*** Official THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Brian_H, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Brian_H

    Brian_H Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw this last night at an advance screening.

    It definitely held my interest for the duration of the film, and there were some pretty cool scenes, but I don't think it was on par with the coolness that was Pitch Black, IMO.
     
  2. Derek Williams

    Derek Williams Stunt Coordinator

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    Saw it tonight it was a fun summer movie.
    Worth the ticket price.

    The ending scene reminided me of Conan the Destroyer closing scene
     
  3. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    I am a big fan of Pitch Black. It's much better than it had to be, and it shhowed a real talent behind the camera. It was also made great by one of the best openings I've ever seen, some neat monsters, and an engaging and charismatic anti-hero. It's ending was almost poetic. Not bad for a B-monster film.

    I've been excited about Riddick for quite a while. Vin's star dimmed, and Below came out, was excellent, and Dimension/Miramax dumped it. But I remembered Twohy's skill. I remembered his creativity.

    Both are on display in The Chronicles of Riddick. I found it to be a flawed, but extremely ambitious, cut-from-whole-cloth epic. My boy Scott Weinberg hosed me with a negative review, but I appreciate the wake-up call. I do not think it is nearly as bad as he described it. Nor is it the newest "cool thing".

    It's tough to get a handle on, because there is a lot going on, some of it intersteing, some of it uninteresting, with a few real problems. But in the end, I enjoyed the film, and plan on purchasing it.

    I feel Twohy made two significant errors, one storytelling, and one filmmaking.

    Storytelling: I've seen this happen time and again in geekville. RA Salvatore's Drizzt, X-Men's Wolverine come to mind. DO NOT PUT YOUR PROTAGONIST ON SOME KIND OF BADASS PEDESTAL. It weakens the writing terribly. The author seems almost in love with the cool aspects of who he's writing, and allows it to affect the world around the character. He overdoes things. As strongbad would say (and does): "Too much of a good thing is awesome. Too much of an awesome thing is...stupid."

    Riddick is a badass. Got it. Use that sparingly, and retain the mystery of it, the flavor. Too many Riddick lines and moves. Some good...some not so good.

    Filmmaking: The action scenes were rather poor. A few were actually excellent, but most were disorienting or poorly shot. There was a lot of promise in most of them, however. Especially Kyra's (and why the name change?).

    All of that said, the key word here is ambitious. This film is saved by Twohy's vision. There is a great deal to look at in the film, and amazingly, it's not cribbed from other places, or cobbled together out of hand-me-down sci-fi looks. This is the most creative visual sci-fi piece since The Fifth Element, and tops it in numerous places. The story is a fragment of a bigger story. I appreciated that. There should have been more backstory in the film, not on the website. I am all about starting the middle, but give the audience a life-raft. I understand there are two following films (that will probably never get made, unless this kills overseas, as I hope it does). I'd pay to see them.

    If anyone here has ever read the excellent sci-fi novel Armor, Riddick's character reminded me of Felix (minus the cooler Felix past). If you didn't...too bad. It's a great book. His legendary ability to fight back and pull things off is well-done...minus the worship bit I discussed earlier.

    The other issue I had with the film (and it didn't bother me, but it is disjointing) is it starts one place, does a lot, goes somewhere else for most of the rest of the film (completely unrelated), and then finishes basically where it began and closing out that story (before opening another). A bit brazen for a big-budget film.

    The acting was good, all things considered.

    The direction and effects were creative and excellent, and are the highlight of the film.

    It's not a film for everyone, as evidenced by the reviews [​IMG] It certainly has some flaws. But I found a lot to like about it.

    7.5/10,
    Chuck
     
  4. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    I enjoyed it very much. I had a smile on my face throughout. This one will polarize people though- it takes itself very seriously and people who don't buy off on the concept and the world it takes place in are likely to find the proceedings incredibly silly.

    I thought Vin Diesel really made the film. He's a complete badass as Riddick and you can see why other characters are in awe of him.

    For the most part I liked the production design but its a bit too busy. I think it would have come off better with more monochromatic, washed out photography.


    Some of the fights were kind of choppy for my taste- I generally prefer longer, wider shots. I suspect some of the choppiness may have come from the effort to keep the film PG-13. Its a very violent film but most of the killings are cut away from very quickly.

