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Film / The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

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"In normal times, evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, it must be fought by a different kind of evil."

The Chronicles of Riddick is a Low Heroic Science 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 was followed by another sequel, 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. Though she also shows some of the amorality associated with a Dark Action Girl, which makes her brief Face–Heel Turn a little less surprising.
  • And Show It to You: The Lord Marshall does this to a Helion Prime native who refuses to convert. Except instead of his heart, he pulls out his soul.
  • Apocalypse How: The Necromonger fleet normally.inflicts a Class 6 upon departing a planet, as shown in the opening. The conquest icons that dot the planet's surface activate powerful energy blasts which scorch the surface for thousands of miles around, leaving only lava-filled fissures.
  • Armed Legs: Kyra has blades on the back of her shoes.
  • Art Deco: Necromonger aesthetics is a dark version if this trope, with lots of streamlined, curved shapes and polished, stylized sculptures.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • It is claimed that, during nighttime, Crematoria's surface cools down to -300 degrees Celsius, or -26.85 Kelvin. Keep in mind that Absolute Zero is the lowest you can go, and while there is such thing as negative kelvin in Real Life, it would have been hotter than anything else.
    • There is a scene where the characters are trying to climb a cliff face as the sun rises, and the sunlight miraculously falls upon the lower portion of the cliff and climbs up it.
    • Also see Convection, Schmonvection below.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: This is the way the warrior hierarchy functions in the Necromonger cult. As their saying goes "You keep what you kill".
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Riddick becomes the new Lord Marshal of the Necromongers.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Richard B Riddick's badassitude stems not only from his fighting skill but also from his deductive reasoning. It is hinted that the entire series of events that transpired at the Crematoria prison was a Gambit Roulette masterminded by Riddick. The Crematoria prison escape begins with Riddick giving a detailed description of what the guys currently escaping the prison are doing, and concludes by saying it's a good plan. When a mercenary who didn't get out asks him how he knows their plan, he replies, "It was my plan."
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Kyra and Riddick fight this way when the Necromongers show up on the Crematoria landing site.
  • Badass Boast:
  • Bastard Understudy: Vaako is the Lord Marshal's second-in-command, but thanks in part to his wife's promptings, takes his opportunity to betray him in his final fight with Riddick, for the good of the Necromonger faith.
  • 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.
    • Kyra gives a more traditional one when Vaako shoots and nearly kills Riddick
    • Toombs gives one out of terror when he thinks Riddick is going to kill him when he is in a disadvantageous position.
  • Big Red Button: Some bounty hunters coming in for a hard landing on a planet are told to hit the "Party Poppers" by their leader. Said "poppers" are retro-rockets on strings, much like a drag chute. The relevant button is simply named "Party Poppers".
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kyra dies stabbing the Lord Marshall in the back to keep him from killing Riddick.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Riddick and Kyra versus the Necromongers.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Goodbye, Imam.
  • Blown Across the Room: Necromonger guns, which have no regard for "equal and opposite reactions". Apparently, they use gravity.
  • Body-Count Competition: Riddick and Kyra.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    (Riddick is about to abandon a Bounty Hunter in frigid wilderness): "But your biggest mistake: Empty Gun Rack."
  • Book Dumb: Riddick implies this about himself when asking for information about the Necromongers.
    Riddick: Pretend you're talking to someone educated by the penal system. In fact...don't pretend.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Aereon apparently takes the fact that the movie's only half over into her calculations at one point.
  • Calling Card: The Necromonger conquest icons serve as this upon arrival and departure of the Necromonger fleet. First they follow the aerial invasion via Colony Drop and serve to deploy thousands of fighters. Then, when the army finishes scouring a world and boards the ships, the icons release a Fantastic Nuke, incinerating everything around for hundreds of kilometers, and remain there as a Monument of Humiliation and Defeat.
  • Challenging the Chief: The "You keep what you kill" principle is embedded in Necromonger religion, which leads to this trope occurring for Riddick.
  • 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.
