It’s an Animal Thing
The Chronicles of Riddick is the big budget sequel to 2000’s more reasonably priced and plotted Pitch Black. Both feature Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), a wanted ex-con and master of navigating the dark.
He’s an anti-hero—a man who has done bad things, but who we root for because of his devil may care attitude. It was an archetype that worked perfectly in Pitch Black, as well as the third film in the series Riddick. The problem with The Chronicles of Riddick—problems rather—is the sheer size of the story they are attempting to insert him into.
Chronicles is a full-on space opera. There are prophecies, warlords, intrigue, and treachery. It’s a lot; and when compared to its predecessor, it doesn’t feel at all like a sequel. As one reviewer put it, it’s “Space Conan,” but that’s not a compliment. Where Conan the Barbarian juggles the heft of its story well, Chronicles crumbles beneath it.
Hence why it was reviewed so poorly (29% with 167 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes) and failed to recoup its budget. It grossed just $115.8 million on a budget north of $120 million.
But, hey, it does boast a handful of classically cheesy Diesel one-liners, some laughable self-seriousness, and a smattering of shoddy CGI. So sit back, crush a can of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing, and prepare yourself for the Underverse! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are being taken to the threshold!
This Week’s Segments:
- Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Is the scale and scope of Chronicles too much for its titular character? (00:00)
- Lingering Questions – We tag in The Double Turn Podcast, and then we attempt to assess how the follow up to Pitch Black went so wrong! (1:04:11)
- The “You Keep What You Kill” Trivia Challenge – After a word from our pals at Hop Nation USA, Chumpzilla challenges the field to a series of trivia questions about the movie. (1:35:12)
- Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week, and next up: It’s the final entry of our “Hops and Favorite Flops” series, Big Trouble in Little China! (1:48:28)