In which I attempt to watch every film in The Criterion Collection and end up watching a lot that aren't. Click here for the rating system.


The Chronicles of Riddick

"More like Riddick-ule!"

I know I told you I would write reviews of the "fine wines" of the film world and that you all wouldn't know half the time what movies I was talking about, but right now I'd like to - no I'd love to - dissect a well-known summer action flick which came out a year ago, didn't do all that well (voted eighth for most disappointing box office turn-out) and that I watched just for the hell of it last night: The Chronicles of Riddick. HA! Just saying the title is funny!

Apparently, this film is a sequel to Pitch-Black, a film I didn't watch and have no intention of watching. A film in which our anti-hero (sort of), Riddick does some wild and crazy stuff. (I'm too lazy to go read a synopsis of the first film. It doesn't really matter. Please, let's move on.) But in this one, we are to receive a great treat! Vin Diesel and Dame Judi Dench appear in the same film! HAHAHAHA!! Hilarious! Even Dame Judi in flowing white robes and neato see-through effects can't improve the real estate on this one though.

The bad guy is played by the same actor who is standing on this giant Canadian piano: Colm Feore. He's just called the Lord Marshall and he's a holy calf-head. I mean, holy half-dead. Which means, apparently that he can move really fast and he can pull people's souls out of them. The way (poor) Dame Judi introduces him in the opening voice-over is, "half living, half... something else." And then she goes on to say that the only way to fight evil this evil is with another sort of evil. Which we're supposed to assume is Riddick, but he isn't really evil at all during the whole film. In fact he's not evil at all. Occasionally selfish, but he always brings himself around to help others. Any ways, the bad guy is called the "Lord Marshall" of this cult army called - get this - The Necromongers. (Pauses to burst into laughter.) Because they collect half-dead people or turn them into half-deads for their cause. They talk a lot about faith and religion, but the basic tenets of their religion are left unclear. Mostly, they just take over countries by force and then "convert" or kill its inhabitants. Not very original, but whatever.

So anyways, these necromongers (sort of like Matrix batteries) all used to be something else: humans mostly, I think. And they all had to be strung up and poked in the neck to be made necromongers (pronounced mungers) and we're all sure that is a terrible thing although they mostly keep their personality and such. They just have a change of wardrobing and makeup. For example look at Riddick's girlfriend Kyra: before and after. If anything she looks better as a necromonger.

It was the names that cracked me up the most: There were a series of planets marked for destruction called Helion Prime 1-5, Dame Judi was called Aereon and she was an "Elemental" which meant she could kind of ghost around at will, Riddick's girlfriend was being held on a max security detention planet too hot to walk on called "Crematoria." (Pauses again to laugh uncontrollably) When the necromongers chased Riddick to Cremetoria they were all wearing their full-body metal armor. How stupid do you have to be to walk out on a planet with a 700 degree farenheit sunrise in a full-metal suit of armor? I don't know, but Lord Vaako, Lord Marshall's head army dude didn't seem to mind too much. But the Purifier for the necromongers, before he commited suicide by walking into the Cremetoria sun did take off his metal finger tips. And he also confided in Riddick that he, like Riddick, was once a Furyan. Yes, folks, you heard it right. Furyans. A race of people who were the only ones who could stop the terrible necromonger invasion. And of course, Vin Diesel was the only one left which meant the saving of the universe was up to him and of course he managed.

Whoo! Good times. A very funny movie. I hope you never have to watch it... till Underverse comes.

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