Movie Defense Force: The Chronicles of Riddick

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The Chronicles of Riddick is one of VERY few modern / Post-Millenium SciFi movies I actually cared to watch more than once (up to now: 4 times). And that means something in my universe and my spare free time.

Its hard to tell which of these are tongue in cheek anymore. In any case I liked the movie and always wished that there was some other (maybe better written source) which described the universe.

Vin Diesel doesn't deserve all the hate he gets. He may not be the best actor around (and he has done some truly horrendous films), but at least he has fun. As for Chronicles of Riddick, well, I was never really a big fan. I liked Pitch Black, but Chronicles was just... all over the place. It's been nearly ten years since I have seen it, so maybe I just need to watch it again to know for sure.

Mrs. Makt loved Chronicles of Riddick. Mr. Makt is a very, very, very lucky man. We saw it in theatres, said "This is so terrible... but in an awesome way." then bought it on DVD the day it was released because man, we loved it. Terrible acting, terrible writing, terrible plot and all. Dame Judy Dench as an Air Elemental - how can you go wrong with THAT?

(Mrs. Makt also has Karl Urban on her "Exceptions" list, which... might have something to do with it. Also Mr. Makt had seen Colm Feore at the Stratford Festival for many years in the 80's, and was quite happy to see him finally in the movies.)

Not so. The problem is that the film is boring. Slept all times that I tried to watch it. The intergalactic thing going on is so pretentious.

S-so...I'm not the only human being that actually liked Chronicles?

Huzzah! So nice to see some other people who at-least mildly enjoyed it. Personally, i thought it was a fun movie that showed off a bit more of the Riddick-verse. An hey, at-least it didn't end up being a cheap retread of Pitch Black.

But,but John Carpenter movies were designed from the get-go to be serious and silly at the same time without the self-awareness nonsense(as was Pacific Rim).

Chronicles wanted to be taken too seriously and wanted to sell the idea of Vin Diesel as a profound intellectual warrior poet lost in a classical era interpretation of the universe.

I personally don't mind the film though, but in order for me to appreciate it fully, it will take a bit more.

Maybe a marathon of 80's movies

My problem with Chronicles of Riddick wasn't with the movie itself
My problem is that it is sequel to Pitch Black
It isn't, it tries to be, but it isn't.
It is it's own movie that shares some of a characters with Pitch Black.
And I think many people went to Chronicles expecting Pitch Black 2.

Infernai:
S-so...I'm not the only human being that actually liked Chronicles?

Huzzah! So nice to see some other people who at-least mildly enjoyed it. Personally, i thought it was a fun movie that showed off a bit more of the Riddick-verse. An hey, at-least it didn't end up being a cheap retread of Pitch Black.

No, you're not. I got Chronicles of Riddick in a two-pack with Serenity at Costco for like $5 quite a while back now thinking it was just a shit throwaway movie to toss in with Serenity and it turned out to be quite the enjoyable film. I have yet to fill in the rest of the library, maybe next time I'm in the local wal-mart I'll grab the others up.

It gets even better when you learn that Vin Diesel at least co-wrote this movie and the more recent Riddick. It was part of his negotiations with Universal to come back for more Fast & Furious movies that they hand over the rights to the Riddick movies to him and help him get them into theaters. He paid for a large portion of Riddick out his own pocket which is why it took so long to get finished. The dude's a huge nerd and even wrote the foreword in one of the D&D revisions.

I actually enjoy all three of the Riddick films, and enjoy the most recent Riddick more than Pitch Black; if only because it doesn't waist a lot of character development or screen time on people who will be dead before the half way point.

I once read that the reason Chronicles was so over the top was that Vin Diesel loves D&D and wanted to make a D&D adventure around the character of Riddick. Who knows how the movie would have turned out if Riddick didn't always roll natural 20s.

See also:

Escape from Butcher Bay and Dark Athena are some of my favorite games to boot. So. Damn. Good.

Is the new Riddick worth watching?

Snowblindblitz:
See also:

Escape from Butcher Bay and Dark Athena are some of my favorite games to boot. So. Damn. Good.

Is the new Riddick worth watching?

It's a bit of a departure from the previous two with one giant redux from pitch black. It's not a spoiler to know that he'll have to fight through an alien monster horde to escape the planet... only bit I didn't like. I recommend watching the directors/extended cut, there is like 2 extra scenes. The one in the beginning expands the setup and the one at the end sets up the continuation.

I enjoyed Chronicles and wished for a direct sequel, though im aware they made one but doesnt have anything to do with Chronicles.

I have major respect for Vin, fact that when they want to make the new Riddick movie a pg13, he took a pay cut to ensure it would be an 18 cert. How many actors would do that?

Jimothy Sterling:
The Chronicles of Riddick

It's an animal thing.

Watch Video

But Jim, films like Robocop are satire, they aren't taking the subject or characters seriously. i mean "arrest mode" corporations so evil they try to pass off combat drones as "peace keeping forces"

Riddick is more Commando or Krull. terrible cheesy shite that fell flat.

Jim, all that had to be said was

Space Conan

/debate.

