Comfortable and Furious

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)


David Twohy, the Criminal Mastermind

I need to say one thing up front; The Chronicles of Riddick is worse than stomach cancer. Honestly, I can’t even call the film The Chronicles of Riddick; I refuse to accept anything about this piece of incompetent trash. So, for the remainder of this review, The Chronicles of Riddick will be referred to as Rotten Shit-Fest. Got it? Good. I need you all to put on your Sci-Fi (nerd) thinking caps for a second. Remember the drop off in quality that happened with the Star Wars franchise, specifically from like say The Empire Strikes Back to The Phantom Menace? Going from the pretty decent earlier film Pitch Black to Rotten Shit-Fest is a much larger plunge, quality-wise. I’m not kidding. Anything remotely interesting, appealing or redeeming from the first film has been rendered into tripe for the sequel. Just an unbelievably, unimaginably horrible film. Stomach cancer!

There are so many points of entry for me… I really don’t know where to begin. Usually when this happens, I start making lists. So, fuck it, here’s a list of fucked, dumb-ass stupid shit that happened during Rotten Shit-Fest. Man, that last sentence had a lot of cursing in it.

  • I think the very worst part of the film is when Riddick is reunited with Jack. In the first film, Pitch Black, Jack is a twelve-year-old girl who pretends to be a boy. She also idolizes and copies Riddick’s every move and mannerism. Riddick has some sort of animal like ability and can smell Jack’s menstrual blood, so Jack gets outed to the group as a girl. Rhiana Griffith did a fine job portraying the androgynous kid. In this travesty of storytelling, Jack (Alexa Davalos) has managed to age at least ten years in the span of five. Moreover, she is now a vicious killer, just like Riddick. She is also a drop-dead gorgeous model-type. I mean, maybe a blind-man might mistake her corpse for that of a boy if he wasn’t allowed to touch it. Worst, when the two see each other for the first time in years, Jack attacks him and then says, “Jack is dead. It’s Kyra now.” And that’s it. For some fucking reason, Jack is Kyra. The scene was just handled with such a blunt-edged knife… OK, sure, you need sex appeal (I guess… Patton didn’t) but why trash your earlier work? I mean, this is George Lucas style mendacity, and we haven’t even talked about the criminal over-use of computer graphics yet! Anyways, fucking lame, and “Kyra” was a rotten character anyhow.
  • If I was to be juvenile, I would tell you that the names in Rotten Shit-Fest are pretty lame. If I were to be my honest, mature self–and I think I will be just that–I’m telling you that the names in this movie are a slap across the face of any thinking person who watched this woeful atrocity with the (slim) hope of being entertained. The bad guys are called, “Necromongers.” I guess “Death Lovers” would have been too obvious? Ugh… stupid!!! Great characters, too. I’m really interested in their motivation. They basically show up at different worlds (Humans now apparently live on “Helios Prime” I guess “Optimus Prime” was taken) and kill a third of the population, enslave the next third and nuke the third. Which is really just dull. And somehow, “one man can stop them.” Want to take a guess as to whom? Almost as dumb as the name “Necromongers” is the name of Riddick’s race, “The Furions.” Get it? He’s full of fury! He’s a Furion! By the way, I don’t know how to spell any of these and I don’t care. Judi Dench plays something called an “Elemental.” While not the worst name I’ve ever heard, it is pretty uninspired. Stupider, though, is the fact that the character is totally white and wears only white and her name is “Aereon.” Pronounced “Aryan.” Lordy… One really funny note; the bad guys (Necromongers) walk around in really tight metal outfits that show off their chests and asses real good. Cod pieces, too. The Necromongers refer to non-Necromongers as “Breeders.” Which is hysterical, since that is the derogatory word gay people use to refer to straight people. Like how black guys call white guys “honkeys.” I’m not sure if it is funnier if “Breeders” was intentional or not. Oh fuck, how could I forget that there is something called the “Underverse?” Why it isn’t just called the “Uberverse” is a mystery that will haunt us all, always. Just kidding, it’s stupid, too.
