Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure and Short Running Time: 35 min.
Release Date: June 15th, 2004 MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Peter Chung Actors: Vin Diesel, Rhiana Griffith, Keith David, Roger Jackson, Tress MacNeille, Nick Chinlund, Dwight Schultz
n impending hull breach on a spaceship causes alarm for pilot Riddick (Vin Diesel) and his passengers, Jack (Rhiana Griffith) and Abu al-Walid (Keith David). But their main concern is with an enormous bounty hunter vessel that traps their own in a docking bay. A sizable team of invaders attempts to break into the captured ship, but they’re greeted with booby traps and technological tricks. Junner (Roger L. Jackson) is the primary henchman, but Chillingsworth (Tress MacNeille) is the one pulling the strings, running an operation that transports mercenaries across the galaxy for use in apprehending people with prices on their heads. And those found are treated to a particularly ghastly sentence: entombment in a type of cryosleep that freezes them as statues – or art – without affecting the mind, effectively keeping prisoners immobile for decades. And Riddick is next in line to be added to Chillingsworth’s morbid gallery.
“Should you survive this day, it is one you will remember for the rest of your lives.” The events of “The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury” pick up almost immediately after “Pitch Black” ends, bridging the gap that leads up to the live-action “The Chronicles of Riddick.” It even introduces hired killer Toombs (Nick Chinlund), who is seen pursuing the titular hero at the beginning of the 2004 film. Amusingly, all of “Pitch Black’s” surviving characters return, and they’re voiced by the same actors. This middle chapter may not be the most inspired work, but it’s definitely worthwhile for fans of the series.
The animation style suits the storyline, with the anime versions of familiar roles nicely adapted from their three-dimensional counterparts. Even the fight sequences possess a certain excitement, despite the limited movements and the small scope. A biomechanical squid-monster isn’t the most impressive obstacle, but zero-gravity skirmishes and a climactic duel boast decent thrills. By the conclusion, it’s obvious that this mini-adventure wasn’t really necessary, considering that a line or two of dialogue in “The Chronicles of Riddick” sums up how Riddick parted ways with the imam and Jack. But there’s innovation to be found here, along with plenty of action.
– Mike Massie