The Chronicles of Riddick is a LowHeroicScience Fantasy film in The Chronicles of Riddick series, released in 2004. It's the big-budget sequel to Pitch Black, though the two films are actually in different genres.The film begins by introducing a warrior race known as Necromongers. Conquering any world in their path as their great armada makes its way across space, they travel toward the gates to the Underverse, a dark alternate universe where death apparently has no meaning. Their new leader, the sixth Lord Marshal Zhylaw VI, makes this pilgrimage like those before him to add to his already vast power.Riddick, who has been hiding on the ice world of U.V., when confronted by bounty hunter Toombs promptly kills his crew and steals his ship in the process. When he confronts Imam on New Mecca believing him to be the one who placed the bounty, he learns that Jack has been imprisoned on Crematoria and of a prophecy that a lone Furyan will bring about the Necromongers' downfall. Soon after this revelation, the Necromonger army attacks destroying all resistance within a day. Riddick is captured and the Lord Marshal soon learns, much to his discomfort, that he is a Furyan and orders his execution. Riddick has other plans and escapes to running into Toombs yet again and allows him to take him prisoner to gain passage to Crematoria. However, Necromonger forces are also on the way.It is set to be followed by Riddick in 2013.
This film contains examples of:
Action Girl: Kyra has developed into one by this film, beating up various men larger than she is, evading an alien helldog, and even holding out against the Necromongers for a while.
And Then John Was a Zombie: At the end of the film, Riddick kills the Grand Marshall and becomes the new leader of the necromongers, which was foreshadowed very strongly early on, when Riddick is told that the Necromonger way was "You keep what you kill".
Bash Brothers: Riddick and Kyra, in the Crematoria sequences... well, the ones where they aren't fighting each other, anyway.
Because Destiny Says So: Zig zagged; destiny is actually "odds", calculated by the Elementals. And even then it's not perfect—just because a path is more likely doesn't mean it's assured. And of course once Riddick becomes Lord Marshall the odds go all to hell.
Aereon:[ever-so-slightly smug] Now what would be the odds of that?
Big "NO!": Dame Vaako When Riddick, not her husband, kills the Lord Marshall. Overlaps heavily with Narm.
Bittersweet Ending: Kyra dies stabbing the Lord Marshall in the back to keep him from killing Riddick.
(Riddick is about to abandon a Bounty Hunter in frigid wilderness): "Biggest mistake: Empty Gun Rack."
Chekhov's Gun: Riddick kills a Necromonger with a knife that was sticking out of his back, and then gets to keep it because the Necromongers "keep what they kill." Guess what he uses this same knife for later.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Toombs attempts to invoke this by going after Riddick with a four man crew, but Riddick takes a very dim view of this, and dispatches them easily.
"A four man crew for me? Fuckin' insulting."
He comes with more people next time. Just five. And Riddick allows himself to be captured.
Convection Schmonvection: You can easily survive right next to air that's heated to hundreds of thousands of degrees, so long as you're standing in the shade.
Crapsack Universe: The events of Pitch Black are the stuff of bedtime stories for young children. Furthermore, The Purifier argues that in this universe, life is itself against the natural order of things. Available evidence thus far seems to support his argument.
Dark and Troubled Past: Jack/Kyra during the Time Skip between films. She ran away to search for Riddick and signed up with a bunch of mercs, only to be enslaved, with a heavy implication as to what kind. Made worse in that she was only twelve at the time! Riddick is understandably pissed to learn this, as well as furious at her for ignoring his single instruction when they parted ways;
Riddick: I told you to stay on New Mecca. Did you not listen!
Dark Messiah: The Lord Marshall is worshipped by the Necromongers with almost religious reverance. He is the half-dead post-human who has pilgrimaged to the Underverse and returned a holy Galactic Conqueror. His rule is absolute and he is destined to lead his people beyond the 'Threshold' to the alternate realm, although he's not immortal; the post is permanent until the Lord Marshal either dies of old age or is killed by an aspiring commander, and a new Lord Marshal succeeds him.
