Movie Review - The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

Criminal Honor

 On a cold brutal world a man runs across a landscape that resembles the ridges of a fingerprint. He came here for a reason. To protect those he cares about from those who want to capture him. His name is Riddick.

Evil with honor.
Evil with honor.
Who do you trust?
Who do you trust?
King of the beasts
King of the beasts

The second in a series of live action science fiction/horror staring Vin Diesel as Richard B. Riddick an escaped convict constantly on the run from mercenaries for the size of the bounty on his head. Riddick is not a good man. Nor is Riddick an evil man. Riddick is a man with a code of conduct that allows him to continue living. When you consider his life from the moment of his birth it is not surprising. He is one of the last of the Furyans, a race wiped out 30 years ago by a then young Lord Marshall in response to a prophesy. But prophesy has a tendency to get its way. One thing Riddick does have is honor. He is neither a pessimist nor an optimist. Riddick is a realist. For those that matter to him no price is too high to pay especially for revenge.

Okay. I admit I was not a huge fan of Vin Diesel though my beloved husband was. Nor do I normally watch science fiction/horror movies beyond specific exceptions. However, I certainly got sucked into this. The character is riveting. It was enough to make me go Googling about Riddick and his universe. The character doesn’t kill for the sake of killing. It’s kill or be killed. Survive at any cost. Does that make him evil? No. No more than the lion is evil for killing the antelope. Kill or die. The history of the character and his race is fascinating and I look forward to learning more about the Furyans and the type of people they were. With what little information is out there make them fascinating and I want to know more.

The Lord Marshall.
The Lord Marshall.
Two of a kind.
Two of a kind.
Elemental influence.
Elemental influence.

The Necromongers. This is a freakishly disturbing group. They are not a race per se but a collection of people who have been converted to this mindset. The Lord Marshall is human and something else. He is the holy half dead who has seen the underverse. What he saw there and what changed him is unknown, but it makes him difficult to kill or stop by any normal means. Lord Vaako and Dame Vaako would like to see that happen and take his place. He is a good soldier and leader of men because he believes in the Necromonger faith. She is also a believer and will do anything to maneuver her husband into position. She is beautiful and manipulative. She is also creepy as hell in her own way. The interesting thing is these two are totally into each other. The Necromongers are another group I would love to know more about as well as what the underverse is. I guess I’m weird that way.

Throw in a mysterious member of the Elemental Race who know the prophesy and arrange to make it happen to restore balance to the universe. Judi Dench did a fine job with the role. I would love to know more this race as well.

Only one speed.
Only one speed.
Surprise suckers
Surprise suckers
Time to kick some Necro butts.
Time to kick some Necro butts.

One of the highest security prisons in the galaxy, a triple max security slam (aka slammer) is a world called Crematoria. Daylight temperature is 700 degrees Fahrenheit and 300 degrees below on the dark side. A buffer zone of 20 kilometers lies between these two extremes where the temperature is acceptable for human life, though constantly changing. It is an ideal location for a maximum security prison especially when you put the flight hanger miles away from the prison itself. The landscape of the planet fits with the results of these temperature extremes. From that alone you can tell in which direction the planet rotates with the heating and freezing effect of the stone. All this make Crematoria one of the most difficult prisons to escape from.

Jack is dead. Kyra is a new animal.
Jack is dead. Kyra is a new animal.
The prophesy completes
The prophesy completes
"I was always with you."
"I was always with you."

It is here where Riddick comes for Jack/Kyra who got herself sent here after she went after Riddick and joined a Merc (mercenary) crew. It was a very bad mistake for her. Had she stayed on New Mecca with Imam, played by Keith David, she would have had a different life. But she didn’t and paid the price. She tries to blame Riddick but only she is responsible for her choice. But time and time again Riddick comes for her and then when he returns to Helion Prime he finds she has been converted. In the end the conversion is not complete and she stabs the Lord Marshal in the back while he is battling Riddick. She gives him the edge and time to place himself for the final blow. In the end she dies in his arms.

Riddick mourns her death sitting on the throne of the formal Lord Marshall. He looks up to see the Necromongers including Lord Vaako kneeling before him. A major precept of the Necromonger faith is the rule ‘you keep what you kill’. Riddick is now the new Lord Marshall. What will he do with this power? That is left for the next movie which I hear is in the works and I’m looking forward to see it.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty....
Here kitty, kitty, kitty....
Crematoria... seriously...
Crematoria... seriously...

There are two things that stand out to me. The ‘dogs’ that were at Crematoria during ‘feeding’ time were awesome. I don’t know what they are but they are so cool and react well to Riddick. They would make great pets for him I would think. And great protection

The second thing is the environment of Crematoria. Now as I remember fire consumes oxygen and a renewable source of oxygen would be required for the fire to burn continuously unless it’s another element that burns so furiously all the time, but I’m pretty sure all oxygen would be consumed by these extreme temperatures so what is everyone breathing?

I look forward to the next installment. It should be entertaining. I’ll admit it; Vin Diesel has become a bit of action eye-candy in my book.

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Comments 10 comments

creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you for a fantastic movie hub. creativeone59


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain

I loved this movie and Vin Diesel is certainly easy on the eye, and I loved the character Riddick. You captured the movie well in your hub.


Gemsong profile image

Gemsong 7 years ago from Richmond, Virginia Author

Creative59: Glad you enjoyed it.

maggs224: Sometimes I watch the movie while I review it. It helps.


mtsi1098 7 years ago

now I do not have to read newspaper movie reviews...I can come here...good insight to this movie...thanks


Gemsong profile image

Gemsong 7 years ago from Richmond, Virginia Author

I never read those. I rarely agree with them. :


movies star 6 years ago

Your review ids awesome. I love that. you know.

I love this movie, But almost forgotten, how the story goes.

Untill I read this hub.

thank you.


Gemsong profile image

Gemsong 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia Author

Thanks for the comment. I now have another excuse to rewatch.


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

They are making a sequel? YES! I want to see Riddick as ruler of his own Empire.

I even hope the bounty hunter Tombs, returns. I like that guy, he remians me of Harrison Ford with more edge.

Maybe Jack/Kyra can be brought back at the Underverse.


stvrich profile image

stvrich 2 years ago from East Rockaway - Long Island - Planet: Earth ~

WoW! ~I just read this for the first time. I THINK YOU DID A FANTASTIC SUMMARY on "Chronicles"!!! I just wrote a Riddick Article myself... focused more on the First Movie "Pitch Black" (or Nightfall).

I truly admire the clean summary you have here. I, would never have made myself analyze Chronicles. And I am linking to this article here, in my own comments on Pitch Black, to lead people HERE, to see a great summary of "Chronicles".

Love your word-smything.

You are Obviously Intelligent, and cleanly logical in your clear expression.


Gemsong profile image

Gemsong 2 years ago from Richmond, Virginia Author

Thank you for the very lovely compliment.

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