  • Cherry Tapping: Riddick further establishes his badass nature by killing a guard with a teacup. He makes the rest of the guards run away when he threatens to follow this up by killing them with a can key.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: The Big Bad has this as a Required Secondary Power. If you can instantly pick your next move, you better know the consequences of those moves. Riddick tricks him into an unwinnable situation.
  • 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: The temperatures on the day side of Crematoria are apparently in the hundreds of thousands of degrees, and easily enough to incinerate an unprotected person... unless you're standing in the shade, in which case you'll be absolutely fine.
  • Cool Shades: Riddick seems to put on (or take off) his welding goggles to emphasize what he's saying. The goggles are actually functional; his eyes are extremely sensitive to light (allowing him to see no matter how dark it is), so he needs them to protect his eyes. He also takes them off or puts them on depending on the amount of light in a scene and how clearly he wants to see something.
  • Crapsack World: 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.
  • Creating Life Is Bad: A downplayed part of the Necromonger philosophy - Necromongers don't have children (Dame Vaako refers to regular humans multiple times derisively as "breeders") and can only bolster their ranks through conversion.
  • Cue the Sun: Inverted, where Riddick finds himself on a prison planet where the sun can actually kill you. (And thus a desperate sprint away from sunrise manages to not be full of Narm.)
    • Note that the sunlight illuminates a cliff they are climbing in the reverse of how it would in reality - the sun lights the bottom of the cliff first and moves up the cliff as the sun rises.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Helion Prime falls in a single night of fierce fighting.
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion: A few Necromonger ships and soldiers are taken out in the fighting, but they are always immediately replaced by more, serving only to highlight the hopelessness of the fight.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Riddick kills a guy with a teacup. He then places a small skate-key on the rock where the teacup had been sitting a moment ago with obvious implications.
  • 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 reverence. 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.
  • Deadly Environment Prison: The Crematoria Prison is located on a planet orbiting an extremely bright sun. Temperatures on the surface vary between so hot during the day that you'll be instantly incinerated and so cold during the night that you'll instantly freeze to death. The outside is only survivable for a short period during twilight.
  • 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 even executed their Final Protocol before Riddick made his move against the Lord Marshall. The Necromongers haven't stopped their crusade for the Underverse either; 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.
  • Died Standing Up: A Furyan character commits suicide by walking into a storm of solar radiation, and is shown still walking even as his body gets incinerated.
  • 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.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone who knows the Necromongers fears them and with good reason, since they are space-faring death-worshiping cult that leave devastation and an ever growing army of converts in their wake, and in just one night, they were able to throughout conquer Helion Prime and that was just onscreen (Imam mentions they destroyed an entire star system prior to their invasion). The Crematoria guards are so scared shitless of them that they can't even say their name and once they realize that Toombs was dumb enough to capture their prisoner and draw their attention to them, a fight breaks out between them and Toombs' mercs.
  • 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.
  • Dying Race: Riddick is a Furyan. The leader of the Necromongers (aka the Big Bad) tried to exterminate the Furyians because of a prophecy which foretold he would be destroyed by one.
    • And then there's the Quasi-Dead Necromongers...
  • Easily Conquered World: The Necromongers take Helion Prime in a single night.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Between Colm Feore (The Lord Marshal), Karl Urban (Vaako), and Thandiwe Newton (Dame Vaako), Helion Prime is in more danger from scenery-chewing than from the Necromongers' weapons.
  • 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.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Necromonger conquest icons. Described as "2000 feet of bad sculpture", these giant, metallic colossi serve as the first strike in an invasion, plumetting down onto the planet's surface and sticking themselves in place. Then they release thousands of aircraft. After the Necromongers finish gathering new converts-to-be, the conquest icons' energy weapons are activated, incinerating the surface thousands of kilometers around, and remain on the scorched world as a Monument of Humiliation and Defeat.
  • 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.
  • Exploited Immunity: Just before a fight, Riddick extinguishes two candles in the room, plunging it into darkness. This gives him an edge over his foes, since he can see in the dark and they can't.
  • Expy: the Necromonger's armor appears to be heavily inspired by the armor the characters wear in Saint Seiya.