Decapitated Army: Riddick kills the Big Bad and the war stops, because whoever kills the guy takes his place. Played with because the immediate battle was already over at that point, and had been for days. The army curb-stomped Helion Prime in a single night, and the only thing Riddick actually stopped was the subsequent genocide of everyone left on the surface. Nor do the Necromongers stop their crusade for the Underverse altogether; Riddick has simply become their new leader. Riddick doesn't show much of what happened past that, though given Riddick being deposed, it's quite likely they got back on task.
Disability Superpower: The Quasi-Dead take this trope to its logical conclusion. As the name suggests, they are practically dead. This near-death state, however, gives them amazing psychic powers.
Dressing as the Enemy: Riddick disguises himself as a stormtrooper to get inside the Lord Marshal's ship. Subverted, though. Dame Vaako, one of the only Necromongers who actually knew what he looked like, still recognized him—she just decided to let him have his shot. He also had to kill a couple guards who caught onto him.
Evil Overlord: The Lord Marshal of the Necromongers. The supreme ruler of a tyrannical death cult / conquering civilization of superhuman warriors, his goal is to subject and destroy every world in the cosmos and lead them to a promised land of darkness they call the Underverse, which he has visited in his pilgrimage. Outright supernatural himself, and he's got the look down pat◊.
Exact Words: In the Director's Cut, Aereon's very carefully worded response to the Lord Marshall demanding she calculate the odds on their campaign to reach the Underverse being successful;
Aereon: The odds are good that you will reach the Underverse... soon.
Eye Scream: Dame Vaako apparently applies eyeliner with a soldering iron.
Faceless Goons: The Necromonger troops, unless they're high-ranking officers. The Lord Marshal has a helmet with three faces, so clearly the trope cuts both ways.
Genocide Backfire: When the Lord Marshal slaughtered all the Furyans in response to a prophecy that one of them would kill him, he provided Riddick with the motivation to do just that.
Genre Savvy: Aereon apparently takes the fact that the movie's only half over into her calculations at one point.
Glasses Pull: Played achingly straight. Granted, with Riddick's sensitive eyes he has to put his goggles on when it gets too bright, but the amount of dramatic taking off of said goggles is excessive to the point of unintentional Running Gag. Seriously. Watch the movie and count how many times he takes them off or puts them on.
Go Out with a Smile: The Purifier cheerfully commits suicide by strolling into the lethal sunlight of Crematoria with a faint but noticeable smile on his face. Even Riddick was shocked.
Hellhole Prison: Crematoria, where the (Russian) guards occasionally release mutant dogs to eat anyone who's not quick enough to get out of the way. Oh, and the guards don't bother keeping the prisoners in line. They're up there in their rooms above the prison and never come down. See also the video game example below.
Human Aliens: The Furyans themselves are the descendants of Human colonists who settled on Furya centuries ago and have undergone mutations in order to adapt to the hostility of Furya, which is said to be a high-gravity death world. Over the course of countless generations, the Furyans have evolved into a Proud Warrior Race, and because of their adaptations, are stronger, faster, and tougher then baseline Humans, not to mention being much more cunning and vicious. It also seems that the Elementals themselves are another example of Human Aliens.
Even among Furyans, Riddick is considered The Ace for his talent for escape.
Human Resources: The Necromongers turn some of their men into nearly-dead telepaths and heavily-wounded soldiers into living sensor drones, though this may be consensual in some cases.
Important Haircut: Riddick begins as a furry man-on-the-run. While he jacks his pursuer's ship and finds the man he thinks hired them, it is just after shaving that he definitively switches from being the hunted to the hunter.
Invincible Hero: Riddick is practically omniscient in his plans, is never even touched in battle, and is never in any sort of danger until the Big Bad fights him. This has been one of the criticisms of the movie. Every other entry in the series depict Riddick as more human and killable: Pitch Black, the animated movie, the videogames, even a little flash short created for the Pitch Black website.
Lighter and Softer: Pitch Black was rated R for a good reason. Chronicles of Riddick was trimmed down by execs to a PG-13 rating and while it was still uber-violent, it was mostly Bloodless Carnage, though the unrated directors cut has more blood.
Lightning Bruiser: Despite his size and weight, Riddick is incredibly quick on his feet and is capable of performing amazing feats of physical athleticism, such as leaping great distances, running without stop for long periods of time and being strong enough to go toe to toe with a Bioraptor and mutilating it.