I love this film, I don't care, there's a soft spot on my heart reserved for it.

I understand people arguing that it missed the point of Pitch Black (even though what that 'point' actually was seems to elude anyone I ask) and that it was kind of goofy, but as Jim said, it takes itself seriously.

Something that bugs me alot is when people say "oh, it's okay because it doesn't take itself seriously" which is often a translation for 'it doesn't try to hard' which is just f*cking lazy.

If you have an idea, commit, because i'm not gonna do it for you.

Not to mention i've seen sillier looking stuff on Stargate and Star Trek and no one's calling them out on it.

Yay, more love this year for dumb fun.

I agree, I enjoyed Riddick. Its obnoxious as all hell, makes little sense, and is basically just over the the top action sequences strung together in an amusing sci-fi setting. It is, as Jim states, the dark version of The Fifth Element for me, and just as amusingly watchable.

Sometimes your really want a film that is thought-provoking and meaningful. Sometimes you just want to eat some popcorn or, in my case, M&Ms and sit through something that entertains you. I fail to see the error in that.

Oh, and since the general rumor is that Vin Diesel got Judy Dench to play D&D with him as character research for this film, it pretty much gets a pass on that alone.

I really like Chronicles of Riddick and just don't really understand why so many people dislike it. The writing and acting and all are good too; the genre has a different set of priorities and standards than Dostoyevsky or To Kill a Mockingbird and everyone knew what they were doing enough to make an enjoyable experience.

I enjoy Chronicles for what it is: the closest we'll ever get to a live action Warhammer 40K film.

I like the Riddick films, I'd understand people being slightly upset over the large departure from the first one but that never bothered me. Slightly reminds me of a watered down version of the Alien/Aliens debate now that I think about it. Anyway half the reason I like these movies is simply due to how friggin sincere Vin Diesel is when he's playing this character, he gives zero fucks what people might think and just goes all in.

Oh and it has one of the best video games based off of a movie character out there, franchises worth 10 times what this one is haven't got a game half as good as Butcher Bay.

Bravo sir.

For all the things the movie does wrong, the things it does right are far better than most of what we get today and they more than make up for the downsides.

I wholeheartedly agree, that any 80's movies fan should be able to enjoy Chronicles.

And I personally think it's a hell of a lot more enjoyable movie than something like Avengers.

Wait what? I was completely unaware that people didn't like this movie. I loved it so much, I guess I was blinded to everyone's hate.

blackrave:
My problem with Chronicles of Riddick wasn't with the movie itself
My problem is that it is sequel to Pitch Black
It isn't, it tries to be, but it isn't.
It is it's own movie that shares some of a characters with Pitch Black.
And I think many people went to Chronicles expecting Pitch Black 2.

I think this is a good point.

Riddick of "Pitch Black" wasn't immediately the protagonist; he was just one of a number of characters, any and all of whom seemed like they might be expendable at any given moment. (This was before Diesel's star had risen, so he could be relatively innocuous among the rest of the cast.)

Riddick of "Chronicles" was a superhero with some of the same mannerisms as the character of the first movie.

And I'll say right now- that's okay. I enjoyed "Chronicles" for all its wackiness, for many of the reasons Jim describes here. There's something to be said for a movie that refuses to do anything half-way (see: all of Baz Luhrman's portfolio).

It did make scaling back to the merely larger-than-life-but-vaguely-within-the-laws-of-physics Riddick of "Riddick" a bit of a challenge, and between the three it's pretty hard to guess how the fourth one will play out, should it actually manifest. But, y'know... I might well watch it.

I didn't hate Chronicles of Riddick, but it did take kind of a long time to grow on me. I was one of those people that went into it expecting a "Pitch Black 2" and was initially disappointed.

After a couple repeat viewings, I've come to the conclusion that it's alright. My main problem with it is that it doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It's all over the goddamn place.

Frankly, I think I probably would have liked it better if they'd gone all-in on the prison plotline. If it had been a Riddick jail breakout movie I probably would have loved it. The Necromonger plotline is kinda what made me disinterested in the movie (Sorry Karl Urban! You're still awesome!). I just really couldn't get into them as bad guys. They felt so... out of place and wrong for the universe.

Incidentally, I loved the recent movie, Riddick, which notably barely featured the Necromongers. Thankfully.

Well, you're half right.

Pitch Black is a great 80s movie. The new Riddick is a great 80s movie.

While Chronicles has the needed sincerity, it misses one other major element that makes a great 80s movie, a proper sense of scale. When you look at the Schwarzenegger and Stallone movies, most of them work because the don't get too complicated. Hell, Commando is literally just one long kidnapping retrieval. The bad guy is bad, Arnold is good, now shoot things.
Even the more grand movies like Total Recall still stay focused extremely well. It doesn't try to be bigger than it needs to be.

That's the problem I have with Chronicles. It spends way too much time trying to be this MASSIVE EPIC SPACE WAR OMG and not enough time with Riddick being Riddick and the bad guys being bad guys.

I just didn't have fun.

