The Chronicles of Riddick (Series) – Film

Reviewing the complete franchise,  hope you enjoy it.

“Pitch Black” (2000)

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A transport ship, carrying 40 passengers and a prisoner, is forced to crash land on an unknown planet.  Forced to deal with the aftermath of the crash and the escaped prisoner, the survivors discover that there is something far worse once the suns set. 

The best film of the series and I would have been content had this flick stood alone.  The characters are rich, multi dimensional and well executed by both the writers and the  actors/actresses who played them.  The story is interesting and original.  I even thought the filters used to convey the different light from each of the 3 suns of the planet where the movie takes place was effective rather than distracting.  This movie really showcases the snarky intensity that is Vin Diesel’s trademark.

I gave this 4 whiskeys.




“The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury” (2004)

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After barely escaping the events of the first movie, Riddick, Jack, and Imam are contained by a Merc ship whose captain wants to turn Riddick into a living statue.

This animated short/sequel is an entertaining continuation of the story but not entirely necessary.  For a companion piece side project, a little bonus feature for the bigger series, it’s a good action sequence that further develops the relationship between the 3 primary characters, Riddick, Jack and Imam.  The story is interesting and follows logically with what the audience knows of the characters and existing story, but it’s too short to really contribute more than snippets of forshadowing into the next film.

I gave this 2  whiskeys, maybe it’s my minimal interest in animation, maybe I just don’t care for these types of companion pieces.



“The Chronicles of Riddick” (2004)

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5 years after the events of Pitch Black, Riddick returns.  When the Elemental, Aereon. puts a bounty on his head, he seeks out Imam and learns that Aereon wants Riddick to battle the Necromonger empire.  While doing so, Riddick discovers the secrets of his mysterious origins.

This is a solid sci fi flick.  The story is interesting and engaging, delving into Riddick’s past and integrating it into the character’s evolution.  Judi Dench and Karl Urban’s performances are noteworthy as they brought real range and depth to their characters.  Visually, this is a pretty film with interesting and creative settings.

My only real qualm is that some scenes were distracting due to either lack of direction or physical ability on the actor’s part.  There are just a few places that the physical action appeared forced rather than naturally occurring, if you notice them, then you know what I mean, if you don’t, so much the better for your viewing experience.

I gave this 3 whiskeys.  Though this is a sequel, it could easily be a stand alone sci fi film.



“Riddick” (2013)

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Riddick is betrayed by the Necromongers and left to die on a planet that is “Not Furya.”  There he survives and hones his survival skills.  Riddick sends  a distress beacon from a Merc outpost so he can get off planet, but both he and the Merc’s are in for a fight as the planet’s natural predators come out to hunt them.

Again a solid sci fi/action flick that is more of what I expected in a sequel of Pitch Black.  This takes place 10 years after the events of Pitch Black and is very reminiscent of why that movie was so good.  The beginning moved a little slowly, but it paid off as the story progressed.  The character came full circle, but the viewer has more of an understanding, after this latest installment, of why.

Note worthy performances by Matt Nable, as Big Daddy Johns (as Riddick called him) looking for what really happened to his son;  Conrad Pla, as Vargas, the engineer; Nolan Gerard Funk, as Luna the man of God; and of course, Katee Sackhoff, as Dahl, Johns’ second in command (though she was bad ass, her character ended up doing the expected, which was a little disappointing).

I gave this one 3 1/2 whiskeys because it was enjoyable.



Overall, the series is worth the time to watch if you’re a sci fi/action fan.  I give the whole series 3 1/2 whiskeys.  I liked it, but I may have questionable taste.

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