Chronicles of Riddick

Bomb Rating: 

As far as I can figure, there appears to be some kind of contest between directors these days to see who can create the worst action sequence. How else does one explain the almost industry-wide maxim that the most effective fight scene is the most confusing? The only way I could have gained even the slightest clue about what was going on in "The Chronicles of Riddick" would have been to get so amped up on speed that I was peeing battery acid and time had slowed like it did for Captain Kirk after the Scalosians hyperaccelerated him.

I'm not sure what I expected from writer/director David Twohy, but considering that he's graced the world with such excreta as "Below," "G.I. Jane," "The Arrival" and "Waterworld," it's pretty much a miracle that he can string two coherent syllables together. How appropriate that this movie is the cinematic equivalent of finger-painting. At this point in the craft of the film review, it's obligatory that I mention who the film stars: Vin Diesel.

If I try too hard to explain this plot, either my head will explode, a reader's head will explode, or we may find ourselves suddenly able to communicate with our primate friends. Twohy expounds on the universe he created in "Pitch Black" by following the adventures of Riddick (Vin Diesel) as he's inexplicably asked to save the galaxy from the Necromongers, a group lead by Lord Marshal (Colm Feore), who visit planets and wipe out civilizations. This request is made by Judi ("Die Another Day") Dench, who plays an elemental wind creature. Suffice it to say that she, along with this movie, blows.

Personally, I think that at least a preschool-level grasp of hot and cold should be a prerequisite for directing in the "science fiction" genre. Riddick gets stuck on a planet where the temperature ranges between 300 degrees below zero and 700 degrees above. There is an extended sequence where Riddick and a group of prisoners attempt to outrun the sunrise lest they be cooked. The presumption here is that until one gets hit by direct sunlight on this planet, it's a tolerable temperature for some period of time. However, what's really funny is when the sun actually catches up to our group of misfits. What's their solution for avoiding the scalding temperatures? You guessed it -- they hide in the shady mountainside. It's the equivalent of putting on socks to walk across molten lava, a fate far preferable to sitting through even another minute of this clunker.

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