Friday, September 6, 2013

Review: "The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury" Fast and Furious

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 61 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004) – Video
Running time:  35 minutes
Not rated by the MPAA
DIRECTOR:  Peter Chung
WRITERS:  Brett Mathews; from a story by David Twohy (based upon characters created by Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat)
PRODUCERS:  John Kafka and Jae Y. Moh
EDITOR:  Ken Solomon
COMPOSERS:  Machine Head with Tobias Enhus and Christopher Mann
ANIMATION STUDIOS:  Sunwoo Entertainment and DNA Animation


Starring:  (voices) Vin Diesel, Rhiana Griffith, Keith David, Roger Jackson, Tress MacNeille, Julia Fletcher, Nick Chinlund, and Dwight Schultz

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury is a 2004 made-for-DVD, animated short film.  It is directed by Peter Chung, the Korean-American best known for creating the animated series, ├ćon Flux.  Dark Fury acts as a bridge between the films, Pitch Black (2000), and its sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury takes place shortly after the events depicted in Pitch Black.  The last survivors of the Hunter-Gratzner spacecraft:  Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), Jack (Rhiana Griffith), and Imam Abu al-Walid (Keith David), are aboard the shuttle they used to leave the planet upon which the transport ship crashed.

They find themselves the target of a Mercenary spacecraft (“Merc ship”), after the mercenaries realize that Riddick, a wanted man with a huge bounty on his head, is aboard the shuttle.  Riddick discovers that he has piqued the interest of Antonia Chillingsworth (Tress MacNeille), the Merc ship’s owner, and this crazy woman has some crazy plans in store for Riddick.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury is one of the best made-for-DVD animated films that I have ever seen.  It is true to the spirit and nature of the two feature-length Riddick films and the characters, especially Riddick.  Dark Fury’s script is as well-written and as imaginative as the scripts for Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick.

The voice acting is also superb.  Whatever Vin Diesel may lack as an actor in live-action films, he has as a voice actor for an animated character:  nuance, affect, and richness and the ability to create a depth of character.  It goes without saying that Keith David is good, and Rhiana Griffith makes Jack a lively character that brings energy to Dark Fury every time she opens her mouth.

Dark Fury is further proof that Peter Chung is one of the true visionary animators, character designers, and directors of animated film of the last quarter-century.  Dark Fury needs a buddy.  There should be more animated Riddick films or maybe a television series, especially if Chung were to be the hands guiding animated (or anime) Riddick.  No Riddick fan should miss The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury.

8 of 10

Sunday, September 01, 2013

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Read Pitch Black review.

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