  • So, the clunky-ass, Dench-delivered opening monologue that “explains” what is about to happen in Rotten Shit-Fest mentions that you can no longer fight evil with good. Now you must fight evil with a different kind of evil. And she wasn’t talking about Bush vs. Saddam. Riddick is supposed to be evil. But there isn’t one evil fucking thing he does throughout the entire movie. Yeah, he’s obstinate and cock-sure, but who isn’t these days? But seriously, there is nothing evil about him in any way. He spends the whole movie avenging deaths, saving people and killing bad guys. And so that means that the entire premise which the film is predicated upon is fucking horseshit! But, if you have read this far you already know that. Now, some sexless fan-boy is no doubt going to write in from mom’s basement and say, “Nuh uh! When [the Muslim dude and Dench] asked him to be the savior of the human race, at first he said “no.’” Here’s a hot tip for my fan-boy critics; read “Hero With a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Cambell. In it you will learn that all heroes, always refuse the call to be a hero, initially. Think of Neo in The Matrix or John Matrix in Commando; they at first refuse, and that’s what makes them heroes. By definition! One of the best examples of “Refusing of the Call,” as Cambell terms it, is the original Star Wars. Luke doesn’t want to get involved, he wants to stay on Tattooine and race pods or whatever. Moreover, Star Wars has two heroes, as Han Solo eventually heeds the call and joins up with the good guys. In fact, Star Wars has it down so pat that there’s a picture of Luke Skywalker on the cover of the latest version of “Hero With a Thousand Faces.” Now of course, both in the movie and real life, Patton didn’t refuse any call. He begged for it. And therein lies the difference between reality and myth. Jesus, look at me trying to educate y’all instead of just talking smack about the horror that is Rotten Shit-Fest. Anything to keep my mind off the raw bullshit that is this movie, I guess…
  • I mentioned the Muslim Dude above. Except that if you never saw Pitch Black, you would think that in Shit-Fest he’s just some African dude. One of the very best aspects of Pitch Black is the fact that the Muslim Dude keeps going “Allah this” and “Allah that” concerning his faith in his God to protect him, and all of his Muslim friends get killed, and it is only Riddick, a convicted serial killer, who saves him. Not his deity. In fact, Riddick says, “I hate the motherfucker” when asked by the Muslim Dude if he believes in God. Not so in the fucking sequel. First of all, Pitch Black came out before 9/11. So, the idea of a Muslim character who isn’t some sort of terrorist murder is anathema to the new, FCC and Ashcroft friendly Hollywood. These fuckers just want to sell tickets. Secondly, and again, Rotten Shit-Fest is not faithful to its fucking source material. And that shit burns my hide. This is how the bible came about. What am I talking about? Maybe if the bible gave some sort of nod to the fact that both Christmas and Easter were originally pagan holidays, we wouldn’t be lumbered with the scary-ass dark ages we now find ourselves embroiled in. Again, fuck this stupid movie.
    • Speaking of selling out for money, Rotten Shit-Fest had a “PG-13” rating. The original, of course, was rated “R.” Mostly because it was about a fucking serial killer trapped on a planet of man-eating monsters. Now, obviously, the whole affair was dumbed down so that the kiddies would come and give yet more of their parents’ hard-earned money to the studios. But the result, cinematically, are some of the least compelling fight scenes I have ever witnessed. In both films, Riddick’s weapon of choice is the blade.” Only in this one he stabs about 250 people and there is not a single drop of blood! Stupider still, is the fact that without actual bloodshed, it appears as if Riddick and friends are just dancing with each other. Lame. The “PG-13ing” also means that even though there is more cleavage on screen than a Girls Gone Wild tape (Rotten Shit-Fest’s lone redeeming quality), no sex or sexual anything of any kind is allowed to happen. This fact only adds to the dullness.
  • I think you get the idea. I mean, there is tons more I could rant and rant about. Like the fact that Riddick hides out for five years on Hoth. Or the fact that he is from some exotic race called “Furions,” but his first name is Richard. Or the fact that the computer graphics are so fucking out of control I’m still seasick. But really, why bother? I’ve said my peace. If you read this review and go see Rotten Shit-Fest you have brain damage. Seriously. Take your $10 and flush it down the toilet instead, for that is a far better use of your cash. DO NOT subsidize this type of low-brow, garbage filmmaking. Also, watching your money swirl around the bowl before it gets sucked into the sewer will be more entertaining. Trust me on this. Man, you always wonder if shit can get any worse. Stop wondering.

    Special Ruthless Ratings:

    • You still like Vin Diesel: No
    • What about The Fast and the Furious: Fluke
    • Really: Dude, after Rotten Shit-Fest and XXX I think Diesel might be the worst person in Hollywood
    • But you liked Man Apart: I was drunk
    • You didn’t say that in your review: Cause I was drunk!
    • Anything else: I might write a second review about how shitty the plot of this fucking disaster film is
    • Really: Probably not