riddick's world has interesting prison system. Prisons are paid by how many prisoners they have. Maybe also by who they have. They put bounties on criminals and pay to bounty hunters to bring them prisoners. Movie didn't tell who decides, who is criminal and who is not. Prison guards at Crematoria were such a shady mob, that they could put bounty on light grounds to get prisoners. And bounty hunters doesn't care as long as they get their money.

The Chronicles of Riddick is one of my favourite movies. All pieces fell in their places in this movie. Riddick had clear role in this movie. He wasn't as mysterious as in Pitch Black. Bounty hunter Toombs provided just enough comic relief. Necromongers and their leader Lord Marshal  were interesting and different villains. There were enough angles and characters evolved during movie. Movie looked great. CGI dogs didn't look that great, but everything else looked great.

But there was one problem. That problem didn't make this movie any worse. It made us wait almost ten years for sequel. During first two movie Riddick has been lone wolf survival specialist. Only time he has lead anyone, was when he has let other follow him through dangerous places. This movie ends with him ruling over Necromongers, who killed only people he cared during these two movies. It made premise of third movie quite different from first two. Riddick didn't even want to rule Necromongers. He only wanted revenge, but in Necromongers say "you keep what you kill".

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