The Chronicles of Riddick

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For an overview of the series, see The Chronicles of Riddick (franchise).
The Chronicles of Riddick
Chronicles of riddick ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Twohy
Produced by Scott Kroopf
Vin Diesel
Written by David Twohy
Based on Characters by
Jim Wheat
Ken Wheat
Starring Vin Diesel
Thandie Newton
Karl Urban
Colm Feore
Linus Roache
Keith David
Yorick van Wageningen
Alexa Davalos
Nick Chinlund
Judi Dench
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Hugh Johnson
Edited by Tracy Adams
Martin Hunter
Dennis Virkler
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • 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 $107-$115.7 million[1]

The Chronicles of Riddick is a 2004 American science fiction film which follows the adventures of Richard B. Riddick as he attempts to elude capture after the events depicted in the 2000 film Pitch Black. It is written and directed by Pitch Black director David Twohy, with Vin Diesel reprising his role as Riddick and now also acting as producer. It is the first and only film in the franchise, to date, to be given a PG-13 rating.

After escaping the dark planet, Richard B. Riddick has been in hiding for five years, evading most of the bounty hunters and mercenaries. Riddick is reunited with Imam, the man he rescued. Imam believes Riddick is a Furyan, a race of warriors long thought extinct, and wants to know about his homeworld and if anyone other than himself is left. Recaptured by Toombs, Riddick is taken to Crematoria, a harsh subterranean prison moon, where Jack, a girl Riddick rescued, was reported to have been sent.

After the release of the film, The Chronicles of Riddick became the brand name of the series. Despite not doing especially well in theatres, the film has been successful on DVD and has gained a cult following.[citation needed]


After escaping the dark planet, Richard B. Riddick has been in hiding for five years, evading most of the bounty hunters and mercenaries that are set to capture him because of his high price on his head. His latest hideout is a Planet U.V., a world lit only by ultraviolet light.

He evades the bounty hunter Toombs, killing Toombs' crew and stealing his ship. He then heads to New Mecca in the Helion System, after Toombs reveals his bounty originated there. Once there, Riddick is reunited with Imam, the man he rescued. Imam believes Riddick is a Furyan, 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 everyone and kill those who refuse. The Necromongers invade that very night, overwhelming the defense forces and take control of the capital. In the ensuing 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 defiantly kills the man who killed Imam. Intrigued, the Lord Marshal orders Riddick be scanned by the Quasi-Dead, half-dead telepaths, who determine that he is indeed one of the few remaining Furyans. Lord Marshal orders Riddick's death, but Riddick escapes the Necromonger ship and allows himself to be recaptured by Toombs. Riddick is taken to Crematoria, a harsh subterranean prison moon, where Jack, a girl Riddick rescued, was reported to have been sent. He meets up with her as the Prison Warden warns Toombs of the "Ghost Army" killing entire worlds and leaving behind dead Systems. They have various names but all seem to be aware of the threat they pose.

Once Riddick escapes, the Lord Marshal sends Commander Vaako to hunt him down, an easy process since Toombs' ship left behind an easily traceable path. 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 said prophecy. On Crematoria, a disagreement breaks out between Toombs and the prison warden over what Toombs is owed. Word about the Necromongers has reached the prison warden, who deduces that Toombs has stolen a prisoner from the Necromongers. Meanwhile, in the prison, Riddick finds Jack, now named Kyra, and they eventually reconcile.

Later, the guards kill the bounty hunters, take the reward money and prepare to leave before the Necromongers arrive. Riddick leads several prisoners across Crematoria's Volcanic Surface to steal the ship. The guards reach the hangar, just as the prisoners arrive outside of hangar doors to find the Necromongers have cornered them there. All of the guards are killed and Riddick is incapacitated by Vaako. With the approach of the vicious sunrise (from -300 to 700 degrees in seconds), Vaako leaves Riddick to die; Kyra is then captured by the Necromongers.

However, Riddick is saved by the Purifier, who tells him that if he stays away from the Necromongers, they will not hunt him. The Purifier then reveals that he too is Furyan, and that Vaako will report Riddick as dead, giving Riddick the element of surprise. The Purifier then commits suicide by walking out into the scorching heat after he encourages Riddick to save Kyra and kill the Lord Marshal. Meanwhile, Vaako reports Riddick dead and is named heir apparent by the Lord Marshal. Riddick flies back to Helion Prime using Toomb's spacecraft.

Riddick, disguised in Necromonger armor, infiltrates the main hall; Dame Vaako sees him, but encourages her husband not to warn the Lord Marshal, but rather to let Riddick strike first to wound the Lord Marshal and pave the way for Vaako to kill him and thus to take his place as leader. When Riddick attacks, the Lord Marshal presents Kyra, who appears to have converted. Riddick fights the Lord Marshal one-on-one in front of his army, who prevails with his unnatural powers. When it appears that Riddick is about to be killed, Kyra stabs the Lord Marshal in the back, in the "sweet spot" that Riddick speaks about in Pitch Black, with a spear. The Lord Marshal punches her into a column of spikes, mortally wounding her. Vaako then makes his move to strike the wounded Lord Marshal, but misses. Riddick figures out Lord Marshal's vulnerability and kills him. Kyra dies, and the Necromongers kneel before Riddick, who is now 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 the first and the second 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 reception[edit]

The theatrical version of The Chronicles of Riddick received mixed to negative reviews from film critics, receiving a 29% Rotten rating with an average score of 4.6/10 on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes,[3] with the critical consensus "As an action movie, Riddick offers some thrills, but as a sequel to Pitch Black, it's a disappointment," and an average 38/100 score on MetaCritic.[4]

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.

Box office[edit]

Considering its production budget was reported to have been between $105 million[1] and $120 million[2] (which does not include marketing and distribution), the film was a box office disappointment. It grossed $57 million domestically, and its total worldwide gross stands between $107 million[2] and $115 million[1] depending upon sources; however, it was successful on DVD.[citation needed]


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[5] as was the animated short film The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury 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.[6] 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.


  1. ^ a b c d Box Office Mojo (Chronicles of Riddick box office data)
  2. ^ a b c The (Chronicles of Riddick box office data)
  3. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick on Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  4. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick on MetaCritic". Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  5. ^ Kasavin, Greg (December 10, 2004). "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay - Developer's Cut". Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ The MovieWeb Team (November 18, 2004). "Riddick runs with 1.5 million in day 1 sales". Retrieved September 17, 2013. 

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