  • Eye Scream: Dame Vaako apparently applies eyeliner with a soldering iron.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • The Purifier acknowledges that he has betrayed his previous people's ways and converted to the Necromonger faith to serve the Lord Marshal. Afterwards he calmly walks into a scorching storm where he is incinerated.
    • The Imam as well when he is cornered by a Necromonger soldier.
      "There will be an afterlife for me. Will there be for you?"
  • 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.
  • Fake Defector: Kyra joins the Necromongers, only to help Riddick when he faces the Lord Marshal in the final fight.
  • Fanservice Extra: Lord Marshal is always accompanied by women clad in black with Impossibly Low Necklines. It's implied, and then confirmed in the sequel that they are a Royal Harem.
  • Fastball Special: Riddick and Kyra clasp hands and Riddick throws her overhand at their enemies.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Riddick is found at one point happily patting what was up until that moment a large, vicious, bear-like creature that seemed more than happy to tear into whatever it could find that stood still for long enough (which even snapped and roared at the inmate that happened upon the odd pair) with no explanation from Riddick besides a nonchalant comment of "It's an animal thing". One possibility is that because the creature possesses eye-shine similar to Riddick, it may have originated on Furya at well.
  • Galactic Conqueror: The Lord Marshal.
  • Gambit Roulette: Imam's plan to convince Riddick to save Helion Prime from the Necromongers is to...tip off a crew of bounty hunters about his last known location in the hopes that they'll find him, but also in the hopes that Riddick will evade capture and trace the tipoff back to Imam—spurring him to track him down on Helion Prime, and giving Imam a chance to talk him into fighting the Necromongers. His "plan" could just as easily have resulted in Riddick getting captured or killed, and Riddick could very well have just killed Imam for selling him out.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Necromonger threat has grown so great that some people decide to track down a Serial Killer who may be the only surviving member of a race of warriors to combat them. As the opening monologue puts it: "In normal times, evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil."
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Metal band, Helion Prime were named after this movie.
  • Good Running Evil: Killing the Lord Marshal of Necromongers makes Riddick their new leader.
  • Gratuitous Russian: The distance meter on the Crematoria prison sled. It says "расстояние путешествовало", which is "Blind Idiot" Translation for "distance traveled".
  • Groin Attack: Done to a prison guard with a knife.
  • Have We Met?: When the Lord Marshal meets Riddick and gives him the knife belonging to the warrior that Riddick has just slain, he wonders if they've met before. Subsequent interrogation confirms Riddick to be one of the last survivors of a race that the Lord Marshal had wiped out years before as a young warrior. The extended version of the film makes this literal: the Lord Marshal is the one who attempted to kill Riddick as a newborn infant by strangling him with his own umbilical cord.
  • 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.
  • Hellhound: The alien dogs, actually named hellhounds, that guard the Crematoria prison. The guards occasionally release them to decrease the inmate population. They look like a cross between a dog and a pangolin.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: Lord Vaako does this to The Guv, slamming his back onto his knee and killing him.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Riddick in the final duel; except that rather than showing no signs of weakening, Riddick kept seeming to leap back from You Can Barely Stand to full strength. This may be justified, as it happens right after he sees his daughter-figure murdered, and it was established in Pitch Black that things like this make him a little psychotic (like the death of Carolyn.)
  • 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.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Guess what the conditions are on a planet that's named after a crematorium?
  • If It Swims, It Flies: The novelization says that the bounty hunter ship in the beginning is also a submarine.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Riddick and Kyra have one. It works, but she gets killed by the Big Bad afterwards.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kyra is casually thrown by the Big Bad after a Heel–Face Turn (following a Face–Heel Turn) and ends up getting impaled on a random spike decorating the hall.
  • 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.
  • Improvised Weapon: Riddick kills someone with a tea cup. He then nonchalantly picks up and threatens them with a sardine tin key.
  • Industrialized Evil: The evil Necromongers have a highly automated process to convert the inhabitants of conquered planets.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Echo: "We all began as something else."
