The Chronicles of Riddick - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Chronicles of Riddick Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2007
Riddick returns to discover that he is a warrior prophesied to end the brutal reign of a race of religious zealots conducting a crusade against the rest of the universe. I was a fan of David Twohy's previous work, particularly the original to this somewhat bloated sequel Pitch Black which was a visually stylish sci-fi horror that inventively transcended it's meagre budget. In this however he has the keys to the toyshop and wantonly plunders from Macbeth, Krull and everything in between. He is clearly trying to do Star Wars in the style of Dune, but falls a little short of the epic scale he was aiming for because the mythology he has created is slightly unconvincing and the somewhat episodic plotting. The story is little more than a series of excuses for spectacular set pieces and some of the dialogue is clunky at best, but it never bores and is always a visual feast; the special effects stand up well today and it has some wonderful production design. In fact this film is guilty of a lot of the same self indulgent excess as the Star Wars prequels, but with one major difference: Twohy can actually direct. It won't be to everyone's taste but if you are a fan of pulpy sci-fi, it should be a fun ride.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2013
Mediocre follow up to Pitch Black, I was very much let down by this sequel, and I felt it was a tiresome, boring movie that tried way too hard at outdoing the original. The biggest problem with that is, Pitch Black was never a great film, and it was a film that boasted impressive action with an average story and an average cast. Overall that film needed a lot of work to make it a memorable outing, and left a lot to be desired. The Chronicles of Riddick is a picture that suffers from an underdeveloped script and it tries to put way too many elements on-screen that don't work. This film is a mess from start to finish and way too long for what it is. I think the film should have been shorter, and that the script should have been reworked significantly. There were a few interesting ideas, but overall, like I said, it's a mess because the film is all over the place. If you've enjoyed the first film, you may be let down by this sequel. The Chronicles of Riddick is yet another follow up that fails to expand and deliver something better than the original. Pitch Black wasn't perfect, and it left a lot to be desired, but it was entertaining and fun. This on the other hand is a strained picture that fails in delivering anything really interesting for the viewer. This movie is purely for Diesel fans, and no one else. Don't go into this one expecting a better film than Pitch Black, you'll be disappointed as The Chronicles of Riddick is all over the map, and you're trying to figure out what's going on, on-screen. Like I said, it's a mess of a picture, and overall it's just boring, dull and ultimately not interesting. This film should have been much better, instead it just falls flat.
Super Reviewer
½ September 21, 2013
Whose bright idea was it to put a gritty brawny action hero into some bizarre, convoluted Shakespearean Sci Fi Opera? I seriously can not believe that Pitch Black and this piece of crap was written by the same guy. The style and tone is completely different and not for the better.

