The Chronicles of Riddick

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.

The Chronicles of Riddick
Chronicles of riddick ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Twohy
Written byDavid Twohy
Based onCharacters
by Jim Wheat
Ken Wheat
Produced by
CinematographyHugh Johnson
Edited by
Music byGraeme Revell
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • June 11, 2004 (2004-06-11)
Running time
119 minutes
135 minutes (Director's cut)
CountryUnited States
Budget$105[1]–120 million[2]
Box office$115.8 million[1]


Five years after the events of the previous movie, Riddick is living in isolation on an ice planet. He is attacked by a crew of bounty hunters led by Toombs. Riddick learns that the Imam has put a bounty on him so he maroons Toombs and steals his ship to confront Imam on Helion Prime. Imam introduces Riddick to Aereon, an Air Elemental who tells Riddick of the impending invasion of Helion by the Necromongers. She believes Riddick is a Furyan, the only race of people the Necromongers fear. They ask Riddick to help fight off the invasion but he refuses. Imam also tells Riddick how Jack went to look for him and ended up imprisoned. The Necromongers attack Helion and easily overwhelm the planet's defenses. Riddick helps Imam and his family through the city to hide from the soldiers. Imam is killed while distracting a soldier so that his wife and daughter could escape.

The next morning, the Necromonger Lord Marshal meets with captured civilians and tells them to either convert to the Necromonger faith or die. The Lord Marshal kills a man by tearing out his soul, scaring the people into bowing down to him. Riddick refuses to bow and tells the Lord Marshal he wants revenge on the soldier who killed Imam. The Lord Marshal is shocked when Riddick easily kills the soldier. He orders Riddick to be taken to his ship for examination; Riddick only complies after being asked nicely by Dame Vaako. Riddick is mentally probed by telepaths, who determine that he is a Furyan. The Lord Marshal orders Riddick killed but Riddick manages to escape the ship. He is chased down and captured outside by Toombs and his new crew. Riddick manipulates Toombs into taking him to the prison moon of Crematoria, where Jack is imprisoned.

The Lord Marshal orders Commander Vaako to hunt Riddick down and kill him. Dame Vaako meets with Aereon and learns that the Lord Marshal is scared of Riddick because a prophecy that foretold how a Furyan would kill him. Toombs and his crew arrive on Crematoria to collect the bounty on Riddick but are unhappy with the prison warden's offer. They agree to stay one night while the warden reconsiders. Riddick is lowered into the prison and finds Jack, who has changed her name to Kyra. She vents her anger at Riddick for abandoning her and doesn't accept his explanation. A group of guards overpower Kyra and attempt to rape her but Riddick intervenes and kills a guard.

The next morning the warden confronts Toombs with a picture of a Necromonger ship headed toward Crematoria. The guards attack Toombs, killing his whole crew as he escapes into the prison below. The guards rig the doors shut and take off for the hangar to escape before the Necromongers arrive. Riddick and some of the prisoners decide to outrun the guards to the hangar by running along the volcanic surface of the planet. At the hangar a three-way battle erupts, the guards and prisoners are all killed. Riddick is knocked unconscious and Kyra believes him to be dead so she surrenders to the Necromongers. A Necromonger named The Purifier saves Riddick from being incinerated by the impending sunrise.

Riddick awakens and confronts The Purifier, who reveals that he is also a Furyan. He encourages Riddick to kill the Lord Marshal before committing suicide by walking out into the burning sunrise. Riddick takes Toombs' ship and heads back to Helion to rescue Kyra. Vaako returns to Helion and reports Riddick dead, earning himself a promotion. The Lord Marshal orders the Necromongers back onto his ship and he prepares to destroy Helion before leaving. As the ship closes up, Dame Vaako sees Riddick entering the ship and panicks. She confronts her husband and they decide not to warn the Lord Marshal so that Riddick has a chance to kill him.

Riddick confronts the Lord Marshal and engages him in a brutal fight. The Lord Marshal is about to kill Riddick when Kyra stabs him in the back with a spear. The Lord Marshal fatally wounds Kyra but is too injured to finish Riddick. He asks Vaako to kill Riddick but instead Vaako swings his axe at the Lord Marshal. He dodges Vaako's swing but runs directly into Riddick, who kills him with a dagger to the skull. Riddick holds Kyra as she dies while Vaako and the Necromongers surround him. Vaako tells Riddick that in their faith you keep what you kill and everyone kneels down to Riddick as their new Lord Marshal.


