Remember what I said about weird tonal shifts and the dramatic difference in style that we get from Chronicles of Riddick? Well that’s here in force. Dark Fury is an anime version of Riddick presumably taking place immediately after Pitch Black on their way to New Mecca.
It’s so clean! Anime tends to have that kind of a very slick and polished look but that’s totally out of place within Riddicks dirty, rusty universe. Even Riddick himself seems to slick – all the character that we get in Vin Diesel’s dirty face is missing.
We get some really good imagery here, giant ships, elegantly hand-painted along with dynamic and interesting-looking mercs. Riddick’s ship – the escape capsule last scene in Pitch Black is picked up by a bunch of mercenaries trying to capitalize on the bounty on his head. Hijinks ensue. We’ve got monster fighting again, but the monsters are… weird. Tentacles and glowing bodies, very much anime creatures. They lack the sophisticated attention to biology that the films show, but nevertheless it shows some thought going in here. There’s an attempt to keep some of those themes throughout these movies.
In the end it feels more like a random anime and it does a Riddick entry. That’s the problem with not having a series Bible… anything goes. The technique of anime sidequel works very well with the Matrix films, they already had heavy Japanese influence to them, and translating that kung fu action style into anime was simply a next logical step. Not so much here. Still, at least the animation is of a reasonable quality – that wasn’t the case with the Hellboy animated episodes. It’s a curiosity that would have been better suited as an extra on a DVD rather than a standalone entity in its own right. Unless you’re a completist, it’s not really worth owning.
Time to move on to the third film.