I also can't believe the production values on this thing, that's just irresponsible. Not all the badassery in the world could have saved this piece staged rubbish.
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2007
Pitch Black was a fun, entertaining sci-fi flick. The Chronicles of Riddick, with its budget ballooned to $105 million, an even more high profile cast, and an epic visual style that desperately wants to be the next Star Wars, we now have.....a fun, entertaining sci-fi flick. Pitch Black was a cult film with a niche fan base. The Chronicles of Riddick is an attempt to expand that fan base into a summer blockbuster franchise where sequels could potentially generate hundreds of millions of dollars in box office returns as the general public embraces this series like The Lord of the Rings or The Matrix.
Unfortunately, there may not enough here that will make such an attempt work. The dialogue is cheesy and the attempts at humour too often fall flat. Diesel doesn't have much to do other than look tough and say bad one-liners, which is great for fans of Arnold and Stallone movies but probably no one else. The script is also very convoluted. In trying to make this universe have as much depth, religious references, and culture as a galaxy far far away, it throws too much at the viewer, resulting in undeveloped subplots and a story that just rushes through everything.
Having said that, if you turn off your brain and just sit back, it's not a bad film. The design of the planets are visually fascinating and the fight scenes are well choreographed. The film is also well paced, so you never feel too bored or easily distracted. Call this the Star Wars for the ADD generation.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2010
"The Chronicles of Riddick" takes risks and most of them fail. The first entry in this franchise, "Pitch Black," is boring as well, but at least it's well-paced when it needs to be and the cheesy visuals are due to the fact that the budget is extremely low. This film helms a 105 million dollar budget and the visuals have not improved one bit. I have to say that the story is much worse and the action is just as boring as "Pitch Black's" bland moments. I almost fell asleep in the most exciting moments of the film. Don't get me wrong, it's not a god awful picture, as some of the action sequences have cool techniques used and the choreography is well planned out. Overall, "The Chronicles of Riddick," tries to work with a a terrible screenplay, sloppy direction, and downright weird editing choices. This film is very disappointing if you have any interest/enjoyment in "Pitch Black." Definitely not a recommendation from me.
Super Reviewer
August 5, 2013
It's a good origin-based film, but The Chronicles of Riddick fails to even attempt to surpass the high standards that its predecessor (Pitch Black) set. But regardless, the film is still decent in regards to the amount of effects and visually spellbinding layouts it presented, but it's also let down by bland and somewhat-fair action and plot. 3/5
Super Reviewer
½ April 18, 2009
The Chronicles of Riddick, by David Twohy, goes full blown sci-fi with its Riddick character.The story is a continuation of Pitch Black, yet more or less stand alone. It also manages to reach 2 hours, but it's not just a mishmash of ideas. The plot details move the story from location to location and bring characters in and out as needed. That isn't to say that the film couldn't have been shorter because it probably could have been.There is a heavy reliance on CG and while it isn't top grade, or even mediocre grade at some parts, the film makes up for it with its level of action related sequences and mild violence.Riddick is a character fit for Vin Diesel; a solid mix of a bad good guy. The girl power of Alexa Davalos, Thandie Newton, and Judi Dench are solid additions to the cast.The science fiction atmosphere of The Chronicles of Riddick delivers enough to make this a recommendable picture.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2012
It could've been much worse. Listening to the commentary, there is a greater sense of appreciation for the film since Vin Diesel did a majority of his stunts, some of them being very hardcore. It may have its lackluster qualities but has its redeeming action scenes in return.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2007
What could have been a welcomed continuation of Pitch Black losses much of the essence of what made the first film successful in all the fancy fight scenes and special effects. Vin Diesel's performance if the only thing redeeming enough to at least give this one a glance.
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2007
The sequel to Pitch Black, and Vin Diesel repeats his take as the hero who can't seem to find a shirt. This time its to save the little girl he saved last time only now she's all grown up. CGI effects twirl and explode as Diesel grunts, smirks, and dull one-liners his way through more bad guys (they wear black, but so does Diesel when he's not flexing) than Custer fought Indians.
Super Reviewer
½ March 17, 2012
I found the graphics, style and the story line of this 3rd film of the series to be quite good, and yet there's something missing here. I don't know if it was the wooden performances of Karl Urban and Thadie Newton as Lord and Lady Vaako, or the concept that a race of warriors dabbles in the dark arts and concocts a religion that glorifies death as a gateway to achieving godhood - the combination of warrior and religion begetting planetary genocide. On the surface it seems preposterous, but upon further review, I guess 77 virgins makes this seem not quite as far fetched.

When I first saw Riddick as a theatrical release I had no back story about him, having not seen the first two films. Having rectified the situation upon this viewing I was further drawn into this rather epic space opera and in particular Riddick's relationship with the girl formerly known as Jack.

Riddick is portrayed as a loner who lives by the creed "take care of yourself - nothing or no-one else matters"... but in the Director's cut, you can see that Riddick is far more than a simple thug (that he is the dark avenger of a race wiped out by the Necromongers), and that, while supposedly amoral, is in fact caring and committed to the girl in his own fashion.

The story takes us on a wild journey, filled with action and bizarre planets and set pieces. This uber universe sits uneasily on the fence between humanistic grit and foibles and grand vistas and concepts. Somehow, it manages to entertain, and yet fails to truly enlighten or amaze, too often falling into cartoonish conventions and motivations.

In the end, I enjoyed the film more upon this viewing (having the background of the prior two films) than when I first viewed it - and really, if you compare this to several later "grand epic" type films like Clash of The Titans, this comes out head and shoulders above them.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2011
Terrible film, boring, and one of Vin Diesels wost movies ever.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2010
Vin Diesel's sci-fi epic. He attains maximum hulkage throughout the movie, but still has his quick wit and intelligence from Pitch Black. Riddick is an outrageous character, but somehow Vin Diesel and his shaved Gorilla strength manage to make him believable. The plot is extremely complex and undoubtedly wanted to be one of many sequels to the explosive character. His glowing eyes can see in the dark as well as peer into the human soul. This is action packed, bizarre and awesome. It has a great addition to the cast, Karl Urban; the commander of the Necromongers. He seems to be the only match for Riddick, but in the end he is still no match.
Super Reviewer
½ January 3, 2009
Vin Diesel battles the evil Necromongers on planet Crematoria. That premise might have worked in a tongue-in-cheek Flash Gordon serial but here it's just sad and pathetic.
Super Reviewer
September 9, 2007
i love this movie its so action packed i love the storyline and i love the cast and acting i love the action packed fights and the wway he can kil someone with a cup so wortha watch really enjoyable!!
Super Reviewer
½ April 6, 2009
An explosive thrill-ride of unstoppable action entertainment. An utterly original and thrilling sequel taking the character to new teritory. A spectacular, adreniline-driven action-packed ride.
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2008
"You keep what you kill..."