It also dicked with the character of Riddick, which annoyed me as a fan of Pitch Black.

Still, not a terrible film at all. Not really even bad. Just mediocre.

The Riddick movies are absolutely ridiculous, but filled with charm and love for the subject matter which is why I adore them so. Good choice Mr Sterling, bravo indeed.

My biggest problem with Chronicles of Riddick is actually how they tried to bring back the surviving cast (or characters) of Pitch Black, only to basically waste them and ruin their limited character arcs.

Mainly the girl. That... that just never worked for me. I love cheesy things as much as the next gal, but the whole "Don't call me Jack. It's Kyra now" trying to look tough and evolved and... it fails so hard.

I actually liked the Chronicles of Riddick and I don't really like Vin Diesel. And yeah the whole killing a guy with a tea cup thing was pretty badass.

And Jim once against amazingly manages to go through an entire Movie Defense Force without actually mentioning the reason people dislike the movie in question.

Very few people hate Chronicles for being what it is, it is entirely inoffensive in that regard and there's much MUCH worse action schlock out there to bitch at, it's certainly not worth hating

The reason there are a lot of people who hate this movie is because we were TOLD that we'd be getting a sequel to Pitch Black.

But what we got was practically the fucking definition of a bait and switch.

I don't mind Vin Diesel's manic fanfiction universe, it's even pretty entertaining purely on it's own merits. But this movie has practically NOTHING to do with Pitch Black, not in tone nor in content.

Why they insisted on making it a continuation to Pitch Black I have absolutely no clue, it only served to taint the movie by the unfavorable comparison, and the stuff they crammed in vain attempt to connect the continuity only serves to taint both movies.

The problem with "Chronicles Of Riddick" was specifically that it was "Chronicles Of Riddick". It was intended to be a sequel to a homage to Aliens called "Pitch Black" where the character Riddick becomes the unlikely hero, being an escaped criminal/prison inmate turned anti-hero by the situation he finds himself in and the bounty hunters that had captured him being even worse than he is.

Riddick as a character was popular because he was... dare I say it... down to earth, despite the outlandish premise of his movie. You could sort of see how prison could make a hardened criminal even tougher, and almost believe in the context of a movie that he would be unusually effective in the situation he found himself in. It was a change of pace stylistically from the "Han Solo" style of space criminal that had been being ripped off pretty much everywhere.

The thing is that "Chronicles Of Riddick" goes from making the title character simply a tough guy who was able to do some unexpectedly amazing things, to pretty much the over the top centerpiece to an entire universe. He just wasn't down to earth anymore. Sure, the guy was an infamous space outlaw, but him being pretty much #1 on a galactic scale, fighting armies of Warhammer 40k inspired space aliens, and then being revealed to be an alien himself... it just wasn't the character or universe people came to see. If "Chronicles Of Riddick" is to be believed "Pitch Black" shouldn't have been remotely suspenseful, and Riddick stepping up to do the things he did shouldn't have surprised anyone.

This movie would have been perfectly serviceable as a science-fiction action movie if they had just gotten rid of any pretensions of tying it to "Pitch Black". What is otherwise a decent movie was actually destroyed by being a "Riddick" movie and coming with those expectations. Most people going to see that movie had fond memories of the character from "Pitch Black" in their mind, and a title that reminds them of what the movie is supposed to be like, in watching the movie it becomes almost impossible to reconcile the first movie with this one.

I say this a lot, but I notice on MDF little attention is paid to why franchise movies failed, what else was out there, and what expectations they were selling to the fans and then failed to deliver on.

To put this into perspective, if you were running a PnP RPG game, and someone pitched you a character "Like Riddick from Pitch Black" and the handed you the "Furian Chosen One, destinied to destroy and absorb the power of the necromongers and capable of fighting subspace warping alien ninjas in hand to hand combat using nothing but improvised bladed weapons" would you think the guy mis-represented himself? "Chronicles Of Riddick" seemed like the guys who planned it wanted to use the name recognition of Riddick, and Vin Diesel, but had no other reasons for it other than t generate hype.

Right Hook:
Slightly reminds me of a watered down version of the Alien/Aliens debate now that I think about it.

David Twohy (the guy who wrote all of the Riddick movies) actually did write an early draft for the Alien 3 script. It actually has quite a few similarities to the shooting script of Pitch Black.

Small world, eh?

Im shocked that this movie needs defending!!

I loved it! They took the universe of pitch black and just went insane with it!! i totally and utterly respect the sheer balls and gumption of this movie and they way they just went over epic with it!

'Tis a movie I haven't seen yet, although I did watched Pitch Black and I definitely liked it.

I LOVE 80's films, I guess I eventually need to check this one out.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Right Hook:
Slightly reminds me of a watered down version of the Alien/Aliens debate now that I think about it.

David Twohy (the guy who wrote all of the Riddick movies) actually did write an early draft for the Alien 3 script. It actually has quite a few similarities to the shooting script of Pitch Black.

Small world, eh?

Interesting, I didn't know that but it doesn't surprise me, sci fi writers seem to get mixed up into all sorts of different scripts at one time or another.

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