Because of the world from which they hail from, Furyans are incredibly tough and hardy. Aside from weathering blows and injuries that would leave most people stunned or unconscious, Riddick has been shown to be tough enough to dislocate and relocate his shoulders in an effort to escape his bonds, withstand long drops and even reset his arm after it was broken by Johns in a fight.
The Necromongers themselves are incredibly resistant to pain and damage, as their indoctrination renders them unaffected by damage to varying degrees. Dame Vaako herself managed to apply makeup to her eyes using a burning pencil, which by all means would hurt like a bitch, but did absolutely nothing for her. One of the Necromongers' best fighters, Irgun; had a knife embedded in his back from a previous kill, which did nothing to impede his movements or his ability to fight.
Meaningful Name: Crematoria, a planet where anyone unlucky enough to get caught in the sunlight is incinerated.
Men Don't Cry: Riddick is close to tears after Kyra's death. The fact he was in front of a the Necromonger army at the time, who were known to assassinate their leaders for showing weakness, might have had something to do with him manfully holding back the tears and turning them into white-hot rage.
Mind Probe: When the Greater Order of the Quasi-Dead probe Riddick's mind to learn more about him.
The Necrocracy: The autocratic empire of the Necromongers is governed by the "Holy Half-Dead" Lord Marshal Zhylaw. He's no longer merely a man after he visited the underverse, and can control souls. The rest of the Necros (except for the psychic Quasi-Dead) are actually living humans, just part of a crusading death cult.
Nigh-Invulnerability: Aereon shows off two advantages to the Made of Air version. When she's on a plane another character threatens her while she's standing by an open trap door, (which would make her fall out of the plane) and goes to take a swipe at Aereon with a sword, asking if Aereon (as an Air Elemental) can fly. Aereon goes insubstantial to avoid the sword, then drift across trap door before becoming solid on the other side, where she replies: "No, we can't fly, but we do glide very well." Made all the more awesome by the fact that Aereon is being played by Judi Dench, complete with a little smirk as she says her reply.
Oh Crap: The Lord Marshall in his duel with Riddick, when he realizes he's about to have his near-invulnerability momentarily cut out...while on his knees at Riddick's feet.
Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: Riddick threatens to kill a man... with his teacup. Which he does. He lets the victim's friends live, but takes a sardine can key and carefully sets it on the rock...
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Played with when the Lord Marshal uses every means at his disposal to try and kill Riddick, before deciding to fight him personally. It's a Double Subversion. In the backstory, he heard a prophecy that a Furyan could kill him, so he slaughtered pretty much the entire planet.
Outrun the Fireball: The burning sunlight on Crematoria. Initially played with when the bounty hunters try and make planetside before they get hit by the sunrise, played straight later.
Redshirt Army: The Necromongers defeat the Helion forces in a single night, which only takes a few minutes onscreen.
Religion of Evil: The Necromongers. They worship pain and death, have a very sinister gothic design theme, are on a holy crusade to convert the universe to their ways and kill anyone who refuses, and ultimately want to follow their "holy half-dead" Lord Marshal into the underverse.
Scenery Porn: While a lot of negative things could be said about this movie, the design for the Necromonger sets, blending Art Deco and Baroque inspired styles in an undeniably original manner, is indeed quite the looker.
Secret Test of Character: The Purifier makes small talk with Commander Vaako, and mentions how doubts can grow on such a lengthy campaign. Vaako correctly deduces that it's a loyalty test and tells the Purifier to shove off.
Sherlock Scan: Subverted. Riddick climbs up into a room where a fight took place, and is able to instantly deduce what happened. When he's incredulously asked how he figured all of it out, he growls "because that wasmyplan."
Shut Up, Kirk!: The Lord Marshal does this to an outspoken prisoner trying to rally the others against conversion by ripping out his opposition's soul. Considering that Helion's essentially a religion melting pot world, this is actually the perfect way to get to them.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Dame Vaako and her husband are a rather literal example. He slaps her, she tries to attack him, they have sex. Further, a line of dialogue right before the "Kiss" part indicates that this is not only "normal" behavior for the both of them, but it's also considered foreplay.
