THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK (vt Pitch Black 2 and Pitch Black 2: Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick [working titles]). David Twohy, dir. script (with Jim and Ken Wheat for characters). USA: Primal Foe, One Race, Radar Pictures, Universal (prod.) / Universal Pictures (US dist.), 2004—see IMDb for complex production and distribution. Vin Diesel and Judi Dench, featured players. Holger Gross, prod. design. Kevin Ishioka, Mark W. Mansbridge, and Sandi Tanaka, art direction.
SciFi epic (action-adventure), following but not really a sequel to Pitch Black (2000). Holger Gross developed "Necro-Baroque," a kind of futuristic gothic that combines in set design literal heavy metal with the organic in ways both similar and quite different from those of H. R. Giger and D. Cronenberg (no mucous and a suggestion of feudal and ecclesiastical grandeur—and a fascistic esthetic for the villains). The machines of the villainous Necromongers ("merchants of death") are monumental, and their buildings are machines (spaceships of their armada, a word actually used). The visual pastiche comments upon medieval, (Early) modern, and/or PoMo totalitarianisms, which would reinforce plot, character, and theme—if CoR could be taken more seriously as a film. Covered in some depth by David E. Williams, "Empire Overthrow," Cinefantastique 36.3 (June/July 2004):  f.; see esp. "Empire Overthrow: Builder of Worlds" on production design (48-49). Widely, if not often positively reviewed. Contrast CGI visuals of SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, which came out later in 2004.
(RDE, 13/05/04, 21/06/04, 18/09/04) RDE, Title, 25Aug19