    Liked the visual effects a lot. Definitely not photorealistic but they had a nice artistic quality that gave many many of the shots a feeling like a painting.

    One of the best things about the film is the way it lets Riddick fit the role of savior of the universe without compromising his integrity as an anti-hero.

    Definite thumbs up from me.
     
  5. Travis_S

    Travis_S Supporting Actor

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    Maybe it's lowered expectations, but I liked this alot. I fully expect to be in the minority on this. I'd also like to see the rest of the trilogy but it will probably never be made.
     
  6. David Illingworth II

    David Illingworth II Second Unit

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    I really liked this movie, and I don't agree with everyone saying Riddick is too bad ass ... Riddick is the best part of this movie, and I for one like watching him kick ass! Vin Diesel is awesome as this character; it fits him like Arnold's Terminator.
    This movie is definitely the best "new" sci-fi epic since Fifth Element, and I think it was far superior. Fifth Element betrayed the characters by becoming far too silly and focused on action. Riddick, on the other hand, keeps its gritty tone and ambition throughout.
    As for the hand to hand action, it's no different than Twohy did in Pitch Black. Almost makes the movie more small and personal to me. Just gave it a flavor ... and that's the difference. This movie felt like it had it's own unique identity, and you don't see that often in a big budget epic. Here's hoping there will be sequels, though I have no idea where they would take it.
     
  7. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin Stunt Coordinator

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    CoR is definitely NOT anything like Battlefield Earth, however it is only a popcorn munching, 2 out of 4 stars movie. The reason is that the story is so weak and the characters are so one dimensional.
    The film does contain some really entertaining moments and some great CGI but the entire movie leaves a weak taste in the mouth.
    All that said, it has a great ending.
    I'm new to all the Riddick stuff, in fact I watched Pitch Black AFTER seeing CoR and I think Pitch Black was the better movie.
     
  8. BretWeaver

    BretWeaver Stunt Coordinator

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    I liked it alot, thought it was great at what it was... entertaining summer eye candy. However, had this been an R rated movie, it would have been 10x better... and I'm pissed it wasnt.
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Chronicles of Riddick". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



    Crawdaddy
     
  10. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    i really liked this alot as well. i agree with posters above that had this movie been rated r it would have been much better.

    i found that the movie was very ambitious. it tried to cover alot of material in 2 hours and in effect could have been a couple of movies had the powers that be decided to flesh out character development a little better. i really would have liked to have seen some back story on the antagonists, riddick's roots, and the development of the female protagonist.

    the effects were ok. there were a couple of day after tomorrow wolves lurking that looked not so good but other than that i have no complaints.

    i really did enjoy this ride and i am surprised that it got the critical lambasting that it did. i have seen far worse get much better acclaim. imo, critics are going to flame any thing with diesel in it.
     
  11. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    [​IMG][​IMG]½ - out of four, recommended with reservations

    Chronicles of Riddick has a lot going for it, I've liked Vin Diesel ever since I saw the prequel of sorts to this film, Pitch Black. When he has the right, dark material he's got a good sense of charisma, the sorta it's good to be bad f*ck you that's pretty refreshing at times. xXx was in many ways a failure because the nature of the role contained that aspect of Diesel while trying to exploit it. Riddick never makes that mistake, instead it unleashes Diesel in exactly the sort of playground that's perfectly suited to him. There's things to this film that just make you grin, and every one of them is something to do with Diesel.

    What doesn't work, and what pulls this film down is the whole necromonger crap. I never once really bought into it the way that I did all of Pitch Black or every moment of the opening ice planet and the Crematoria prison. That's the paradox of using Diesel as an antihero, his personality is so over-the-top that if he has to face human villians who are worse than he is then they have to be so far over-the-top that they're ridiculous--I simply couldn't take them seriously. The threat embodied by the necromongers is one that has to be told to us. Twohy never shows us their evil or brutality (or even humanity) in an intimate manner that could make their threat personal and immediate. Instead we get a sweeping shot of a planetscape burning to 'tell' us that they are bad because they're rapacious fantatical fascists.

