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Does the Riddick franchise shed any light on the sci-fi/action genre or will it fade into darkness?

Setting the first film on a single planet allowed director, David Twohy, to play around with colours depending on the sun cycle. This was all but completely removed in The Chronicles of Riddick, taking the approach of a more traditional action film with thirteen explosions and almost one hundred deaths – both films were different in style but still managed to continue the story successfully. The change of hues and dominance of a single colour had a slight return in 2013’s Riddick, which helped it return to it’s original sci-fi/thriller routes of Riddick spying on people and using the dark to his advantage – what’s the point of having night vision eyes if he doesn’t use them?

How many times Riddick is injured compared to his kill count changes throughout the franchise with Pitch Black including 4 injuries with 15 kills, Chronicles containing 3 injuries with 34 kills and Riddick containing only 3 injuries with 29 kills. This transformation from a mortal being with some special abilities is heightened during every film with an increase in kills and a slight decrease in injuries between the first two films. The final film then reduces the kill count from Chronicles; this can be explained by the switch back to the sci-fi/thriller genres replacing the all out action of the second film.

As most franchises are expected to increase profit and success with each new release, writers and directors seem to feel the need to amplify action elements like explosions and chase scenes. Despite the chases staying level throughout, this franchise has a fairly drastic increase in explosions, as do other franchises like The Matrix and Bourne. However this increase of explosions doesn’t feel forced, with the majority of them coming in the final action packed scenes in Riddick, strengthening and building suspense for the franchise’s finale.

The second film in the franchise incorporates a huge difference in total deaths, increasing to almost 10 times the amount from Pitch Black. As the more action orientated film of the franchise this could have been expected, especially with the other two films taking on more of a sci-fi/thriller stance to Chronicles. The obvious change in genre surprisingly flows very well, with none of the films ever becoming secluded from the rest – the first and third films have more of Riddick spying and using the dark to his advantage in typical thriller fashion, while the second film has more of Riddick killing and shooting humans & non-humans.

After the final scenes in The Chronicles of Riddick, the franchise could have taken a completely different direction by following Riddick’s story as Head of the Necromongers. Except from the flashback at the beginning of the third film, there’s not much mention of this story line leaving the franchise wide open both for a possible prequel and a sequel to Riddick as we feel the Necromongers storyline had more to offer than we’ve seen so far.

What we learnt from...


You get cool eyes from doing bad things
Patience is for criminals
Never threaten to put Riddick's head in a box
All strong female characters need a much stronger male to put them in their place
Your past will always find you, regardless of which planet you're on
Don't let Riddick's feet near a sword
Rocks make useful leg splints
Pets don't live forever
Killing the leader of a race automatically gives you leader privileges
Junkies don't react well to being marooned on remote planets