Top critical review
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Far from perfect, but enjoyable.
on June 10, 2005
Not only are there two movies in the Chronicles of Riddick, but also a video game and this animated short. Each one of these "chapters" gives a bit of information about Riddick and the series of events around him. Dark Fury is a short tale and the detracted one from the series. The story itself has very little to add to the Riddick epic, but the little details do give you a segueway between Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick.
Like I said. The story is way off into left field. Apparently soon after Riddick and his cohorts leave the planet from Pitch Black they get captured by a ship full of mercs, controlled by some lady who has a thing for killers. The plot itself isn't so bad, but the way they execute it doesn't meld as well. This animated film is nothing more than ego worship for the Riddick character. There is no real plot or character development because of this. Just Riddick kicking butt and people being impressed by it.
The artwork is definitely Chung. Although you won't see the same action sequences that were signature in his early works like Aen Flux, the art itself is more polished on the characters. They are much less... how can I put this?... skinny and puppet-like... than Aeon. The voice acting is superb with the original actors from Pitch Black doing the voices of Riddick, Imam and "Jack".
This 30 minute short is a mix of cel animation and computer animation and I must say the CG side of things is very much lacking. Not only does it stick out like a sore thumb it looks dated... as in what you would expect years ago. The cel animation, on the other hand, is great and very dynamic.
The extras are actually pretty nice for such a short show. "Bridging the Gap" is filled with interviews with actors and production crew on the making of the anime. The interview with Peter Chung is pretty informative on not only this cartoon, but his career as well. The storyboard featurette is essentially the entire cartoon done in storyboard form. Kinda neat if you're into that. Into the Light is a short, but VERY informative featurette on why director David Twohy went the direction he did on Chronicles of Riddick.
Dark Fury is a mixed bag, but it should be enough to satisfy the Riddick fan. While the anime itself felt too different than the rest of the Riddick material it's still entertainment. The extra features make this DVD much more enjoyable, however the list price of $9.99 still seems too steep for the content if you ask me. I recommend getting it at a lower price if you can.