Chronicles Of Riddick

Big, bloated and surprisingly uninspired, The Chronicles Of Riddick exists at the opposite end of the spectrum to Pitch Black. Where that film was lean and hard-edged, this follow-up is a completely different kettle of Furyan, with returning writer-director David Twohy opting for a big-budget, heavy-handed space opera that seeks to expand the character’s mythology. Following Riddick as he takes on a warmongering empire known as the Necromongers, Twohy’s expansive vision is ambitious but all too flawed, resulting in a disappointing misstep that gets more wrong that it does right. That said, the middle act proves surprisingly effective, as Riddick and an old acquaintance attempt to escape from a triple-max prison on a scorching, uninhabitable penal planet. Revolving around survival in a desperate situation, this section is a far better fit for the character, and arguably should have been used as the basis for Twohy’s entire film. Still, The Chronicles Of Riddick is often let down by messy action, silly genre jargon (“Underverse”, anyone?) and unconvincing plot developments. For example, we’re supposed to believe that Riddick spent five years on the run to protect a kid he barely knew? In fairness, Vin Diesel’s marble-voiced line-delivery is almost enough to hold our interest, but this isn’t the same ice-cold killer who stole Pitch Black. More of a near-invincible anti-hero, Riddick is so tough here that he can kill hardened thugs with a dirty old tea cup (seriously), meaning there’s very little in the way of tension or danger.