ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Dark Fury (2004)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Peter Chung

Starring:
Vin Diesel/Riddick
Rhiana Griffith/Jack
Keith David/Iman
PLOT-CRUNCH
Acting as the link between "Pitch Black" and "The Chronicles of Riddick", "Dark Fury" sees Iman (David), Jack (Griffith) and space badass Riddick (Diesel) being intercepted and taken prisoner by a Merc ship. All is well until Riddick gets bored and decides that he wants out of that pad...pronto! Slashings, stabbings and Riddick cracking skulls ensues.
THE LOWDOWN
From a story by David Twohy (writer/director of "Pitch Black" and "The Chronicles of Riddick") and visually orchestrated by ace animator Peter Chung (The Animatrix - MTV's Aeon Flux), "Dark Fury" got the job done in entertaining my Riddick-loving self and giving me quite the wham-bam eyeful. But what was missing?

First off, the screenplay for "Dark Fury" was tighter than a girl scout’s cookies with well-written dialogue, a quite original baddie motive and a furiously fast pace on hand. Visually, the world within the film was beyond remarkable in its sci-fi uniqueness with the architecture of the settings entrancing me, the costumes going the trippy way and the creature designs being as novel as they come. As for the action, well, there was plenty of that sweet joo-joo here as well and I’m cheerful to report that it was put out in enthralling and slick choreography fashion (all about the Riddick killing within a blob of fire extinguisher fluid bit…NICE!) Last but not least, finding out what went down with Jack, Iman and Riddick after "Pitch Black" and before "Chronicles" was way groovy for this Riddick fanboy. Too bad I didn’t catch this short before hitting "Chronicles" though. Would’ve made more sense!

So what’s the problem then? Well, although I had a hoot with it all, running at 30-35 minutes, it was too damn short! The character of Toombs, for example, was barely introduced and I still don’t know why he hates Riddick so much in "Chronicles". The slim running time also resulted in it falling short from coming through as a full meal. I actually resorted to watching "Pitch Black" afterwards to finish off my Riddick craving! In addition, I had qualms with some of the animation in which the spaceships looked too much like computer animation, clashing with the more grounded visual expressions of the characters. And it should be said that although you can reproduce Vin Diesel’s body via drawings, you can’t reproduce his rugged charm. The “animated” Riddick, although voiced by Diesel, didn’t feel 100% Riddick to me. Something was missing.

On the whole, this was a taut, quality-filled and well-executed short. But I stress the word SHORT! Could’ve given us more than 30 minutes, man! COME ON! I WANTED MORE RIDDICK!
GORE
Nothing like animated plasma to crank my dial to “fuck yeah!” We get mucho blood, some slashes, self mutilations, messy aftermaths and a knife in the eye (nice one!)
ACTING
All of the voice acting within this picture was exceptional! I bought it across the board!
T & A
We dudes get nothing, but the ladies with a toon fetish will be happy to know that they get an animated Riddick going shirtless to show off his animated pecs.
DIRECTING
Chung shifted his style to overdrive on this one with wild shots left and right, zany angles up the wazoo, a sly use of slow motion and a breath neck pace. You can fly!
SOUNDTRACK
The score by “Machine Head” succeeded in capturing the surreal and odd world of the picture.
BOTTOM LINE
"Dark Fury" was mostly all excellence and that’s why it pains me to say that its short running time truly played against it. I didn’t get enough “Riddick Fun” for it to leave a lasting impression. You ever have a chick spit in your ear, chomp on your neck, grab your jewels to then….WALK AWAY and leave you hanging with a bad case of BLUE BALLS? Well, that’s how I felt when the end credits to "Dark Fury" rolled. I WANTED TO BE FINISHED OFF! I say, to be fully content...watch this grenade of whoop-ass after viewing "Pitch Black". DON’T GET TEASED LIKE I DID!
BULL'S EYE
Screenwriter Brett Matthews (who wrote for the TV show "Firefly") wrote the screenplay to this short.

“Machine Head” who did the music for this flick, also contributed ditties to "Freddy vs Jason".
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