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Riddick? Cool! Chronicles? Tepid.

 Vin Diesel as Riddick.

We just saw The Chronicles of Riddick, and while Riddick the man was as badass as ever, the movie was just kinda ‘there’. As compared to the truly excellent Pitch Black, Chronicles foolishly swapped characterization for special effects, and in the end, merely provides a splashy backdrop for the main character.

While the visuals were truly fascinating — if a bit monotone — they were a poor substitute for a fleshed out villain. The mercenary captain who appears in the first minute of the movie seemed more dangerous and real than the big bad of this story. The ‘Necromongers’ had a funny name, were too Borgish, and suffered from severe stormtrooperitis — they kept ranks and marched good, but were completely ineffective in the art of war.

The only relationships that actually mattered to Riddick were well established in Pitch Black. Without first seeing the earlier film, it would be difficult to understand Riddick’s motivation for nearly anything that he does in this movie. It was great to see Riddick talk the talk and walk the walk, but I think I’ll watch Pitch Black again, just to see something more than a character portrait in action.

Written by in June of 2004. Last edited September 2014.

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