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Double subversion. Riddick surrenders to the mercs and allows them to take him to the prison although he could easily slip from his bonds and gut the whole crew. But he doesn't need to as his capture is just a part of his plan.
  • Juggle Fu: During the fight on Crematoria, Riddick kicks the knife of a Necromonger from his hand, kills two of them bare-handed, then catches the knife as it falls back and tosses it into another enemy.
  • Kill the Lights: There's a scene where Riddick is accosted by a group of Helion soldiers, and he puts out two candles with the palms of his hands, plunging the room into darkness. Since Riddick can see in darkness just as easily as in light, he easily defeats the soldiers as they fumble around in the dark.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: At the end in the final fight between Riddick and the Lord Marshall, when he's caught in mid-teleport and realises that he will die at either end at the hands of either Vaako or Riddick where his body-soul combo materialises. Having the choice to either materialise on Vaako's end or Riddick's end, he chooses Riddick, thus fulfilling prophecy that he will die at the hands of a Furyan. Since You Kill It, You Bought It is the Necromonger way, Klingon Promotion ensues, resulting in Riddick becoming the new Lord Marshall.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: At the end, Riddick receives this treatment from the entire Necromonger army after killing the Lord Marshal. The reason: you keep what you kill.
  • Kneel Before Zod: The Necromongers demand this of the people of New Mecca. They refuse, but then Lord Marshal rips a guy's soul out, terrifying them into kneeling. Despite this display of power, Riddick answers, "I bow to no man." Riddick is later forced to kneel when a magnetic device pins him to the floor. In the Director's Cut, at one point Riddick falls to his knees in exhaustion, and Lord Vaako remarks, "So, you can kneel!"
  • Lady Macbeth: Dame Vaako manipulates her husband into making an attempt on the Lord Marshal's life.
  • Language Equals Thought:
    Aereon: Balance is everything to an elemental. [...] We have 33 different words for it.
  • 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.
  • The Lightfooted: The Air Elemental Aereon brushes off being threatened with a blade by intangibly gliding to the far side of a long drop.
    "No, we can't fly. But we glide very well. Save your threats, Necromonger..."
  • 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.
  • Low Clearance: When the Mercs are riding the tunnel tram into Crematoria's prison complex to deliver Riddick, one of them is sitting on his legs telling Riddick how he's going to take his Cool Shades once they arrive. Riddick notices the light fixtures on the low ceiling and lifts his legs so that the guy gets his head smashed in. The other Mercs are delighted, as now their bounty will be split among fewer people.
  • Made of Iron:
    • 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.
  • The Man Makes the Weapon: Riddick uses a teacup to kill a guy wielding a sledgehammer. After that, nobody wants to see what he can do with his can opener.
  • Meaningful Echo: "You keep what you kill."
  • 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.
  • Nerf Arm: Riddick kills someone using a teacup. Next, he implies that his next kill will be using what appears to be a disposable tin opener.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod: The Lord Marshal heard a prophecy that a Furyan would kill him, so he slaughtered all the Furyans. That turned out well.
  • 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.
  • Noble Demon: Lord Vaako in some ways. He shows signs of Honor Before Reason and surprisingly chooses not to attempt a Klingon Promotion on Lord Marshall (at least not until his wife convinces him otherwise).
  • Not Hyperbole: When a couple of guards harass Riddick's friend Kyra, Riddick calmly informs one that he can kill him with a tea cup. And then he does. Next, he holds up a key to a sardine tin and puts it down meaningfully in the same place where the tea cup was — and the other two get the hell out of there.
  • Not Quite Flight: Dame Vaako threatens the air elemental Aereon by opening the bomb bay of the ship they are in and pushing her towards it; she then reveals that while she can't fly, she can hover very well.
  • Offstage Villainy: The Lord Marshal's extermination of the Furyans to try to cheat the prophecy that Aereon gave him, which is only alluded to in the theatrical cut. Averted in the extended cut, which actually shows him committing these massacres.
  • 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.
  • Overnight Conquest: Helion Prime is taken over by the Necromongers in one night. Then again, we're only shown a single city, but the Necros treat it as if the entire planet is under their control, and their ceremony suggests there isn't any lingering resistance. Also played with in that the Helion system has other inhabited planets which they haven't conquered, but that's treated as a formality.
