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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Vin Diesel
Judi Dench
Karl Urban
Colm Feore
Alexa Davalos
Thandie Newton.
Directors
David Twohy.
Screenwriters
David Twohy.
Running Time
119 minutes

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The Chronicles of Riddick
The return of Pitch Black's homicidal hero, Richard B. Riddick.


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Plot
Outlaw antihero Riddick (Diesel) is back and standing in the way of a galaxy-wide crusade by all-out scumbags the Necromongers, who are so evil even their haircuts are scary. In the meantime, there is an old face to rescue: Kyra (Davalos), the girl he saved and then abandoned.


Review
Those without the benefit of having caught Pitch Black, the muscular predecessor to this hulking new blockbuster, should be warned that Richard B. Riddick is not a man in touch with his feminine side. In fact, he's a pumped-up sour-puss with surgically reconfigured night vision, dashing around reaping mayhem because in this ghastly far-flung future, popping a chill pill is not on the itinerary. And isn't it always the way? As you're striving to be the ultimate badass in the galaxy, you keep getting roped in to save the day.

Such is Vin Diesel's lot as this beefcake Snake Plissken replica five years after fighting off a herd of alien-bat thingees, now thoroughly irritated to find himself at the epicentre of an inter-planetary crisis. Meanwhile, his director, David Twohy, is busy ramping up the scope of the franchise with demented levels of creative abandon.

There is no end of snazzy art direction, with impressive worlds built out of slabs of baroque CGI providing the playground for a potty-load of sci-fi hogwash about dastardly Necromongers on a quest for the Underverse - an evil nirvana where Chris Waddle mullets are all the rage.

Twohy's universe is a scattershot of cod-mythology refracted from Tolkien, 2000AD, Frank Herbert and the upper echelons of L. Ron Hubbard's featherbrained cyber-cult, Scientology.

Not that the film is entirely devoid of value. An inspired riff involving an oven-baked planet, with Riddick and crew sprinting to keep ahead of a molten sunrise, plus a sexy bad-girl spin on Lady Macbeth from Thandie Newton, temporarily lift the turgid Ping-Pong between mouthfuls of prophetic mumbo-jumbo and bloodless head-cracking. The combat is oddly techno-spare, opting for mano-a-mano physicality rather than zappy space opera.

And it does, at least, get its viewers thinking. Why was the hero christened Richard when everyone else goes by such tongue-swallowing sobriquets as Vaako and Irgun? And was that really our treasured Dame Judi enlisting her noble brow to this heavy metal fray? The pay day must have been sweet, as she now has to set Aereon, an incorporeal Elemental who wisps in and out of shape to explain the plot, alongside Queens Victoria and Elizabeth.


Verdict
It’s no Battlefield Earth, but it’s no Dune either. And, no, before you ask, it’s not destined to be a cult classic.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan


Related Reviews
Games
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, The
 

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Chronicles of Riddick
Empire Star Rating

Terrible From The Start To The Unfinished End.

The Chronicles Of Riddick is a terrible film from the start to the unfiinished end. It's all special effects that looks strangely like Star Wars, the most hammiest and awful acting, fight scenes that are badly done and ending is just left. What happened, no budget left? Vin Diseal is his usual: stupid voice, wooden acting. Why on living earth was Judi Dench in it? Did she need the money or something? Thandie Newton was surprisingly bad, she's normally okay in her movies but this was her weakest ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 10:32, 30 October 2010 | Report This Post


Terrible From The Start To The Unfinished End.

The Chronicles Of Riddick is a terrible film from the start to the unfiinished end. It's all special effects that looks strangely like Star Wars, the most hammiest and awful acting, fight scenes that are badly done and ending is just left. What happened, no budget left? Vin Diseal is his usual: stupid voice, wooden acting. Why on living earth was Judi Dench in it? Did she need the money or something? Thandie Newton was surprisingly bad, she's normally okay in her movies but this was her weakest ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 10:32, 30 October 2010 | Report This Post


Underrated

Is this the most underrated film of all time? Nearly as underrated as Judge Dredd, this film is incredibl. And some people had the cheek to call it cheap. This film is as spectacular as they come, and it develops the no. 1 badass to a near insane degree. The ulaks scene is the standing out point. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mark09laugh@gmx.com at 10:45, 04 December 2009 | Report This Post


Better than two stars!

Yes - there was some cliche parts, but in all a really good watch! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Funk_Knight at 09:03, 03 December 2009 | Report This Post


Better than two stars!

Yes - there was some cliche parts, but in all a really good watch! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Funk_Knight at 09:03, 03 December 2009 | Report This Post


Yeah you heard me! 5 stars baby! Can you deal with it? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Pat Roach at 17:02, 15 September 2008 | Report This Post


Better than Pitch Black!

Yeah I said it! Pitch Black is good, but Riddick is more fun. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tallaght24 at 11:57, 30 January 2008 | Report This Post


A Riddick-ulously spectacular sci-fi, but does feel a bit unfinished.

. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by David G at 15:28, 04 November 2007 | Report This Post


A sexy, expensive but ultimately vacuous project that dredges depths so bizarre and disparate that one wonders if Twohy has fooled the studio into giving him a blank cheque in exchange for a surrealist art-house effort. Somebody is certainly having a laugh as a strange collection of sub-plots appear and disappear with only the impassive Diesel as a common factor. Even he looks bemused at times as the action rumbles along, the supporting cast hamming it up admirably. Judi Dench in particular ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Eomer_King at 17:54, 29 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Such a pitty; parts of this film are really good.  Parts like the fights, and the ships, and the design, and the style.  Script is a little crap at time, but it's an action movie with Vin diesl in, you can't expect much from it.   But how I can rant abou the bad bit;  WTF was the whole prison bit.  It felt like we'd suddenly left the movie we were in and gone into a different one; wasn't a good one either.  The whole prison bit reeked of 'lets-be-really-cool'; ... More

Posted by SimonPatricOon at 21:59, 02 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

ely could have been better. I liked his character in it, Dame Judi Dench and the character of the girl... what was her name? Cara! Yeah, right, she was good.t=arial] rything else? Pretty dire. ... More

Posted by Jessica_ca_ca_ca at 20:53, 02 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

arial"]Oh, how I hated this film when I saw it. ... More

Posted by Zatoichi at 20:16, 02 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE:

Watched it once and thought it was Ok. Watched it twice, decided it was shite and sold my copy of the Dvd. ... More

Posted by BobaJango at 18:35, 02 March 2006 | Report This Post


this film is a lot of fun ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by cerberous at 18:30, 02 March 2006 | Report This Post



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