  • Vin Diesel as Richard B. Riddick, the notorious criminal and last survivor of the Furyan race. Riddick has spent the last five years living in isolation to avoid bounty hunters and mercenaries.
  • Colm Feore as the Lord Marshal, leader of the Necromonger faith. He possesses unnatural abilities granted to him after visiting the Underverse, the Necromonger Promised Land. He is the subject of a prophecy that foretells of his death at the hands of a Furyan warrior.
  • Keith David as Abu "Imam" al-Walid, one of the survivors that Riddick saved in Pitch Black. Imam is now married and has a daughter.
  • Alexa Davalos as Jack / Kyra, the other survivor saved by Riddick in Pitch Black. She sets out to find Riddick and gets sold into slavery before being sent to prison for murder. She changes her name to Kyra to signify that she's no longer an innocent girl.
  • Karl Urban as Commander Vaako, a loyal Necromonger Commander who is tasked with hunting down and killing Riddick. Vaako is a competent soldier who is fiercely loyal to the Lord Marshal.
  • Thandiwe Newton (credited as Thandie Newton) as Dame Vaako, Commander Vaako's wife. She doesn't share her husband's loyalty to the Lord Marshal and develops a plan for her husband to replace him.
  • Judi Dench as Aereon, an Air Elemental who is kept prisoner by the Lord Marshal, who seeks her advice on how to deal with Riddick.
  • Nick Chinlund as Toombs, a mercenary and bounty hunter who pursues Riddick.
  • Linus Roache as The Purifier, a Necromonger priest who is also a Furyan survivor.
  • Yorick van Wageningen as The Guv, a leader among the prisoners on Crematoria who makes the surface run with Riddick.
  • Kim Hawthorne as Lajjun, Imam's wife.
  • Christina Cox as Eve Logan, a mercenary who joins Toombs' new crew. In a deleted scene she tries to secretly rape Riddick while the rest of the crew is in stasis.
  • Alexis Llewellyn as Ziza, Imam's daughter.
  • Peter Williams as Convict #2, a prisoner who makes the surface run with Riddick.


Universal Pictures decided to develop a sequel to Pitch Black after the success of The Fast and the Furious, another action film that starred Vin Diesel. Diesel was offered $11 million to return for the sequel, a million dollars more than what he was offered for XXX.[3] Universal hired David Hayter to come up with a script, which was later revised by Akiva Goldsman. However, Universal passed it up for a new draft from the first film's director and writer, David Twohy.[4]


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 responseEdit

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".[5] Metacritic gives the film a score of 38 out of 100 based on reviews from 34 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[6]

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."[7] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a score of 'C' and called the film a "mostly a ponderous chronicle."[8] Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film 1.5 out of 4 and criticized its pacing.[9] 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."[10] 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."[11] 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."[12]

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."[13] 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."[14] Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 and called it "an exercise in computer-generated effects."[15] 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."[16] BBC gave the film 2 out of 5 and praised Diesel's "imposing screen presence", but criticized its "risible dialogue[s]".[17] 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."[18] Nell Minow of Common Sense Media gave the film 2 out of 5 and termed it a "very violent, brainless explosion movie."[19]

Austin Chronicle gave the film 3 out of 5 and called it a "bloated, but enjoyable production."[20]


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 officeEdit

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.

Video gameEdit

The Xbox game The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, later released for the PC, released simultaneously with the film was well received[21] 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.

Short filmEdit

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

Director's Cut VersionEdit

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.[22]


  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. ^ Fleming, Michael (September 25, 2001). "Diesel to drive 'Riddick'". Variety. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  4. ^ Fleming, Michael (June 5, 2002). "Helmer Twohy swings on U, Radar's 'Pitch'". Variety. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  5. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  6. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  7. ^ Schager, Nick. "Review: The Chronicles of Riddick". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  8. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  9. ^ " - Overblown, overdone 'Riddick': Wish it was just over". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  10. ^ LaSalle, Mick (2004-06-11). "Even Vin Diesel can't toughen up flabby 'Riddick'". SFGATE. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  11. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick Review- Washington Post".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick review- Washington Post".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Berardinelli, James. "Chronicles of Riddick, The". Reelviews Movie Reviews. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  14. ^ "'Chronicles' benefits from Diesel power - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger. "The Chronicles of Riddick movie review (2004) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  16. ^ " - Review: 'Riddick' big, boomy, bad - Jun 11, 2004". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  17. ^ "BBC - Films - The Chronicles Of Riddick". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  18. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Time Out Worldwide. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  19. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick - Movie Review". 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  20. ^ "Movie Review: The Chronicles of Riddick". Retrieved 2021-08-17.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ The MovieWeb Team (November 18, 2004). "Riddick runs with 1.5 million in day 1 sales". Retrieved September 17, 2013.

External linksEdit