Movie Review - The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.