The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
August 7, 2019 1:39 PM - Subscribe

After escaping the dark planet, Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) has been in hiding for five years, evading most of the bounty hunters and mercenaries. Riddick is reunited with Imam (Keith David), the man he rescued. Imam believes Riddick is a Furian, a race of warriors long thought extinct, and wants to know about his homeworld and if anyone other than himself is left. Recaptured by Toombs (Nick Chinlund), Riddick is taken to Crematoria, a harsh subterranean prison moon, where Jack (Alexa Davalos), a girl Riddick rescued, was reported to have been sent.

Nev Pierce: Diesel is an imposing screen presence even when growling risible dialogue. For those in the right mindset, there is fun to be found here, but it's frustrating that the film has such an inflated sense of its own importance - such a straight face, so little wit. It's science fiction with a frown.

Dorothy Woodend: No one sets out to make a bad film and the fact that films can go so terribly off-course can’t be laid at any one doorstep but at many. The Chronicles of Riddick is a good example of what happens when Hollywood jumps on the epic bandwagon. After LoTR wiped the floor with everybody, you can expect many more three-parters, of which Riddick was supposed to be the first third of an epic space opera.

Steve Newton: When Twohy’s camera isn’t lingering too long over coproducer Diesel’s bulging, sweaty biceps, there are some interesting things to see, like the imaginative array of massive sets, unique spacecraft, and futuristic gadgetry on display. But all the stunning visuals in the world can’t raise Chronicles above the level of a ridiculous Rambo-in-space flick. Pitch Black‘s “Jack” has transformed into an ass-kicking babe named Kyra (Alexa Davalos), whom the swashbuckling Riddick swoops by and saves from the disintegrating rays of planet Crematoria’s sun.

posted by Carillon (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As I mentioned in the Pitch Black thread, I'm glad this movie exists because it gave Vin Diesel the opportunity to teach D&D to Dame Judi Dench.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:54 PM on August 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

This movie is basically a very, very straight version of The Fifth Element.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:48 PM on August 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

Oh is today Riddick day? Is that what we're doing? Because I'm 100% here for it.

Chronicles of Riddick is quite probably the worst Riddick movie, and absolutely my favorite. It reminds me of nothing so much as the terrible overly-serious sci-fi short stories about gothic space empires and grim badass rebels that I wrote for myself as a teenager. You see that kind of sincere nonsense given the full treatment so rarely in Hollywood that each instance is a special dopey lopsided jewel that I hold close to my heart, right in there next to Jupiter Ascending and Underworld.

Also, Keith David is a gift to the B-Movie universe for whom we should all be grateful. The world does not deserve him.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:22 PM on August 7, 2019 [12 favorites]

I love this for similar reasons Phobos the Space Potato. I mean even the potentially silly I'll kill you with my cup scene is very much something I thought was cool when it came out. Plus how cool was the run across the planet surface as it heats up? I loved that set piece.
posted by Carillon at 10:18 PM on August 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Karl Urban's mullet still haunts me.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:18 AM on August 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

I realize this comment is going to make me sound less like a person than an algorithm, but if you liked this movie, you should give Soldier starring Kurt Russell a try. Like this one, it's dopey and derivative but cool nonetheless, thanks to some imaginative settings and a criminally undervalued tough-guy actor in the lead.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:27 AM on August 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

Fishmongers mong fish, ironmongers mong iron, necromongers mong necro.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:44 AM on August 8, 2019 [7 favorites]

The film is quite terrible but the production design is amazing. I particularly enjoy the Necromonger's invasion fleet of dagger ships literally stabbing the planet as they land. Everyone involved is just giving it their all and it shows. It gives TCoR the rarest of qualities, it is impossible to turn it off once you are caught more than a minute or two - "flawless".
posted by AndrewStephens at 7:13 AM on August 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

necromongers mong necro

One time my best friend in middle school called his little brother a "fartmonger" and I laughed so hard I thought I might just die like one of those weasels in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 1:19 PM on August 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

"He's not a man. He's a holy half dead who's seen the Underverse."

That line still makes me laugh. Karl Urban is so serious! That eye makeup!
posted by Catblack at 2:14 PM on August 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Damn. Somebody said Rambo in Space as if that's a bad thing
posted by glasseyes at 6:52 AM on August 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much for these three posts Carillion. I'm off to see if there's anywhere I can rewatch the Riddick films for free right now.
posted by glasseyes at 6:56 AM on August 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

(One of) my only contention(s) about this movie is the necromonger angle; a little too close bringing the worst of Warhammer 40K into mainstream consciousness. Maybe that's why I'm biased for the third film; dropping the death-cult-facist shit.*

I love the setting, I don't necessarily love any of the other fans of the setting. It's shitty that they've ruined this genre.

Notably, /r/Donald adapts heavily WH40K imagery to idolize Trump; it's juvenile and stupid, but it's one of the many gateways to get sucked into a self-reinforcing radicalization loop.

*Carillon pointed out, Diesel is all in because of the tabletop RPG spirit of the whole thing; being a head of a deplorable facist empire only to end up destroying said empire is a bread and butter of teenage tabletop roleplaying

That's roleplaying a Good (mostly) Guy.

The bad people in real life think the bad guys are the good guys.
posted by porpoise at 12:20 AM on August 10, 2019

I love these movies. Visually they're spectacular, there's all kinds of interesting and obfuscated symbolism, they don't feel the need to explain too much (probably because they haven't really thought that much below the surface), and they're just so entertaining.

Also Karl Urban.
posted by biscotti at 5:26 AM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Maybe terrible but damn entertaining. And mostly satisfying.
posted by Glinn at 5:18 PM on August 10, 2019

I love this movie. I call it The Chronics of Ridiculous. It's on my list of "Don't know what to watch? Watch this" movies.

Colm Feore is an amazing actor whose talent has mostly been wasted in movies. I'm glad he has a thriving theatre career. If you want to really see what he can do, watch 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:14 PM on August 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

or Bon Cop, Bad Cop. Feore also had a role in the recent 'The Umbrella Academy.'
posted by porpoise at 11:37 PM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

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