The Chronicles of Riddick

The Chronicles of Riddick
Chronicles of riddick ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Twohy
Written by David Twohy
Based on Characters
by Jim Wheat
Ken Wheat
Produced by
Cinematography Hugh Johnson
Edited by
Music by Graeme Revell
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • June 11, 2004 (2004-06-11)
Running time
119 minutes
135 minutes (Director's cut)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $105[1]–120 million[2]
Box office $115.8 million[1]

The Chronicles of Riddick is a 2004 American science fiction action film written and directed by David Twohy. It follows the adventures of Richard B. Riddick as he attempts to elude capture after the events depicted in the 2000 film Pitch Black. Vin Diesel reprises his role as Riddick and acts as producer. It is the first and so far only film in the franchise to be given a PG-13 rating. The film received negative reviews and was a box office flop despite being the highest grossing film in the Riddick franchise.


Five years after escaping the dark planet, Riddick has been in hiding, evading bounty hunters and mercenaries sent to capture him. After killing a crew led by mercenary Toombs and stealing his ship on planet U.V., he heads to New Mecca on the planet Helion Prime in the Helion System, after Toombs reveals his bounty originated there. Riddick is reunited with Imam, the man he rescued in the first movie. Imam believes Riddick is a Furyan, a member of a race of warriors long thought extinct, and wants to know about his homeworld and if anyone other than himself is left. Imam believes Helion Prime is the next planet to be conquered by a mysterious force crusading across the stars. Aereon, an Air Elemental, identifies the army as the Necromongers, religious fanatics who seek to convert all human life and kill those who refuse. The Necromongers attack and take control of the capital in a single night. In the battle, Imam is killed and Riddick escapes.

The next day, the Necromonger high priest called "The Purifier" coerces the populace into converting, except for Riddick, who kills the man who killed Imam. Intrigued, the Necromongers' leader, the Lord Marshal, orders Riddick be scanned by the Quasi-Dead, half-dead telepaths, who determine that he is indeed a Furyan survivor. Lord Marshal orders Riddick's death, but Riddick escapes only to be recaptured by Toombs. Riddick is taken to Crematoria, a harsh subterranean prison moon, where Jack, the girl Riddick also rescued, is being held.

The Lord Marshal sends Commander Vaako to hunt Riddick down. Vaako's wife speaks to Aereon, who reveals that Furya was devastated by the Lord Marshal after he was told a child from that planet would kill him. Dame Vaako and her husband determine Lord Marshal wants Riddick dead, as he may be the child of the said prophecy. On Crematoria, a disagreement breaks out between Toombs and the prison warden over what Toombs is owed for Riddick's bounty. Word about the Necromongers has reached the prison warden, who deduces that Toombs has stolen Riddick from them. Meanwhile, in the prison, Riddick finds Jack, now named Kyra, and they reconcile with each other.

The guards kill the bounty hunters except for Toombs, take the reward money, and prepare to leave before the Necromongers arrive. After leaving Toombs in a prison cell, Riddick escapes the prison and leads several prisoners across Crematoria's volcanic surface to steal the ship. The guards reach the hangar, just as the prisoners arrive to find the Necromongers have cornered them there. All of the guards and prisoners are killed, and Riddick is incapacitated by Vaako. With the approach of the sunrise, Vaako leaves Riddick to die and Kyra is captured by the Necromongers.

Riddick is saved by the Purifier, who tells him that if he stays away from the Necromongers, the Lord Marshal promises not to hunt him. The Purifier then reveals that he too is a Furyan and he encourages Riddick to kill the Lord Marshal before committing suicide by walking out into the scorching heat. Riddick then flies back to Helion Prime using Toombs' spacecraft. Meanwhile, Vaako reports Riddick dead and is promoted to a higher rank by the Lord Marshal.

Riddick infiltrates the main hall on the Necromongers' flagship, where Dame Vaako sees him but encourages her husband not to warn the Lord Marshal and to let Riddick strike first and pave the way for Vaako to kill the Lord Marshal and take his place as leader. When Riddick attacks, the Lord Marshal presents Kyra, who appears to have been converted. Riddick fights the Lord Marshal in front of his army, who keeps the upper hand with his supernatural powers. When it appears that Riddick is about to be killed, Kyra stabs the Lord Marshal in the back with a spear and he punches her into a column of spikes, mortally wounding her. Vaako attempts to strike the wounded Lord Marshal, who uses his powers to evade the blow but is stopped by Riddick, who takes the opportunity and swiftly kills him. Kyra dies in Riddick's arms just before the Necromongers, including Vaako, kneel before Riddick as their new leader.



