Customer Reviews: Dark Fury - The Chronicles of Riddick (Animated)
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Dark Fury is a set piece that bridges the gap between Pitch Black and its grander cousin, The Chronicles of Riddick. It follows the characters of Riddick, Abu 'Imam al-Walid, and Jack as they cross paths with a ship of body hunters (they catch people and freeze them for later use) and are brought on board. The captain of the ship, Chillingsworth has an interesting hobby - she captures wanted criminals and makes living statues of them.

No surprise, Riddick is high on her list of cryo-candidates. Using Jack and Abu as bait Chillingsworth forces Riddick to participate in a life or death. As you may imagine, Riddick doesn't fight on a schedule, nor does he call it quits when the curtain falls. Be prepared for a string of grim confrontations as our anti-hero takes on an entire ship.

I'm not as big a fan of the Aeon Flux animation team as others are, but they really did managed to make this film work with only a slight touch if CGI. The high level of action seems to fit the style very well, and even Riddick's brutality displays moments of true grace. My big complaint, and the reason this will never get more than four stars from me, is that it is way too short. I would rather pay more for a longer, better-developed story, to be honest.

But it is fun. Hopefully they will make more.
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on June 16, 2004
Did you love Pitch Black? Then you will probably like Dark Fury.
I recommend it. It is worth seeing.
I am a huge fan of Pitch Black and have been since I saw it in the theater. I was very excited about the release of a "Sequel" this summer. I was not particularly impressed by "The Chronicles of Riddick".
After I saw "The Chronicles of Riddick" in the theater... I found out about "Dark Fury." I was determined to acquire a copy as soon as it was released.
"Dark Fury" was a much better "sequel." It really is a shame that it was only 35 minutes long. I will admit, the storyline is pretty straightforward and somewhat trite, but I was beyond caring because of the incredible animation. Peter Chung has brought the characters of Pitch Black to animated life in his distinctive style, but without losing any of their own distinctive characteristics. They really nailed the way Riddick moves, fights, and reacts.
There is a sequence that happens in "zero-gee", and is handled beautifully. It is perfect, and wonderful.
This story feels less like a "bridging storyline" between two live action films, and more like an episode of a beautiful cartoon series that one might find on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. I found myself desperately wishing that an animated series would be born, thanks to this featurette.
There are some good special features. I enjoyed the interviews and the discussions about how they pieced the series together.
One bonus: Rhianna Griffith, who originated the role of Jack, provided the voice of Jack for "Dark Fury". This is a treat, since she was replaced in "The Chronicles of Riddick" by Alexa Davalos.
It was nice to hear "Jack" speak in her "own" voice. The other characters from "Pitch Black" were voiced by their original actors as well. A nice touch.
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on December 8, 2004
"Pitch Black"/"Chronicles Of Riddick" fans, do NOT pass this one up just because of its short running time and animated nature! A gem of the Asian style of animation, this underseen chapter covers events between "Pitch Black" and "Chronicles", picking up almost immediately after the former. Tells a more compact tale, meaning the apprx. 30-minute running time is not a hindrance (although if you want to talk price, then yeah, it could be argued that it should be a little less expensive for its brevity. Makes up for it by being just plain better than most 2-hour entries in the Action/Sci-Fi field). The ship carrying the first movie's survivors is picked up by what at first appears to be just another merc ship but turns out to have a much weirder, more original, and more interesting nature; also brings into play some visually astounding alien lifeforms.

Eclipses "Chronicles Of Riddick" and equals, perhaps surpasses "Pitch Black" A must for fans of the series or of such animated fare as "The Animatrix", "Galerians: Rion" or "Blood: The Last Vampire".

Interesting sidenote: this isn't star Vin Diesel's first foray into animation. Also check out the more child-friendly and seriously under-appreciated "Iron Giant" from 1999, where Diesel voices the title character.
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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.
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on August 4, 2004
I bought Dark Fury out of a genuine interest in finding out "what happened after Pitch Black". I've never been a fan of Peter Chung. My only previous experience with his work was "Aeon Flux", which I found hard to follow.

However, Dark Fury was brilliant. The dark imagery and the visual concepts followed the trend set by Pitch Black. I was pleased to see they used the actors from Pitch Black rather than go with other voice actors for the characters.

I wasn't overly thrilled with the way the main characters were drawn. The characters that crossed over bore some resemblance to their live action counterparts, but there were some glaring differences that I and friends noticed. It was the type of visual differences you often see between action figures and the actors who played the part in the movie - the resemblance seems to exist only because you're looking for it.

That doesn't mean that the animation was done poorly, however. The blend of computer animation and hand-drawn work creates a background that is almost dizzying at times. Certainly, it allowed the artists the ability a freedom to create some scenes that would have been difficult with live action.

I liked the additional features with interviews, but felt at times that they had been included more as an advertisement for the next movie "The Chronicles of Riddick" than to give any actual insight into the process of creating Dark Fury.

If you're a fan of Pitch Black and want to understand the full story of the characters, this is a "must buy", along with the books and games. Each lends a portion of the story to the whole.
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on November 27, 2004
I was a big fan of the bizarro Aeon Flux back in the 90's and director Peter Chung brings that wonderful style to the universe of Riddick (much like he did in The Animatrix).

Dark Fury is a small story set between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick (which I haven't seen) in which Riddick, Jack and Abu dock their scout vessel with an ominous and evil ship filled with frozen Mercs and run by a vicious female overlord with a perverted idea of imprisonment.

