Published Jun 01, 2004Picking up roughly five years after Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick starts with Riddick (Vin Diesel) on an isolated planet. When bounty hunters show up to collect, he hijacks their ship and travels to the planet Hellion to find the one person who knew where he'd be: the holy man Iman. Once there, he discovers that an invasion is brewing the Necromongers, almost like the Borg from Star Trek but much nastier and with better costumes, à la H.R. Giger, have targeted the planet for "conversion."
Riddick is told that he must fulfil an ancient prophecy whereby he is to slay the Lord Marshall of the Necromongers. Unfortunately, he is captured and exiled to a prison planet. There, he meets up with Jack, the little girl from Pitch Black who now calls herself Kyra, and they break out of the prison so he can fight the big, epic battle with the Lord Marshall. His wife, played by Thandie Newton, is just as cunning and devious as one would expect from an evil overlord's other half. Seeing her plot against her husband makes you think that things can't all be good in the Lord Marshall's kingdom if he can't keep his wife happy.
The message of the movie is quite clear: conformity is bad, diversity is good. It's a "we can't all worship one god, so let's just accommodate everyone's beliefs and get along" sort of thing. When the Lord Marshall comes along with his speech about how converting to his way will put an end to all pain and suffering, it just sounds wrong.
The story doesn't quite make sense and there are a few gaps in the plot, but overall the movie is pure, campy entertainment. The fight scenes are well choreographed, Riddick says some classy one-liners and no one spilled their popcorn. (Universal)