There are three versions of the film: the theatrical cut, which was PG-13; the Director's Cut, which is unrated (both are available on DVD); and the third version, a mix of the two assembled for television viewing, which has some, but not all, of the added footage from the Director's Cut. For instance, the minor subplot in the Director's Cut of Riddick's visions, as well as his moments with Toombs' second in command, are both absent, but the ending from the Director's Cut is present.


Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 29% based on reviews from 167 critics and an average score of 4.70/10. The site's critical consensus states, "As an action movie, Riddick offers some thrills, but as a sequel to Pitch Black, it's a disappointment".[3] Metacritic gives the film a score of 38 out of 100 based on reviews from 34 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4]

Slant Magazine gave the film 1.5 out of 4 and stated, "Eschewing the claustrophobic minimalism of its predecessor Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick is an extravagant orgy of used sci-fi parts."[5] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a score of 'C' and called the film a "mostly a ponderous chronicle."[6] Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film 1.5 out of 4 and criticized its pacing.[7] Mick LaSalle of San Francisco Chronicle gave the film 1 out of 4 and stated that it is "an inane film rendered sometimes laughable by an atmosphere of dead-serious reverence."[8] Ann Hornaday of Washington Post gave the film a negative review and stated that "The Chronicles of Riddick doesn't hark back merely to the classic horror or science fiction canon but to nearly every single cinematic genre in the book, from westerns to film noir to sword-and-sandal epics."[9] Desson Thomson of Washington Post also gave the film a negative review and said that "the muddy, convoluted story revolves around the star's cool-guy poses and one-liners."[10]

James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film 2.5 out of 4 and stated that "although The Chronicles of Riddick offers its share of solidly entertaining moments, it doesn't hold together as a single, coherent motion picture experience."[11] Ty Burr of Boston Globe gave the film 2 out of 4 and called it "a hodgepodge of Lord of the Rings, Starship Troopers, and the more recent Star Wars films."[12] Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 and called it "an exercise in computer-generated effects."[13] Paul Clinton of CNN gave the film a negative review and called it "a big, cheesy sci-fi flick tailor-made for a young male audience looking for things that go boom."[14] BBC gave the film 2 out of 5 and praised Diesel's "imposing screen presence", but criticized its "risible dialogue[s]".[15] Time Out also gave the film a negative review and stated, "The sequel baton pass at the finale is pretty nifty, but it's surely asking too much to think the filmmakers could leave us wanting more. Come to think of it, much, much less would have been best."[16] Nell Minow of Common Sense Media gave the film 2 out of 5 and termed it a "very violent, brainless explosion movie."[17]

Austin Chronicle gave the film 3 out of 5 and called it a "bloated, but enjoyable production."[18]


For his performance in the film, Vin Diesel was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actor at the 2004 Golden Raspberry Awards, but lost to George W. Bush for Fahrenheit 9/11.[citation needed]

Box office

Its production budget was reported to have been between $105 million[1] and $120 million[2] (not including marketing and distribution costs). It grossed $57 million in North America, and its total worldwide gross stands between $107 million[2] and $115 million.[1]



A sequel was made in 2013 called Riddick.


The film spun off books, an action figure line, animation and video games.

The Xbox game The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, later released for the PC, released simultaneously with the film was well received[19] On April 7, 2009, a remake of the video game was included with the release of the game sequel The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.

The animated short film The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury was released by Aeon Flux director Peter Chung.[citation needed]

The "unrated director's cut" DVD (featuring scenes which were cut in order to obtain a PG-13 rating) was released on November 16, 2004, and sold 1.5 million copies on the first day alone.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ a b c "The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) - Financial Information".
  3. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  4. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  5. ^ Schager, Nick. "Review: The Chronicles of Riddick". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  6. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  7. ^ " - Overblown, overdone 'Riddick': Wish it was just over". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  8. ^ LaSalle, Mick (2004-06-11). "Even Vin Diesel can't toughen up flabby 'Riddick'". SFGATE. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  9. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick Review- Washington Post".
  10. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick review- Washington Post".
  11. ^ Berardinelli, James. "Chronicles of Riddick, The". Reelviews Movie Reviews. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  12. ^ "'Chronicles' benefits from Diesel power - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger. "The Chronicles of Riddick movie review (2004) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  14. ^ " - Review: 'Riddick' big, boomy, bad - Jun 11, 2004". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  15. ^ "BBC - Films - The Chronicles Of Riddick". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  16. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Time Out Worldwide. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  17. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick - Movie Review". 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  18. ^ "Movie Review: The Chronicles of Riddick". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  19. ^ Kasavin, Greg (December 10, 2004). "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay - Developer's Cut". Archived from the original on September 17, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  20. ^ The MovieWeb Team (November 18, 2004). "Riddick runs with 1.5 million in day 1 sales". Retrieved September 17, 2013.

External links