Projections - Movie Reviews
The Chronicles of Riddick
The Chronicles of Riddick
Starring Vin Diesel, Ja Rule, Judi Dench, Karl Urban, Colm Feore,
Thandie Newton, Alexa Davalos, Nick Chinlund

In a distant region of the galaxy, a massive armada is consuming entire worlds in a religious crusade of death and destruction. The army is that of the Lord Marshal (Colm Feore) and his Necromongers who are staging a religious campaign where those who do not join are destroyed.

The colonized planet of Hellion is the next human settlement in the path of the Necromongers and the desperate inhabitants are preparing for the worst. One of the residents of Hellion named Imam (David Keith), has set a desperate plan into motion in an effort to save his family and home. As one of the survivors in the events of Pitch Black, Imam has set forth mercenaries to try to capture the galaxies most wanted criminal Riddick (Vin Diesel). Imam hopes that the man who helped save him five years earlier can be persuaded to do so once again. It is a move born of utter desperation as Riddick has been in hiding for years and is not the type to join causes unless his safety is threatened.

But Riddick is soon caught in the battle between Hellion and the Necromongers and through circumstances is reunited with Kyra (Alexa Davalos), the other survivor from the events of the first film, who has fallen on hard times in the last five years due to the absence of Riddick who she sees as a mentor. Trapped in a dreary prison planet with a surface temperature of several hundred degrees, Kyra and Riddick are forced not only to deal with a myriad of unsavory characters, their own unresolved issues with each other and the looming Necromonger forces.

The Chronicles of Riddick is a surprisingly deep and involved action film that is light years ahead of most films in the genre and is a great surprise in what has largely been a summer of underachieving to date. The supporting cast is anchored by the vary capable Dame Judy Dench. I was amazed at the sheer scope of the story as this is simply not something I am used to seeing in a Sci-Fi film.

The acting in the film is solid though not spectacular. Diesel spends much of the film as the strong silent type, but when he does speak, he gets the most out of it as he has some lines which are pure classic and get the audience cheering. He conveys the complex anti-hero Riddick well as he blends toughness with compassion and humor creating a well balanced and even character. Dench’s role is small but pivotal to the plot as she is the catalyst to the motivation of the Lord Marshal and she provides a distinct nobility and culture to the film. The supporting cast is solid if a bit bland. Due to the scope of the film, natural avenues for character development were not explored. This being said, the talented ensemble works well with Diesel who shines.

The Chronicles of Riddick

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