Soul Power: The Lord Marshal of the Necromongers was transformed into a "Holy Half-Dead" because he visited and returned from the Underverse, the Necromongers' promised land. He shows particular mastery of souls, as he can move his own soul seperate from his physical body, giving the illusion of Super Speed. He can also directly take hold of anyone else's soul, with the victim dying as soon as he releases it.
Spiritual Successor: Inverted. The Chronicles of Riddick literally is a sequel to Pitch Black, but nothing about it feels so. The first was a pretty standard horror movie with humans in a futuristic setting, while the second has elements of sci-fi and fantasy giving it a completely different feel (Riddick is an alien, now?), right down to the titles of each film. It'd be like placing Hannibal Lecter in an Urban Fantasy as a Noble Demon and calling it a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs... which, in Hannibal Rising, is kind of what they did.
Step into the Blinding Fight: There's a scene where Riddick is accosted by two necromongers, and responds by extinguishing the two candles in the room, plunging it into darkness. Riddick has the ability to see in the dark thanks to his 'eye-shine'. The necromongers don't, and get completely owned in the fight that follows.
Subliminal Seduction: In The Chronicles of Riddick (Unrated Version), during the quick cuts of the action during the fight scene between the mercs and the prison wardens on Crematoria, you will see a quick shot of only the female merc's (clothed) breasts as she turns - for no apparent reason. You cannot see her face or hands or weapons - just breasts.
Suicide By Sunlight: There's the Furyan Necromonger "The Purifier". Not really a vampire (but possibly could be considered "undead" due to his religion): he commits suicide by walking out into the sunlight of Crematoria. Of course, Crematoria is basically Mercury, so anyone caught in the open would burn like a vampire. Much in line with the rest of this trope, he walked into the sun after explaining to Riddick that he was tired of the brainwashing the Necromongers used to force him to serve them, and trusted Riddick (a fellow Furyan) to avenge their people.
Summon Bigger Fish: Pretty much the entire plot. The Necromongers, a strange cult of Omnicidal Maniacs, is threatening the Galaxy. What do the good guys do in response? Track down convicted killer Richard B. Riddick in the hopes that he'll take care of them.
Aereon:In normal times, evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil.
Riddick. The benefits of being a Human Alien from a high-gravity death world. Combined with the savagery and brutality that He displays in combat, he tends to shred through his opponents like they were made out of tinfoil.
The Necromongers display prodigious levels of physical strength, especially when you start getting into the higher ranks, like Vaako and The Lord Marshall. Again, it's been pointed out that the Necromongers hail from a heavy gravity world, and they make use of gravity-based energy weapons along with gravity engines and drives for their ships and vehicles.
Super Speed: A nice side-effect of being Holy Half-Dead. The Lord Marshall himself is able to cover great distances in a short amount of time, even while wearing a full suit of plate armour and maille. Having Super Strength is rather helpful in those respects as well. In order for Riddick to defeat the Lord Marshall, He had to be quicker thinking then his adversary.
The Lord Marshall also appears to be able to literally be in more than one place at a time, rendering him intermittently invulnerable. Riddick's killing blow is only possible when circumstances force the Lord Marshall to momentarily be entirely in one place.
Telepathy: The Quasi-Dead possess powerful telepathic powers.
Tin Tyrant: The Lord Marshal is rather nostalgic for a space conqueror, forgoing any sort of conventional or futuristic outfit for a plate armor suit that he never takes off, only removing his helmet from time to time. Most of his followers are no different, presumably because of their martial society.
The Underworld: The Necromongers speak of their promised land as "the underverse", an alternate plane where the dead go, and which has been visited by every Lord Marshal to have ruled their empire, gaining magical abilities because of it.
You Kill It, You Bought It: With a dash of Klingon Promotion thrown in. Part of the Necromonger religion is the principle that "you keep what you kill". If an enemy strikes you down, they get what you have. Within the ranks, however, it's expected that the one doing the killing has a legitimate reason for it, which is why the Lord Marshall isn't simply being challenged left and right for his spot (that and he's a supernatural badass).
Your Soul Is Mine: The Lord Marshal, after visiting the Underverse, gained the ability to partially separate his soul from his body. In addition to inhuman speed, this also gave him the ability to literally rip the soul straight out of a person's body. The victim lives so long as the Lord Marshal is holding their soul, but drop dead as soon as he throws it to the floor.