Thursday, 16 July 2015

Chronicles Of Riddick

I am a massive fan of science fiction. However, I am not a fan of horror movies. Especially not sci-fi horror movies, like Alien or Species.
So when Pitch Black came out, I was rather skeptical of it.
I was pleasantly surprised.
And then the sequel came out.
Anyone else reminded of Drax the Destroyer?
And this film made the very rare decision to shift the genre, from sci-fi horror to sci-fi fantasy.
And a lot of fans didn't like it.
So, let's review.
The movie starts by showing us some very interestingly designed ships as they wipe out all life on a planet.
As the camera pans around to show us some very evil looking people in black armour, Dame Judi Dench narrates about who they are. According to her, they are the Necromongers, which is a pretty cool name. They're crusading across the universe, conquering or converting everyone they meet, in order to reach the 'Underverse' which is their promised land.
In case you couldn't tell, the Necromongers are the bad guys.
But they look so friendly.
They also reveal that the Lord Marshall has got some freaky powers that make him hard to kill.
As Dench says something about how the forces of Good cannot fight this Evil and so they need a different kind of Evil, the scene shifts to an ice planet, where a hairy dude is running from a ship.
This Guy.
He avoids the ship long enough to enter a canyon, but the guy piloting the ship (A Bounty Hunter named Toombs) goes in after him, despite how tight a fit it is.
They immediately regret that decision.
Despite his men getting picked off one-by-one, Toombs insists that they can catch the guy (Revealed to be Riddick himself).
He is very quickly proven wrong.
Riddick interrogates Toombs about where the bounty came from, then throws him out of the ship.
As Riddick flies to a planet called Helion Prime he exposits about himself, namely that the bounty came from a holy man whose life he saved (In Pitch Black).
Once he reaches Helion Prime he has a little run-in with the local police, before going to see the holy man.
And having a shave.
They have a polite chat about why he would betray Riddick's location (Polite in this instance meaning at knifepoint) when the holy man's wife and daughter arrive. Riddick chats with the daughter (Named Ziza) and she asks if he really did kill the monsters that would have hurt her father.
This seems to get to Riddick, as he asks who he needs to kill to get rid of the bounty.
Later on, some men in robes arrive to see Riddick, accompanied by Dench.
They get along instantly.
The holy man introduces her as Airian, an emissary from the Elemental race, who ordered the bounty purely as a lure to bring Riddick to her. She says that there are very few who have spoken to a Necromonger and lived to speak of it, so when she speaks of it he should listen.
She explains that the Necromongers have converted or killed every human they've met except for those of the Furyan race, who refused to bow and as such are the only people the Necromongers still fear.
Turns out that Riddick is a Furyan and they would be very grateful if he could wipe out the entire invading army.
Before Riddick can give his answer (Which would have probably been a succinct Eff-you) some local police show up to arrest him for the run-in earlier.
They immediately regret that decision.
After the police are gone, Riddick and the holy man have a chat about what happened to Jack, the young girl who survived Pitch Black with them. Turns out she got arrested and thrown into prison on a planet called Crematoria, which sounds lovely.
As Riddick leaves, Airian says something about how Furyans are defiant to the end.
Then the planet gets invaded by the Necromongers.
Most of this movie is just Riddick running.
Riddick of course realises that he can't just let his friend die, so he runs back to save him. As the planet's defences get brushed aside, the Necromongers start sweeping the streets
As the holy man and his family get stuck between the fighting, Riddick finds them and starts leading them to safety.
However, them come afoul of some Necromongers with weird face masks that let them see heat and the holy man takes off to distract them.
After ensuring the safety of the woman Riddick runs after him, but is too late.
Is it symbolic enough?
Riddick takes the necklace as a keepsake before the scene fades.
Later on, the Lord Marshall is making an appearance before the planet's remaining leaders, telling them to convert or die. One refuses, standing up to them, but the Lord Marshall goes all Shang Tsung on him.
"Your soul is mine."
He orders them to join him or have their souls torn out and everyone bows.
Well, all except one of course.
"Furyans, defiant to the last."
As one of the Necromongers generals removes his helmet (Revealing an awesome mohawk) Riddick says that he's not going to bow, he's only here to have a fight with a certain Necromonger (The one who killed the holy man earlier).
We can recognise him from the knife in his back.
They let Riddick fight him, only to watch as Riddick stabs him with the knife.
The Lord Marshall expresses how impressed he is and they once again try to make Riddick join them, but they're interrupted by a hot chick who simply asks him if he'd like a tour.
And Riddick, thinking with the latter half of his name, agrees.
