(I know, that pun’s been made everywhere – still it applies.) I neglected to mention last update that I saw the truly terrible Chronicles of Riddick last Friday. Between this and the just ever so slightly worse Van Helsing, there seem to be some considerable quality control issues over at Universal Pictures these days.
Life’s too short to spend a lot of copy on this flick, so I’ll keep it brief. I generally like Vin Diesel, I thought Pitch Black was an enjoyable, low-key B-movie, and I liked the first 80 minutes or so of David Twohy’s submarine ghost movie Below. But The Chronicles of Riddick doesn’t make a lick of sense…it’s just a lot of glamour poses and wrestling moves. The only thing that stands out is the goofy, over-the-top art direction, which comes off as a pastiche of David Lynch’s Dune, the Joel Schumacher Batman movies, and the video to Duran Duran’s “Union of the Snake.” There’s a long, drawn-out, and unnecessary sequence in the middle of the film where Riddick and his motley band of Road Warrior castoffs are trying to outrun the fatal sunrise of the planet Crematoria, and, frankly, I haven’t seen something so nonsensical in a movie since Keanu Reeves outraced an atomic blast wave in Chain Reaction. (Ok, I never saw Chain Reaction, but you get the point.) Simply put, this film is embarrassing to all involved and will probably give I, Robot and The Stepford Wives a serious run for their money as the worst science fiction film of 2004.