The Chronicles of Riddick
Review by Ross Anthony

This film has great sound! Clean crisp well-distributed audio pops cracks and explodes throughout the theatre. And that percussive score layered with thick commanding strings and eerie moody choir voices gives the film an able strength. Special effects, especially during close in fight scenes are tight, artistic, and unusual in their sensitivity to light and dark. In fact the motif of light and dark in this film is quite commendable. However, more global, open shots of larger expanses: cities and even planets -- these feel drawn, fake. They are the weakest links in the visual landscape and unfortunately, their break in the chain of believability is problematic.

The Chronicles of Riddick Aside from a sticky clunky beginning, in which the audience must be taught the rules of this sci-fi adventure, the film shows great discipline in pace and intensity. The picture sports an ever-increasing charge toward the climax, a great deal of action and excitement, and in between, very well earned tension.

I've always liked Vin Diesel, his acting is terribly inconsistent -- sometimes he nails a line with all the flair and passion of Hollywood's best actors, then others he delivers with all the excitement of a math teacher. Still, he never loses command of the screen, and he conveys a wonderful complexity of heart and thought. In fact, this character "Riddick" is so much fun because he's not the Boy Scout superman -- he (supposedly) is a bad boy himself. In this way, he's quite like the lead in "XXX." And in fact, Diesel's character in "Pitch Black" (another Twohy film) is Riddick

Excellent performances by Thandie Newton (who looks smashing) and Linus Roache as the purist. Sweet art direction & costume design as well.

  • The Chronicles of Riddick. Copyright © 2004.
  • Starring Vin Diesel, Thandie Newton, Karl Urban, Colm Feore, Linus Roache, Keith David, Yorick van Wageningen, Nick Chinlund, Alexa Davalos, Kristin Lehman, Judi Dench.
  • Screenplay by David Twohy.
  • Based on Characters by Jim and Ken Wheat.
  • Directed by David Twohy.
  • Produced by Scott Kroopf, Vin Diesel at Universal/Radar/One Race. (c) 2004.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:16:42 PDT