Chronicles of Riddick, The

Tagged: Film

Film (2004). Universal Pictures presents a Radar Pictures/One Race Films production. Written and directed by David Twohy. Cast includes Alexa Davalos, Keith David, Judi Dench, Vin Diesel, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton and Karl Urban. Theatrical cut 119 minutes; Director's Cut 135 minutes. Colour.

Five years on from the events of Pitch Black (2000), Riddick is drawn from hiding to combat the Necromongers, an interstellar armed cult whose warlord has acquired dark powers from another Dimension; Riddick is revealed as a survivor of his homeworld's genocide, and fulfils the prophecy it was intended to avert by defeating the Necromonger leader and assuming control of his army.

This sweeping, refreshingly unfashionable interstellar action-adventure was opportunistically crafted by sf enthusiasts Diesel and Twohy around the surviving characters from Pitch Black, though the sequel is quite different in tone, genre, ambition, and budget, and met a mixed reception from the earlier film's fans. The aspiration to dark epic Space Opera is only partly successful, its expansive mythology hobbled by incompletely realized backstory, over-the-top gothic designs, low-rent plotting, and some very silly onomastics; but its style, self-assurance, and sheer passion for the genre's grander reach stand out against the conservatism of Hollywood sf at the time. The five-year gap between the events of the two films was partly bridged by an animated feature The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004), featuring the voices of Diesel, David, and Griffith (recast in Chronicles); there was also a well-received Videogame tie-in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004), which in turn produced a sequel The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (2009). Twohy and Diesel continued to nurse the franchise, their patient work eventually rewarded with a third instalment, albeit on a reduced budget: Riddick (2013).

The novelization is The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) by Alan Dean Foster. [NL]

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