THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK is one of my favorite SF films of the last decade, even though it’s a mad jumble of elements: wanted criminal Riddick, last of the Furyons, necromongers, scheming for a throne, a strange underworld, and ethereal sprites played by Judi Dench. As I wrote in my original review, it was confusing, but had tons of imagination. It was also a passion project for star Vin Diesel and director David Twohy, and following the economical original hit PITCH BLACK, they had plans for a grand three-film saga that would take Riddick on universe and reality-spanning adventure.
Unfortunately, THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK didn’t do so well at the box office when it came out in 2004, got awful reviews, and the only sequel was a video game and direct-to-DVD animated movie. But Diesel never gave up on the character, and he’s back—with Twohy, who has made only a single movie since CHRONICLES—in this year’s Riddick, which is, again a lower-budget, stripped down film more akin to PITCH BLACK.
But if you are a fan of THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, then you have to wonder what happened after the end of the film, when Riddick unexpectedly found himself the ruler of the empire he’d been fighting, King Conan style and how it leads to the back-as-a-criminal Riddick of the new film.
And we have an answer. And it’s a motion comic.
One quirk of this motion comic is that it isn’t actually based on a comic. So it’s a actually a limited animation thingie sequel/prequel that someone tagged a motion comic. Whatever.
The D&D loving Diesel has been very devoted to his franchise, and took a pay cut to make a new Riddick film, so think of this as a budget-conscious way to bridge the gap.
Reading the press previews of Riddick, it seems there is still not a lotta love for CHRONICLES—although the director’s cut Blu-Ray has some fans. In an era when anything that ever existed has been turned into a comic book and a series of Neca action figures, it seems it’s that rarest thing: an actual cult film that hasn’t been blown out of proportion. And that’s how I like it.