"Pitch Black" was an awesome movie that introduced us to one of the coolest "heroes" in the history of scifi. Vin Diesel's performance as Riddick is one of the most memorable characters of the genre.

I had very high hopes for this movie. David Twohy got a big budget which guaranteed us his vision as he would have wanted it to be seen. Everything looks very impressing and will surely satisfy every fan of Riddick.

Still, "The Chronicles of Riddick" has some faults. One is probably that the filmmakers have tried to do the "greatest scifi epic". They've reached for something way too big. A lot of mythology elements and things that are left unexplained are stuffed into the script. May seen a bit hard to get the hang of it if you're not at all familiar to Riddick's first adventure.

The majority of the audience was against this film and it failed at the boxoffice. I guess this film ain't for all. But if you're a vivid scifi fan as me, you'll probably love this movie.

Diesel does an excellent performance. Ok, I don't mind the hate mail or the deleting of my Flixster friendship. There's only one Riddick and that's Mr Diesel. He's got charisma, good screen presence and he's quite the ladies man. He surely has a sweet spot for his women.

"Its been a long time since I smelled beautiful"

There's been some talks of a third installment to the Riddick saga. In the web, you can find rumors about "Return to Furia". Nothing is confirmed yet, just rumors, but Diesel and Twohy would like to bring Riddick back to the screens. Perhaps the film would find a bigger audience if the filmmakers would go back to the "Pitch Black" way of making a Riddick movie. Who knows?

Still, the Riddick franchise is, for now, the best trilogy that wasn't made. I really hope that we would see Riddick once again on the big screen. It's been one hell of a ride everytime!

"You'll kill us.. With a soup cup?
- Tea, actually."
Super Reviewer
½ September 27, 2008
Good but not NEARLY as good as Pitch Black.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2007
'The Chronicles of Riddick' seems to be a movie that is always on the receiving end of unfair flak. I can understand why in most cases, but I question whether some of the critics have seen the film. After all, it can hardly be considered a 'nominal sequel', as one critic stated. There is nothing nominal about it, when compared with 'Pitch Black'. A 'nominal' sequel to this film would no doubt take some people back to the planet it was set on, and face the same monsters again - and more of them. Most likely, the people would not be at all related to the first film. That is the suit that most sequels follow - more of the same. Chronicles is certainly not this. In fact, it is hardly a sequel at all - which is perhaps why it has never once been pegged as one.

Many have complained about the lack of character development. Fair enough. However, it's not needed, and if you would like, there is an entire film dedicated quite separately to the character development of Riddick - 'Pitch Black'. Still, I would contend that Riddick's character develops a fair bit during the film - for crying out loud the guy is crying at the end of the film! I had hardly imagined that possible even having seen 'Pitch Black', yet I did not question it at all by the end of Chronicles.

As to the weak plot, If you say Chronicles doesn't, then I would argue that few if any sci-fi operas, or epic fantasy films have. I actually found it well put together, and felt the story was very full. Many have complained about the place names, but lets be honest, those are exactly the sorts of names our society would give! Just look at the American West if you want proof! This alone makes the universe in this movie seem more connected to ours.

Admittedly the talent is not taken full advantage of, but as this film was intended as part of a trilogy (as yet unmade), with 'Pitch Black' as a separate but connected tale (like 'the Hobbit' is to 'Lord of the Rings', according to Vin Diesel), it would be expected that more would be seen of these characters in later installments. When taken in this context, the film serves as an excellent introduction to a larger story and some of its principle players.

Considering the current state of mind bogglingly unoriginal and empty fantasy films which seem to have dominated the market for the last few years, it is a breath of fresh air to find a space opera with beautiful art direction and imagery. It's also nice to find a film on such a scale that is not childish, and is wonderfully dark. In the end I hope we see the other two films made in this series. The story looks to be epic, and I very much look forward to see where its going.
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