Movie Defense Force: The Chronicles of Riddick

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I always loved The Chronicles of Riddick. Yeah, it's nothing like the superior Pitch Black, but it's got badass hero doing badass stuff, a bizzare but cool sci-fi universe, cool action scenes... and it's overall just great action-packed fun. I could never understand people hating it for being a dumb action flick instead of loving it for... well, being a dumb action flick.

Take one part Warhammer 40K, one part Lensmen, one part D&D. Mix well with a heavy dash of reasonable action sequences and some surprisingly deep character moments. Serve steaming hot with a lot of cheese. That pretty well sums up Chronicles, and it's damn fun. Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought so.

There's something about Chronicles Of Riddick that's made me watch it 3 times now. I rarely ever do that. It's just a really fun movie to watch, like reading a comic book.

Also who doesn't like seeing a guy defy all odds and punch + kill his way to the top of the food chain?

Good video, Jim! You made me rethink Chronicles and want to watch it all the way through now. I can respect Vin Diesel wanting to come up with something new and original, and I like how unashamed he is of it. Like you and MovieBob, I detest movies that go, "Hey, our premise and setting sure are stupid, aren't they?" and I'm glad most superhero movies don't do that. Instead, they try go the deconstruction route. But unlike you, Bob and I HATE the SCREAM series for what they did to movies.

Jim you should come back to defend odd movies that nobody saw or indefensible mulch... Not good movies that the internet is mad at. The internet is a stupid animal, and i recon we all part of it :D

I freaking loved that movie, I don't even care. It had a really cool Conan in Space feel to it. Shoot, he even became king at the end of it!

I don't love this movie? Why? I never watched it...heck, I never watched any of these movies...probably should fix that someday. I've heard good things about the games too. A game based off of a movie that's actually good? A rare breed indeed.

Many seem to expect a lot more from this film than I was, I loved Pitch Black and this flick was pretty fun. Had a lot of fun art direction and good action, it was cheesy at parts but many movies are. People liked Star Trek and that was both disgustingly off what the series has been for years and took itself super serious.

As the films are released the progressively get better in my opinion.

Riddick > Chronicles of Riddick > Pitch Black.

I have never claimed to love 80s movies and I actually liked Chronicles of Riddick. Not as much as Pitch Black, obviously. In fact, that's why (I'm sure) most people didn't like CoR... because it was so far from Pitch Black that if you watched it for a sequel to Pitch Black you'd come out of the theatre dissapointed.

Sweet, people other than me enjoy this film. I has a happy.

Mangue Surfer:
The problem is that the film is boring.

Truth, this is the movie's biggest problem. It's a handful of good scenes amid a gelatinous mass of gunk that takes forever to slog through to get to those good bits. I have no problem with the movie's plot being silly or Necromongers being suddenly The Big Bad Thing out of nowhere or any of that (except the prison planet's sun issues - that always bothers me, the whole "we can't even afford flying through the sunlight in our spaceship" thing becoming "well actually a human body can survive direct contact with that sunlight for quite a while as long as you douse it with water first, you'll just steam up a little" by the time they're making their escape - so much for consistency or holding to its convictions there, eh?), it's just freaking dull.

It's the kind of movie I might turn on in the background just for ambient noise while I'm doing something else, looking up to it when I hear one of the aforementioned good bits about to happen.

i also enjoyed this movie that i watched it several times. sure its not as good as pitch black but its enjoyable with some wise cracking remarks from diesel and some goofy action scenes. at least its better then the third one which really wasnt that good.

I loved this when I saw it years back, it was for some time my favorite movie. The crazy setting and the apparently how serious the movies takes itself, thattook me some ting to actually comprehend.
The scene where Vin Diesel saves that chick and the sun comes up and he's flexing and the water is evaporating of him. It just doesn't get any cooler!

I liked th film, I don't think we really ever got another good fantasy-sci fi movie after it, Avatar is too pretencious and The new Star trek.... is shit.

I'm in complete agreement here. this movie was aa lot of fun to watch. Isn't that what watching movies should be about at least some of the time?

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

The sad truth. The Emperor protects!

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 very much like this movie but you have a great point. The single biggest problem I had with this movie is that Riddick was a bad ass human being in Pitch Black. He was human. Very human. A single man vs. man fight was deadly dangerous for him. That made it all the more mind blowing when the "did not know who he was messing with" scene comes!

In this movie, he's a superman! This is NOT the Riddick of the first film and all the tension is therefore, gone.

Oh. And it's a little bit racist. Riddick isn't a bad ass because he's a bad ass. It's the race of Furions he comes from that matters. Uh huh.