They enter the Cropolis, Riddick mentioning disdain for the decor, and the chick lures him onto some weird circle which they turn on. It holds Riddick in place while some very freaky people attached to beds enter.
Okay yeah, it's impossible to describe this scene, so here's a pic of how freaky it is.
I also do not like the decor.
They surround Riddick and apparently enter his mind, reading off all of his most recent memories.
That is, until they discover that he's a Furyan. Once they find that out they start shouting to "Kill the Riddick" and their goblets explode. Mohawk sends in some soldiers to kill Riddick, but the Lord marshall's speaker turns off the circle holding Riddick in place, which allows him to escape.
No explanation as to why.
Before the Necromongers can catch Riddick he gets saved by some mysterious people in robes.
Their leader is revealed to be Toombs, who followed the locator beacon in his ship. They capture Riddick and tie him up in their ship. Toombs' new crew ask where they're going to take him and Riddick points out that the only place they can take him is Crematoria.
Almost as though Riddick planned the whole thing.
Also, the Necromongers are tracking them.
After Mohawk informs the Lord Marshall, the hot chick starts whispering in mohawk's ear about how he'd make a much better Lord Marshall, but he's not having it, insisting that he knows his place.
Also, the Lord Marshall's powers make him far too strong.
What was it that was behind every great man?
They also watch as the Lord Marshall interrogates Airian about Riddick's location and she concocts a plan.
Elsewhere, Riddick reaches Crematoria.
It looks as lovely as it sounds.
After they land Toombs and his crew take Riddick to the actual prison entrance. In order to get their they have to take some trolley 29.4 Kilometres via underground tunnels. As they go however, the big, dumb member of the crew tells Riddick that once they reach it, he'll take his goggles as a trophy.
He immediately regrets that decision.
Toombs for his part doesn't care that one of his people died, only that he'll get a larger cut.
The prison chief appears and they lower Riddick into the prison, but keeps getting interrupted by Toombs asking for more money. Riddick helpfully advises Toombs to take the money, but he's not listening. The prison chief eventually relents, saying he'll speak to his employer about it and that they can stay the night.
Once Riddick is lowered into the prison fully, he gets attacked by some inmates.
They immediately regret that decision.
One of the people in the pit steps forward, clearly in charge. He gives a little speech about the difference between inmates and convicts before asking Riddick which he is.
"I'm just passing through."
Not the answer he was expecting.
Riddick wanders off and is confronted by 'Jack', who has certainly grown since the last time we saw her.
She now goes by the name of 'Kira' and she has a go at Riddick for abandoning her, but he says he did it for her own good.
Considering that she's in a pit with no sunlight, his plan obviously didn't work.
As Kira leaves we cut back to Helion Prime, where Airian has secretly been summoned aboard the hot chick's ship.
She's asking about Riddick and Airian reveals a story of a prediction. That a Fuyran will kill the Lord Marshall, so he decided to wipe out every last Furyan.
But one had a knack for escape.
TL:DR, prophecy, chosen one, etc...
We cut back to Riddick as all the inmates start panicking over 'Feeding time'.
Turns out, it's not feeding time for the inmates, but feeding time for some weird, reptilian wolf-creatures with black scales that prickle and turn red when they get angry.
Is it weird that I think it's cute?
The wolf-creatures eat some of the inmates, but when one corners Riddick, something else happens.
Look, he made a friend.
After the wolf-creatures are recalled via Pavlovian buzzers, we check in on Kira, who's been surrounded by guards with ill-intent. Kira beats the stuffing out of one of them, even kicking him in the crotch with bladed shoes, but they eventually overpower her.
That's when Riddick shows up, telling them to leave.
Their leader asks what he'll do if they don't, kill them with his soup cup?
"It's a teacup. I'll kill you with my teacup."
The leader calls Riddick's bluff.
He immediately regrets that decision.
The next guy in line grips his hammer and threatens Riddick, but Riddick just smirks and picks up one of those little pins used to open tins of corned beef.
The remaining guards grab the injured bloke and leave.
Later on the guard chief orders the control hub to be raised to exchange air.
Meaning that it's now on the surface, something that Riddick takes note of.
In space we get caught up with Mohawk, who's travelling with the speaker guy from earlier. The speaker is musing about how the long, solitary missions can test a Necromonger's faith, but again Mohawk is having none of it, assuming that the speaker is testing him.
They may be evil, but they do have great fashion sense.
The speaker says "That's not why I'm here at all" and leaves, much to Mohawk's confusion.
Back to the prison and the guard chief has good news for Toombs, his employer is willing to pay a lot for Riddick.
Bad news is that the Necromonger ship has entered the system and they reckon it's because of Riddick.