    Injecting the supernatural felt a bit half hearted, I'd have been more happy if it was a little more subdued, show us only the Elementals to hint at the possibilities of this sci-fi universe, don't bring in too many superhuman fantasy elements as the silly badguy did or Riddick's newly invented furious heritage did. If anything these pushed the film over the line that pitch black managed to tread and I miss the intimacy and honesty of that movie which managed to touch on the spiritual without being brazen.

    Ambitious but flawed, still it's a very entertaining movie, everything on Crematoria was absolutely perfect. The opening was wonderful. All the stuff before the necromonger show up on Helion was very nicely done, and the first fight with the necromonger was something special. Really I think I'm grading this down for the stuff when Riddick was in Necropolis (and we instead just saw the awful acting of the Necromongers) and the superpower fight at the end. There's almost a great movie here but it's not quite there yet.

    Adam
     
  12. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Flawed, but I really liked it. I must see it again.
     
  13. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    I too want to see it again. I was pleasantly surprised.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Not the gem sleeper Pitch Black was, but entertaining.
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I think Riddick was the problem with the film because his character is just too two-dimensional, and the quips don't quite flow well enough for me to really "get" Riddick.

    The sets, and the effects were nice eye candy, I liked the designs of the ships and locales on different planets.

    The pacing of the plot left a bit to be desired, it's just too haphazardly done in many spots.

    I didn't quite get really into the Necromonger (the antagonists) either. Perhaps not enough menace in such a conquering force of the galaxy. Of course, for me, the problems of conquering any lands is that pre-occupation is the bigger headache than the actual conquering. Oh well.

    I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.
     
  15. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Both my son and I saw it free tonight using movie cash from the PB DVD. Had to say, we liked it, right up to the cheesy ending. The scenes on the lava planet, while illogical, were just plain cool.
     
  16. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Both my son and I saw it free tonight using movie cash from the PB DVD. Had to say, we liked it, right up to the cheesy ending. The scenes on the lava planet, while illogical, were just plain cool.
     
  17. Todd McF

    Todd McF Second Unit

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    Saw this last night. I don't know what the critics are talking about. Talk about missing the point! Even the title says it all. Its an action flick - a serial or a even a comic book action flick. Sure there are some plot holes and perposterous plot points - but its all in good fun. Critics are totally useless. The series may end right here because of them which totally sucks.

    My only gripe has been echoed above. We should have seen some Verhoven-esque violence added to give it that Starship Troopers edginess. Riddick had way too many blades on him to not see some gore. Not a big deal, but it did detract from the emersion a bit during the blade based fights.

    I loved the David Lynch Dune feel, with the retro architecture and costumes. Very well done!

    So its grossed $24 Mil so far? What was the budget? It sure came across like a big budget flick.

    I give it a 3.5 out of 4.
     
  18. Todd McF

    Todd McF Second Unit

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    Saw this last night. I don't know what the critics are talking about. Talk about missing the point! Even the title says it all. Its an action flick - a serial or a even a comic book action flick. Sure there are some plot holes and perposterous plot points - but its all in good fun. Critics are totally useless. The series may end right here because of them which totally sucks.

    My only gripe has been echoed above. We should have seen some Verhoven-esque violence added to give it that Starship Troopers edginess. Riddick had way too many blades on him to not see some gore. Not a big deal, but it did detract from the emersion a bit during the blade based fights.

    I loved the David Lynch Dune feel, with the retro architecture and costumes. Very well done!

    So its grossed $24 Mil so far? What was the budget? It sure came across like a big budget flick.

    I give it a 3.5 out of 4.
     
  19. sheldon M.

    sheldon M. Stunt Coordinator

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    Very cool movie. Twohy is very gifted-between this, the Arrival, and Pitch Black I've never been let down-always felt entertained. I love the weird weapons he comes up with like the "vacuum ball" in The Arrival and that roman candle thing in COR. The whole look of the Necromongers' (the name is kinda dumb) ships, weapons and armor was awesome. Twohy is good-very good.
     
  20. sheldon M.

    sheldon M. Stunt Coordinator

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    Very cool movie. Twohy is very gifted-between this, the Arrival, and Pitch Black I've never been let down-always felt entertained. I love the weird weapons he comes up with like the "vacuum ball" in The Arrival and that roman candle thing in COR. The whole look of the Necromongers' (the name is kinda dumb) ships, weapons and armor was awesome. Twohy is good-very good.
     

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