That doesn't mean it wasn't successful in its own right. I love the opening snow scene, and there is a bit of homage to the first film: them running again, this time trying to beat the sunrise. Plenty of quality visuals many fantasy fans likely missed due to the bad word of mouth this movie got.

Best movie defense I've seen in ages. I hate when he takes a really bad movie and says, "but it was great for what it was". That isn't enough. Take movies that really got hate they didn't deserve because they were actually good.

Huh, once again I had no idea this movie hated, Jim running out of obvious picks? While I didn't think it was love by everyone like Hook was, I had the impression that most people thought it was just meh or didn't see it.

I love that movie, it does everything right. I really don't understand what people dislike about it.

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.

Yeah, I had the same feeling watching this. It was a fun action movie that didn't care what people thought about it. Jim hits upon a good point, I think. Some types of movies were just better when they weren't trying to be smart and self-aware.

I absolutely enjoyed these movies. I still joke about that teacup sequence and what he held up right afterwards. I wasn't sure why people disliked it at all in any significant numbers.

I do find it surprising that this was a $105 million budget movie. But I guess it was CGI intensive for 2004. But a 29% rotten tomato? That's far too harsh for a movie with so many redeeming qualities for people who like this kind of thing.

I love this movie, I have watched it more times than I can count, including the dvd commentary versions. I was watching it when it played on tv when I owned the dvd, and then watched the dvd later.

I am wholly not part of the irony swilling crowd.

I thought Chronicles was okay, but it wasn't the fact that it took itself too seriously that brought it down for me. Everything on the prison planet I actually enjoyed. The stuff that didn't work was the Elementalist lady, Furions, destiny and the Necromonger political process.

You compare it to the 80s but one thing 80's action flicks did right was truncated the plot for the sake of more action. A lot of those classics, especially the Arnie films were extremely light on plot. Bad guy has motivation, somehow incites Arnie to action, and Ahnald kills everyone in his way to the final confrontation. Myabe 10-15 minutes at best was ever spent on the side plot.

Think about Running Man's sub plots. A resistance movement against the oppressive corporations, codes needed to hack the satellites and the whole truth of the Butcher of Bakersfield. Combined total of maybe 10 minutes of footage and dialog, a lot of it just an excuse to get you to another set piece. Heck, I bet 90% of people who claim to love that movie would forget one of those sub plots if you asked them about it.

That is where Chronicles fell down. It didn't need to go into Riddicks history. It didn't need Judy Dench monologuing about how odd the universe is, and it certainly didn't need Thandie Newton (can't think of anything I have liked her in) doing the whole convince my hubby to take over the throne garbage.

The movie was at its best when it just let Riddick be Riddick and let the situation unfold without all the overarching plot threads. Incidentally, that is also why Pitch Black was such a superior experience. It didn't try to overcomplicate what it was. A bunch of people crash land on a hostile planet. Each of them with just enough history (based on how long they lived) to make them interesting and give them a sense of progression as they try to survive.

My only problem with the movie and what makes it so hard to stomach for me is that, it's supposed to take place in the same universe as Pitch Black.

You know the gritty sci-fi alien/Star Ship Troopers knock off.

Now you could argue that there wasn't really enough established in that movie to say that none of this stuff that was later presented in Riddick didn't exist but at the same time, there wasn't anything previously that hinted that it could either which is why Space Elementals and evil Knights just feels like it was completely pulled from someone's back passage.
I also am not a fan of the retooling of the Riddick character either. I preferred when his was morally ambiguous and dangerous as opposed to a reluctant hero.

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?

I'm guessing: yes. I loved Pitch Black, and I loved Chronicles. I dont like everything Vin has done (cars are extremely boring to me), but I LOVE Riddick and how dedicated Vin is to the character. Even if its cheesy, I just love it.

I'm looking forward to Riddick and I'm heartbroken that Chronicles didnt make more money.

I watched The Chronicles of Riddick before Pitch Black, and I absolutely loved it. Yes, it was incredibly cheesy but ultimately it was a pretty solid action flick with quite the decent length. The constant involvement of the more fantasy like qualities into the science fiction kept me gripped purely because any big sci-fi thing with some whimsical elements gets me invested a little bit.

I watched Pitch Black a year or so later with my Mum, and I was like "holy shit, it's Riddick!". The biggest issue with TCoR is that it's a sequel to Pitch Black. If it changed the main female's name (in fact, they did change it) and made it so neither her nor the character played by the Arbiter (I think it's Keith David?) were the other survivors from Pitch Black I think it would be solid enough to stand on it's own. I love Pitch Black, I love almost everything about it. Hell it even inspired Epic Games to put the Kryll into Gears of War, and the Kryll is one of my all time favourite video game enemies.