Toombs tries to talk his way out of it, but he slips up and a gunfight breaks out.
Toombs survives by opening the hatch into the prison and jumping down, grabbing onto the rope, but his crew aren't so lucky, with the chick being the only other survivor (Though injured).
Riddick takes the opportunity to climb the rope into the guard room, finding it devoid of guards.
Well, living guards anyway.
Riddick lets in the other inmates and explains everything that happened, pointing out to Toombs that it was his plan all along. After locking Toombs in between two wolf-creatures Riddick tells the inmates about the rest of his plan. Since the remaining guards are trying to reach Toomb's ship before the Necros get there, Riddick plans to race them by running the surface before the sun comes up.
Most inmates decide to come with, including Kira, and so they run.
Besides Riddick and Kira, only these two make it.
However, they got beaten to the hangar by the Necros, who're just landing. One of the Necros with a lenspiece for a face spots them and Mohawk orders his men to catch and kill them. Kira and the inmates get worried, but Riddick tells them to just be patient.
And after a few seconds, we see why.
Those guards are not having a good day.
As the hangar opens and the Necros and guards start shooting each other, Riddick and the others charge, playing a game of who's the better killer?
Oddly enough, it turns out to be Mohawk who's the better killer, as he kills both remaining inmates and beats the stuffing out of Riddick.
Well, that was unexpected.
However, the sun starts to crest the mountain and the Necros are forced to flee onto their ship, along with Kira.
However, the speaker guy is not among them, instead deciding to drag Riddick out of the path of the sunlight.
When Riddick wakes up he sees the Necros ship leaving, but as he screams defiance he gets interrupted by the speaker guy.
Remember him?
He was supposed to give Riddick a message. He was supposed to tell him to stay away from Helion Prime.
Instead he points out that he doesn't really believe in the Necros faith. He points out that the Necros believe Riddick dead.
The necromonger in him warns Riddick to stay away, but the Furyan in him hopes Riddick won't listen.
Then he walks out into the sunlight and dies.
He looks rather happy about it.
What was it that was said about Furyans earlier? Defiant to the last?
Back on Helion Prime, the Lord Marshall promotes Mohawk before having a secret meeting with Airian to ask if it's probable that Riddick is really dead.
She replies that the odds are good. Which sounds like a typical seer prediction, so she clarifies that she meant that the odds are good that Riddick survived.
The Lord Marshall isn't pleased, so he orders the planet to be cleansed immediately, even though the Necromonger scouts are still on the ground.
The sirens wail, calling the ruling cast enough warning to get back in the ship and as she does so the hot chick spots someone in the crowd.
Guess who?
Instead of telling the Lord Marshall however, she tells Mohawk and they hatch a plan to kill the Lord Marshall once he's been weakened by Riddick.
Just as the Lord Marshall is about to wipe out the planet, Riddick reveals himself.
In as subtle a manner as possible of course.
But one of the Lord Marshall's powers means that he can't be caught by surprise and he flings Riddick away.
The Lord Marshall orders his men to stay their weapons and he unveils his new concubine.
This Chick.
That's Kira, who's been converted to the Necromonger cause. Riddick tries to talk to her but gets nowhere. As she wanders off Riddick mutters about how the Necros have taken everything he cared about, then he attacks the Lord Marshall.
He instantly regrets that decision.
The Lord Marshall prepares his soul-taking powers and starts to drag it out of Riddick, but Riddick refuses, punching the Lord Marshall across the floor.
What was that about Furyans being stubborn again?
The two duke it out some more, but the Lord Marshall's powers are once again too great and he gets Riddick in a headlock. Fortunately Kira intervenes, revealing that she's just as stubborn as Riddick, but she gets killed for her troubles.
As Riddick is cradling her corpse, Mohawk sees his opportunity and raises a halberd to kill the Lord Marshall. But the Lord marshall sees it coming and uses his powers to move out of the way.
Right into Riddick's own attack.
It's actually quite interesting to keep track of that knife's journey.
Everyone stares at Riddick as he slumps onto the Lord Marshall's throne.
And all of the Necromongers kneel before him, since he's their new leader.
And with a voice-over from Airian about how no-one knows what Riddick's going to do with his new army, the movie draws to a close.

This movie was interesting.
Oh the one hand it's a rather decent standalone movie, if a little generic at times. It has some decent twists and likable characters.
Oh the other hand, the fact that it's a completely different genre to the previous movie does alienate those who were expecting more of the same.
Especially since it kills off the only two other survivors from that movie.
But I liked it and I'm excited about the upcoming sequel that is supposed to continue the story.

Next week we've got more Jackie Chan, this time as Chun Li?

No comments:

Post a Comment