The Chronicles of Riddick - Dark Fury
9 out of 10
8 out of 10
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Rating: Not Rated
Vin Diesel as Riddick (voice)
Rhiana Griffith as Jack (voice)
Nick Chinlund as Toombs (voice)
Keith David as Abu 'Imam' al-Walid (voice)
Tress MacNeille as Chillingsworth (voice)
Dwight Schultz as A.I. Pilot Voice (voice)
From Pitch Black to The Chronicles of Riddick: Bridging The Gap
Animatic to Animation
Peter Chung – The Mind Of An Animator
Into The Light
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 35 Minutes
This animated film takes place between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick.
As Riddick, Jack, and Imam flee the planet seen in Pitch Black, they are intercepted by a mercenary ship filled with bounty hunters. The group is led by Chillingsworth, a woman obsessed with homicidal maniacs whom she considers to be "art". Despite killing a number of mercenaries on board, Riddick is captured. Now it's up to him to break free and escape the ship or be turned into a permanent resident of Chillingsworth's art gallery. But will this loner be able to escape without being hindered by his new friends?
This film is not rated but there is a fair amount of blood and language in it.
If you enjoyed The Animatrix, then Dark Fury is going to be right up your alley. (Incidentally, director Peter Chung also directed a sequence in The Animatrix as well as MTV's "Aeon Flux".) It's an anime sequel to the motion picture. It neatly bridges the gap between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. It picks up right where the first film left off, then it fills in backstory for the new summer film. It describes how Jack turned into a killer, why Riddick left them, and more. It also features the origin of Toombs and tells even more about the mercenaries so heavily featured in The Chronicles of Riddick. If you're a Riddick fan, this is a required addition to your collection.
Like the Riddick films, this movie features a healthy mix of sci-fi and action adventure. The opening battle in the film is spectacular. It is a bloody battle in a hanger in zero gravity. I don't want to spoil it, but it's one of the most creative sci-fi battle scenes I've ever seen. It would have been really hard to film in live action. Another scene later in the film features Riddick battling a couple of bizarre aliens that are basically whips with neon lighting. They are hard to describe, but they are quite imaginative. (I thought they were robots at first.) The only low point in the film comes when Chillingsworth pontificates about murderers and art. However, the film quickly picks up speed from there.
The animation is an interesting mix of CG and traditional 2-D animation. It blends well together though the supposedly outdated 2-D animation frequently upstages the CG. The character designs are a little stylistic while still making the main characters recognizable. The designs for the ships, costumes, and backgrounds are also quite impressive and very much in the exotic styles of the films.
All of the voice talent from the original movies returns for this anime film. Vin Diesel mutters his lines as you would expect and is supported by Keith David as Abu 'Imam' al-Walid and Rhiana Griffith as Jack. Griffith was the original girl who played Jack in Pitch Black while another actress plays the character in The Chronicles of Riddick. Nick Chinlund, also from the sequel, reprises his role as mercenary Toombs in this film, thus establishing his relationship to Riddick. Animation legend Tress MacNeille even shows up to play the villainess Chillingsworth. You might know her better from her work on The Simpsons and Babs Bunny on Tiny Toons. (I have to admit that it took me a while to get used to her playing a sultry, deadly character.) The A-Team's Dwight Schultz even has a brief role as the A.I. Pilot Voice of the ship from Pitch Black.
Overall, Dark Fury is a nice addition to The Chronicles of Riddick. At 35 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome, but I must say that I wish there had been more episodes on the DVD. I also have to say that I think I enjoyed this animated film more than the latest Riddick film, but you'll have to check it out and decide for yourself.
A few extras are included on the DVD. Here they are!:
From Pitch Black to The Chronicles of Riddick: Bridging The Gap – In this feature, the cast and crew of the Riddick film discuss this story and how it was brought to anime. They discuss how it fits in with the overall Chronicles of Riddick and how it develops his character and backstory. Look for interviews with Vin Diesel, David Twohy, Peter Chung, and more.
Animatic to Animation – This option allows you to watch the entire film in animatic format. It gives you a greater appreciation for the making of the movie.
Peter Chung – The Mind of an Animator – This movie highlights Chung. It talks about how he got into animation, his directing style, and how he likes to animate. Animation fans will enjoy this one.
Into the Light – This is a behind the scenes look at The Chronicles of Riddick. There are clips from the summer film, interviews with cast and crew, and more. If you've already seen the sequel, there's not a lot here for you, but it is interesting to hear Twohy's take on the Necromongers, Riddick, and others.
The Bottom Line:
If you like sci-fi or animation, Dark Fury is a DVD well worth checking out if not adding to your collection. Fans of Riddick will also love this.