Movie Reviews 23 – Ridick

Pitch Black (2000)
This movie was under not in my radar when it first came out so I really did not know anything about it or star Vin Diesel when I first saw it a few years ago. Seriously, calling yourself “Diesel” is not something that lends credulity to any acting skills, or any other ‘skill’ for that matter. But I was pleasant;y surprised by the movie. A spaceship making a deep space voyage has its cryogenic sleeping occupants rudely awakened when they are hit by a meteorite storm and the ship must make a crash landing on the nearest planet in the vicinity. Aside from the regular passengers we have a heavily manacled prisoner (our man Vinny) who escapes during the crash. But the rest of the survivors eventually come to term with ‘Riddick’ when they discover that the planet has a nasty and deadly secret. The character of Riddick has special abilities but what drives the movie is the fine array of interesting characters that make up the rest of the bunch. Part SF, part horror, it satisfies on both accounts.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Black Fury (2004)
This is just an hour long animated movie that takes place after the events of the first movie, but does little to advance the concept or any other relevant story other than setting a few things up for the second ‘real’ sequel. The lame story is about alien bounty hunters and their desire to not so much cash in on their prey, but entomb them in statuary. Hardly worth the effort to watch. I don’t mind watching animated movies but I hate it when the production fails to take advantage of the things that animation can add to a movie and instead dumb it down with half baked stories. Such is the case here.

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
An ancient race with formidable powers seek to enslave the universe, one planet at a time, and the only resistance that can thwart their plans is Riddick. It seems that Riddick is that last of his own formidable race and not human at all which better explains his superhuman abilities. We find that Riddick was betrayed by “Imam”, a fellow survivor from the first movie, but in seeking out his traitorous friend he also finds out that the other lone survivor is now a prisoner on another faraway world. Riddick wants to rescue ‘Jack’ while at the same time he is pressured to help out the rest of civilization from the evil invading forces. There is an entire back story of conflict and betrayal in the evil forces as well the entire ‘Jack’ plot plays out, so there is plenty of story to go around. Visually rich, it’s not as original as Pitch Black, but decent enough to enjoy.

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