  • Penal Colony: The Crematoria prison is the only habitable structure on the environmentally deadly planet, which was specifically chosen for its inescapability.
  • Pervy Patdown: The Crematoria guards pull this on Keyra. One of them slowly pats her down to find any concealed shivs, enjoying himself while doing so. She makes a surprise attack in response.
  • Pillar of Light: New Mecca has many large constructions which emit Pillars Of Light. These shut down as the Necromongers attack.
  • The Plan: Discussed. "Because that was my plan."
  • Play-Along Prisoner: Riddick uses this trope with the bounty hunters sent to collect him, in order to get to a specific prison planet to find someone, knowing that the relatively short-ranged bounty hunter's spacecraft could only go to one of a few prison planets.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    • A Call-Back to Pitch Black, as Riddick extinguishes the lights before taking on a group of mooks:
      Riddick: You're not afraid of the dark, are you?
    • The Lord Marshal gets a nice one, before he becomes the only character to beat the hell out of Riddick:
      Lord Marshal: Been a long time since I've seen my own blood.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Give me your soul." "Fuck you!"
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy:
    • The Furyan race are heavily implied to have been this.
  • Pursued Protagonist: The first scene after the opening narration is Riddick (initially unrecognizable with a beard and hair) running through a frozen wasteland, being chased by a ship of Bounty Hunters who he soon turns the tables on.
    • The Necromongers.
  • Raygun Gothic: The Necromonger fleet is a much darker interpretation of this aesthetic.
  • Recycled In Space: This film is Star Wars where the Force isn't quadratic.
  • Red Right Hand: If the Obviously Evil attire didn't give it away immediately, the best way to identify a necromonger are a pair of small circular scars at the base of their necks, remnants from the necromonger conversion process.
  • 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.
  • Reverse Grip: This is how the eponomous Anti-Hero holds his blades.
  • 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.
  • Sedgwick Speech: A lone dissenter in New Mecca says the Necromonger Warlord is an intolerant conqueror rather than the "enlightened" liberator he presents himself as and... gets his soul ripped out for it. Ouchies.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: see Genocide Backfire.
  • Self-Restraint: Riddick allows bounty hunter Toombs and his goons to capture him and take him to the prison planet of Crematoria where he has unfinished business. It is unclear whether the entire Crematoria plot is actually a Gambit Roulette of Riddick's...
  • Sensor Character: The Necromongers have their fallen soldiers modified into units known as Lensors, who have received cybernetic implants that their comrades can use to detect things like bodyheat, sounds, air composition, and even starships outside a planet's atmosphere.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Riddick (and the audience) discovers that "Jack", now Kyra, not only grew up and filled out, she also Took a Level in Badass (and was very annoyed to find out that her role model had been feeding her BS).
  • 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 was my plan."
  • 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.
  • Single-Biome Planet: The film starts on an ice planet, heads to a desert-ish planet, and winds up on the heat-scoured Crematoria. The latter at least has the justification of being so close to the sun that the facing side actually melts every day, but the air is still somehow breathable.
  • 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.
  • Smells Sexy: Riddick tells Lady Vaako "It's been a long time since I've smelled beautiful."
  • 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 separate 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.
  • Spirit Advisor: In the extended cut, Riddick is visited several times by the spirit of a dead Furyan named Shirah to remind him of his heritage and his destiny: kill the Lord Marshal of the Necromongers, the man responsible for wiping out their race. She also appears in the opening and ending of Escape from Butcher Bay.
  • 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 an Anti-Hero and calling it a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs... which, in Hannibal Rising, is kind of what they did.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: On the prison planet Crematoria, the guards release vicuous "Hellhounds" to feast on the prisoners. Riddick hides behind a waterfall until one of the hounds sniffs him out. Then he gets into a staring contest to assert his dominance, and because his silver eyes resemble those of the hound, it accepts him as one of the pack.