I've yet to see Riddick, I want to and I'll probably buy the DVD if I see it, though I'm not sure whether it's any good (kinda looks like a mixture between Pitch Black and TCoR).

Finally defending a movie I agree with, yay! I love the whole Riddick universe, and while Chronicles is the least impressive of the bunch, it's still rather enjoyable. I think part of the problem is the movie was kind of a 180 from Pitch Black, and Riddick was an unpredictable maniac in that. Chronicles you know exactly what he's thinking and what he's going to do, and that lessened some of the intensity. But still, I loved Chronicles, just not as much as Pitch Black of Escape from Butcher Bay.

WHAT? This needed defending?
Guess me and my 80's born friends are all just stupid for liking this, then and now... :P

Btw, first movie I ever got in 1080p... it was that long ago.
We stared at the screenshots I'd made from the DVD versus that 1080 file, and the planet detail was just STUNNING... ^_^

I find myself in full agreement with Jim... This was a fun movie I enjoyed (although I freely admit that the horror adaptions and sequals I enjoy the most are those that have removed all the scary;)

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.

He's the Iron Giant. He'll always have a special place in my heart for that.


Anyways, loved Pitch Black, was Meh on chronicles, loved Butcher bay.

I like it when people point out that this film isn't that bad.

I loved Pitch Black. I liked Dark Fury. Chronicles resulted in an explosion of maniacal giggles throughout its run time, and only in the best of ways. I love these movies. I love Vin Diesel in these moves. I wanted more of these movies, and then this movie flopped. I was moving at the time, I didn't get to see it in theaters like I did with Pitch Black. I was sad about that, and when everyone I knew, and every critic I read, was telling me it was terrible I couldn't believe it. So when I did get to see it, as a rental, I couldn't believe. Granted the version I saw when I rented was not the theatrical release, it was the extended director's version with even more fantastical elements that got cut out of the theatrical release (which I saw later, when I bought a full pack of all the Riddick movies, complete with both version of Chronicles).

I've watched and rewatched these films. When I read that not one, but two, new Riddick movies were coming out - one more like Pitch Black (the one already out) and one more like Chronicles (the second one that I REALLY hope is ACTUALLY coming) I went ballistic. I was overjoyed. Something I thought wasn't going to happen is going to happen. When I saw the new Riddick movie in theaters I ignored all press and all commentary. I knew what they'd say, and sure enough, over and over, even trying to ignore them, I heard how terrible the new Riddick movie was, "Why did they make more of this shit?" I've heard. Well, I'll tell you why they made more.

Because this shit is awesome.

The new Riddick movie was great. I've yet to be disappointed by a movie in this franchise. I'm on board. I'm ready for more. Bring it. Bring it all.


Also I happen to think Vin Diesel doesn't deserve most of the flack he gets. I rather like the Riddick character he plays, but the one thing that really won me over was a preview of Assault on Butcher Bay. The Video game adaptation of the Riddick universe. Yeah, the old Xbox title, before it was updated and packaged in with Dark Athena. The interview had him at a convention talking about Butcher Bay. Playing bits of it on the floor. Talking to people. The man was so hyped. I'm not talking, "I'm selling this game" sort of stuff, I mean he is bouncing up and down like a schoolgirl, all giddy and happy. Every time he thought something in the game, or that he was talking about, was awesome, you saw it on his face. He wasn't saying it to the camera. The man was saying it to himself, like he couldn't believe that he actually got to be involved in making a video game.

That sort of joy, that sort of love for what he was doing with the Riddick universe and that game? That won me over. Vin Diesel is awesome.

At some point you should defend Splice (2009). People mistake it for a terrible sci-fi horror when it's really just terrible if you view it as such. By viewing it as a coming of age drama it turns out it is a winner! Splice is about a couple learning (and stumbling some along the way) what it is like to raise their first child together as well as their daughter as she discovers her inner beauty and overcomes the trials of being an awkward teen that has trouble "fitting in". You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll giggle as you join this nuclear family on their quest through parenthood and child rearing and finding one's place in the world.

I never thought the movie was all that bad to begin with, but what do I know, I'm just a paying customer.

Tono Makt:
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.)

Heh, I had that reaction as well (in my case it was Stratford in the 90s, but still).

The randomness of the cast was one of the things I thought was pretty awesome about it.

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