From renowned animator Peter Chung (The Animatrix, "Matriculated"; MTV's Æon Flux) comes The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, an all-new vision of the Riddick universe. When Riddick is captured by bounty hunters, he must battle soldiers of fortune and vicious creatures in the lethal slaughter cells of a massive starship. Riddick's night vision and ruthless combat skills are all that stand between him and a fate literally worse than death in this, sci-fi thrill-ride that bridges the incredible stories of Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick.
Taking a page 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