The whole thing is basically an excuse for some quick violence but it's entertaining and expands upon the Riddick universe in interesting ways. I can see why Vin Diesel chose this franchise over TFATF and xXx.

The DVD is in non-anamorphic (!) 1.85:1 widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound and a bunch of whogivesadamn extras.
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on June 16, 2004
The 35 minute prequel to the Chronicles of Riddick. This of course is the on-going trend thanks to the Animatrix. Of course where the wachowski's innovate, other imitate. The Animatrix was a 90 minute journey into the matrix universe and,for fans, it really went in depth into that world. Van Helsing had some cheapo cartoon released as well and was greeted with a gigantic indifferent yawn.
I'm happy to say that Dark Fury is no Van Helsing: London Assignment, but its also not as good as the Animatrix, mainly because its really short. It starts right after Pitch Black, and our anti-heroes run into a necro ship and are forced into yet another fight for their lives. Nothing new is really learned about Riddick or the necromongers. It sets up why Riddick left Jak and Imam. If your really into the film I would recommend it for some more kick @$$ Riddick fight scenes and some great one liners. Its pretty entertaining and with the man behind Aeon Flux and The animatrix:Matriculated at the helm the quality of the animation is top notch. Unlike the movie there is lots of blood spilled and the money shots are in tact. Even in cartoon form Riddick is the man. It features the voices of all the original cast members, including the girl who played Jak in Pitch Black. (Funny how they will bring her back for this but not for the movie.)
It has a few features on the making of the cartoon, where you can sorta laugh at Vin Diesel trying to make the cartoon sound real deep, and you get a quickie look at The Chroniclces movie. For ten beans I felt satisfied. If you want more Riddick action, I recommend it, if you want more info on Riddick or The Chronicles movie, wait for the sequel or play the game.
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on March 23, 2006
The story was interesting and follows in line with the tales and universe of the other Riddick films. A true Riddick fan will probably want to own this for their collection, but anyone else could easily miss this animated film. The animation was very good, but this animator's style is not one of my personal favorites. Since I am a fan of the Riddick character I am glad to own it, but in truth it offers nothing special beyond another Riddick story. I might have enjoyed it more if the film were longer. As far as suitablity for children is concerned, it is no more violent than any typical Saturday morning cartoon with the usual man-eater alien monster, various bad guys toting guns and a psychotic vilianist. It probably does emphasize bloodletting a little more than the typical Saturday cartoon, but I have seen comic books that were worse. On a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being the best rating, I would offer it a 5.

In conclusion, if you're a Riddick fan you may want this. If not then you'll probably be happier buying something else.
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on January 2, 2015
The episode itself, was extremely interesting, but not flawless. The idea that the antagonist collected and froze(while keeping them alive) convicts really enthralled me. I really wish she more fleshed out and built. They had the potential to make this isn a masterpiece, but they budget took a big chunk out this film's @ss. My biggest beef are two things, the length and the inconsistency in the animation.

It's only 30 minutes, so it suffers from pacing issues. Things are obviously rushed,and when I mean rushed- I mean Riddick is freaking op as frick and you feel no real sense of tension , I mean we all know going in that Riddick and co. will come out alright but with more time we could've gotten that "Holy crap this lady wants to make him into a statue and his are in danger, get out of there right now" feel.

Rushing does not only show in the dialogue, but also in the animation. Which as a whole is really inconsistent. Best comparison, it's kind of animated like a "WB!Kids" show- rushed out for them big bucks. It also looked like there was no unity in the team, some the art was gorgeous, the lines are clean and you can really see Riddick's resemblance to Diesel. Other Riddick looks like a dang potato and his lips and head are misshapen. The main villainous looks like she's in a fish eye lense at times because her eyes sometimes the size oranges other times they're kind of small.

As a villain in general, she's not very memorable to me, not her fault it's the script. (and her really freaking cheesy character design- is this Riddick or Evangelion WHO KNOWS?) . Also Jenner is the cheapest character design I ever seen. He looks like an older version of Chow, from "Jackie Chan Adventures". (Don't know who that is ? Google it and see what I mean)

This was obviously a quick milk of the cash cow. I only paid 3 bucks for a watch so I can't really say I'm too disappointed. All in all I'd watch with some buds for a nice session of crap talking. Is it terrible? No, not by any means! Could it had been better? Absolutely! I recommend it for Riddick fans and for those who like that morning cartoon feel. Cuddle up with a bowl of cereal, give it go.
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I admit to being a big fan of the Riddick series with Vin Diesel. It seems he was born to play this character. Even though I do not like the animated version (The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury) as much as the two movies (Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick); nevertheless, I did enjoy viewing this quick paced 35 minute animated feature.

In this movie Riddick is captured by bounty hunters and battles ugly mean creatures as well as ruthless bounty hunters. He manages to kill a whole lot of enemies and gets away by stealing one of their space ships. This is a fun filled action cartoon feature that fans of Riddick should check out.

Personally, I am looking forward to seeing his new movie which comes out in about two weeks. In preparation for that event I watched not just this animated version but the other two Riddick movies made with Vin Diesel.

In conclusion, if you are a Vin Diesel/Riddick fan you should check out this animated version (Dark Fury).

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (The Samurai Heart: An old warrior's poetic tribute)
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