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Dark Fury - The Chronicles Of Riddick [DVD]
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Animated sci-fi adventure based on the live-action films 'Pitch Black' and 'The Chronicles of Riddick'. Designed to bridge the gap between the two films, the story follows Riddick after he has escaped from captivity on an eclipsing planet and, along with his companions Jack and Imam, finds himself in confrontation with an inter-galactic bounty hunter. Can his death-defying combat skills and incredible night vision help to free him from the evil mercenaries?
Taking its cue from The Animatrix, Dark Fury is part of a new trend of bridging theatrical sequels. As an official product of a franchise, the 35-minute anime benefits from having the original actors voice the characters, including Vin Diesel as Riddick. This story opens with the new action hero and the two other survivors of Pitch Black already caught by a giant spaceship filled with dread. The sinewy leader has a unique--and creepy--jail for master villains and she has her sights set on Riddick. The film--indeed the series--is indebted to animator Peter Chung, who brings his techno style from his Aeon Flux series. His smooth animation for Riddick doesn't reinvent the character as much as give him a new, appealing fluidity. As anime goes, there's nothing really new here--plenty of action, cool killers, and dramatic spurts of blood--but it's a building block for how this genre might enliven movie series and sequels in the future. --Doug Thomas
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`Pitch Black' was a small film with a basic narrative that hinted at a much larger world and the sequel `The Chronicles Of Riddick' was a huge space opera that explored that larger world and was epic (though flawed). Dark Fury fits perfectly between these two moives in scale and tone. The story is wider and the world bigger than that of Pitch Black but is much more focused and simpler, perhaps `purer' than `Chronicles of Riddick'.
The animation style really suits the characters and world, it feels hand drawn, rough, brutal and pulsing with energy. The setpieces are excellent a fight scene in zero gravity, fighting glowing neon monsters in the pitch darkness and various others. The score is excellent and suits the tone. Characters are a mix of the ones we know from the two movies and also some new ones who are a nice addition to the world.
One of the best things about the Riddick franchise is that it has created it's own universe, with it's own rules, laws, religions and politics. This expands upon that world and is a nice little addition to it. However, you don't really learn anything new about the characters and there are no real revelations.
Having Vin Diesels voice is a great benefit to the film and although he is animated with exagerrated muscles, a slightly different build and stylised look you never doubt for a second that it's the same character of Riddick.
This is a very small narrative and it never feels like a movie because it is structured as a short film or episode. It is really well made in a style that suits the franchise and a script that works well.
It's five stars as long as you realise that it is not a movie but a short story set within the world of the movies.
The important part of this film is the way it develops the story for the girl "Jack" after Pitch Black but before Chronicles.
I think those who give this only 1 star had different expectations about what they were going to get for their money, or perhaps paid too much. This is really good for those who are fans of the Riddick series and also like to watch "extra features"
The extras about the team making the animated film was interesting for those interested in that sort of thing - behind the scenes, how films are made.
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