June 15, 2004

Encyclopedia Riddicka

So I saw Chronicles of Riddick this last weekend and thought you all wanted to know what it was like.

Firstly and most simply stated: Riddick is a lot better than you think it is. Unless, of course, you think it's going to be the Second Coming. For anyone that missed Pitch Black, well, you should rent it before you see Chronicles. Though it's not necessary to the story, it adds a lot of details that make it more interesting as does the recently released Xbox game Escape From Butcher Bay.

But barring some preparation, you lazy ass you, here's a run down: Riddick is a mass murderer. In fact, he's one of the worst murderers ever and has escaped from at least a couple of the most secure prisons in the universe. In Pitch Black he did manage to summon enough emotion to save a couple people, but it seems he ditched them soon thereafter. When we find Riddick at the start of this film he's being stalked by bounty hunters that are sort of like Boba Fett, but if Boba Fett had been down on his luck and had to sell all of his cool along with his plasma to buy drugs. Several killings later, we find out that there is a war like race called the Necromongers that is planet hopping on its way to the afterlife killing as they go. This is where Riddick becomes both exactly what it is and yet slightly more. The fight against the Necromongers is your classic one-man-takes-on-an-army type story that you see in a lot of summer sci-fi action flicks, but there are bits that makes this a more interesting story than it could have been.

The Necromongers worship death, as their name might imply, and evil, violence and death become central themes in the movie. Additionally, there are reletively few "good" characters and those that there are are given pretty marginal roles. Though this dynamic is announced far too blatantly, and with mediocre at best writing, in a Dame Judy Dench naration, I still walked out of the theater thinking about the characters far more than I expected to. I paid a $6 matinee ticket to see Riddick and was satisfied. If you're looking for a summer action flick, you could sure do worse than this.

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