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:: The Chronicles Of Riddick

After five years ago leaving Planet Taurus and roaming around the universe for survival, Riddick (Vin Diesel) discovers that he has a bounty on his head and is a hunted and wanted man. He proceeds to Planet Helion Prime to find former ally Imam for an explanation. Just as he arrives, the planet is only minutes away from being attacked by a new breed of evil, the Necromongers. It is quickly discovered by an Aereon (Judi Dench) a lost Elemental being (a floating ghost-type race) whose home planet has been destroyed by the Necromongers. Riddick is the only one of his kind left, a Furion, and the only one who can save the planet from eternal doom to the Underverse, a type of universe which we infer is very, very bad.

With his mission in place, the obvious rejection of it follows and only after Imam has been killed, leaving his innocent wife and child behind, does it spark his interest in this evil force. After being captured and witnessing the brutal force of these Necromongers towards the otherwise peaceful Helion Prime-eons, leader Lord Marshal (Colm Feore) insists that Riddick joins them and submits himself for a brain-suckage session, where the townspeople get converted into Necromonger soldiers. Making it well clear that he will work for no one but himself, Riddick resists their forces and escapes after having met the evil Vaako (Karl Urban) and Dame Vaako (Thandie Newton), who are planning to overthrow Lord Marshal unbeknownst to him.

Having caused more trouble than what he bargained for, the Necromongers realise that Riddick’s brutal force and light-sensitive eyes can only mean one thing, he is the last of the furions, a race they destroyed a long, long time ago.

In yet another attempted escape, Riddick gets recaptured by the bounty hunters (again) and shipped off to the planet Crematoria, containing a huge underground prison where the sun rises and destroys everything in its path at 700 degrees Celsius. Riddick discovers that Jack had been imprisoned there; the young girl from his previous adventure on Taurus five years ago, although she’s no little girl anymore and she’s no longer called Jack. Kyra is the name and blades attached to the back of her shoes are the game. Together with some straggling prisoners they escape and make a furious dash against the sun on the planet’s surface only to be greeted and left for dead by Vaako, who captures and converts Kyra into a Necromonger

Once Riddick catches wind of this he is back with a vengeance and in the ultimate showdown with Lord Marshal, the Necromonger philosophy comes into play, “you keep what you capture” and with a little help, this lone rider space cowboy realises he will never be alone anymore.

Being the sequel to Pitch Black and never having seen Pitch Black myself, it isn’t all that bad if you forget that the script, acting and planetary names and terminology are riddick-ulous. Writer/director David Thowhy (from the first film), may have a been a little too excited when given the new budget on Chronicles as it screams “I have more money than the first film” especially through the special effects, excessive and exciting as they are. The Necromongers battleship, Basilica (what the?) and its migration to Helion Prime are fantastic to watch almost echoing great Egyptian columns and pyramids. Lord Marshal’s costume; the multi-faced demon warrior was also quite a spectacle. However, the planet Crematoria with Riddick and his companions’ race against the sun are definitely a visual feat, with the characters racing through sunburnt craters and volcanos, although one may ask how is it that a bit shade shields them from 700 degree sun. Well, it’s these details that aren’t of too much concern and nor do we care, it looks great. The action sequences are shot to innovative visual effects with strobe lighting, time lapse and fast paced edits changing the traditional look and feel saving it from being an ordinary action sequence.

The Chronicles of Riddick isn’t all that bad; not to say that it’s all that good either, although it was quite enjoyable with visual overload and imagination to behold.