  • The Starscream: Lord Vaako is a true believer among the Necromongers, so he will blindly follow the orders of the Lord Marshal. While it's clear that the thought of usurping his master's throne has at least occurred to Vaako before, his power-hungry wife actually has to convince him to openly challenge the Lord Marshal, and even then, Vaako only does so after he's convinced that the Lord Marshal has failed his duties.
  • 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.
  • Stripped to the Bone: A repentant traitor walks off into the super-heated atmosphere of Crematoria and doesn't stop until his flesh has completely melted from his skeleton, which then disintegrates into ash.
  • 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.
  • Super-Strength:
    • Riddick. The benefit of being a Human Alien from a high-gravity death world is that he can bat around most other humans like ragdolls. Combined with the savagery and brutality that he displays in combat, the only opponents who manage to give him any real trouble are Vaako and the Lord Marshall.
    • 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 choose between where Riddick is striking and where Lord Vaako is striking.
  • Telepathy: The Quasi-Dead possess powerful telepathic powers.
  • Teleport Spam: The Lord Marshal uses a variation of this technique during the final duel. He splits in two, one being in the original spot, the other being wherever he wants to go, and then chooses on one or the other. In this case, he dies because multiple attackers strike at him mid-teleport and he would be killed in either of the two locations.
  • Tempting Fate: "So you're gonna kill us with your soup cup?"
  • That's No Moon: Combined with a form of Colony Drop. The “comet” that precedes the Necromonger invasion turns out to be the Necromonger invasion, or at least the bulk of their first wave. The ships fly in behind the monoliths, which give off a trail that masks the force and makes them appear to be a comet from a distance. Once the monoliths touch down (devastating the area immediately around them), they deploy numerous fighters as a quick reaction force to whatever air forces the planet has.
  • That's What I Would Do: Riddick seems to know everything that happened in the fight that he wasn't there to witness, and then the others escaped in the chaos. When asked how he knew all that, he said it was his plan.
  • There Is Another: Another Furyan, but he's been converted into a Necromonger and commits suicide immediately after revealing their mutual nature to Riddick.
  • Thrown from the Zeppelin: After the Lord Marshall tells a meeting hall full of captives to allow themselves to be made into Necromonger cultists/soldiers, one man steps forward and insists on remaining true to his current religious beliefs. The Lord Marshal rips his soul out of his body, and everyone else present besides Riddick recognizes the need to Kneel Before Zod.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Kyra, sometime between Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick.
  • 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.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Riddick and Kyra.
  • Villainous Rescue: Toombs shows up with a group of mercs to rescue Riddick from a very nasty squashing by the Necromongers. Of course, the whole reason for the rescue is the bounty on Riddick's big bald head. Riddick lets himself be captured and uses them as transport to get to a specific prison planet.
  • Weapon Twirling: Riddick does some fancy knife-twirling. Possibly a subversion of the usual usage of weapon twirling in fiction. Riddick picks up an unfamiliar knife, and proceeds to perform a complex twirl of the weapon while apparently studying it intently, then comments on what's wrong with the balance. The implication is he twirled it only to do a thorough check of the balance.
  • We Have Reserves: Played with. The Necromongers throw troops into the meat grinder, with at least some expectation that they will die very quickly (case in point, the first force of ground troops we see get massacred to a man, but manage to deploy a staff-sized version of the monolith weapon that takes out the entire group of Helion soldiers.) However, the Lord Marshall’s first line (Let’s go replenish the ranks”) implies that the Necromongers convert a huge chunk of whatever planet they conquer, to the point where a seemingly Pyrrhic Victory turns into a straight victory.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Dame Vaako tells Riddick this when he removes his shades.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Vaako kills a good guy with a brutal over-the-knee backbreaker. Riddick himself, meanwhile, kills a mook by suplexing him onto a stalagmite.
  • 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.
  • You Will Be Spared: The Lord Marshall promises Aereon that he might save her homeworld for last during the Necromonger purge across the cosmos if she gives him another prophecy on his odds to reach the Underverse. She promises him that he'll reach it pretty soon.

Alternative Title(s): The Chronicles Of Riddick