More back to basics with Riddick confined to one planet (and for a few minutes a starship) with characters getting killed off by aliens one by one. It has a great "survival mode" beginning where our anti-hero must try to survive alone on a planet, but weak CGI with flying bikes and a long final hour that feels like a rehash of the original drag the movie down. The swearing can't hide the lazy dialogue either.
Don't get me wrong, these flicks aren't even in the same league but if Pitch Black were Twohy's version of Alien (the stripped down, horror-more-than-sci-fi flick) then Riddick is Aliens (the still-horrorish-but-with-more-firepower flick) and Chronicles is Alien Resurrection (the overblown and ultimately unnecessary entry in the series).
The most badass, focused, and fun entry yet. They expertly manage to develop Riddick's character more than ever before, by simply showing his relationship with an alien dog. But you'll spend the bulk of this slimmed down, self-aware pulp sci-fi sequel watching mercs and bounty hunters be hilarious, freak out, and get killed. For everyone who loves the human characters in their monster movies, this is the holy grail.
Though Twohy at least ties the films together this is basically a rehashed version of 'Pitch Black' not to say its bad of its type. Diesel's monosyllabic take on the action hero works for the character and you just have to love the zero character growth arc on this series. Effects are passable though a sense of real danger is missing after the first half hour as Riddick progresses from man to superman it seems.
Diesel envisions Riddick as a kind of sci-fi Rambo but he isn't even Snake Plisken. There is just no dimension to the character. He is merely a composite of things Diesel personally finds cool, and exists as part of an ongoing, largely ego driven, attempt to create an icon out of absolutely nothing. Twohy does his best to disguise the modest budget, but there is really nowhere to go from here.
Considering that the first movie was pretty awesome and the second one was abyssmal this lands somewhere in between. Twohy has obviously taken notes on what the second movie failed at and is trying to make amends here by rehashing a lot of stuff from the first one. It's a fun but cheesy ride but ultimatelty it is a sad disappointment. Not even Diesel can capture the cool of the first outing. Here he's downright bad.
Fun entry for fans of the series. Katee Sackhoff is terrific here, sexy and tough as nails. It succeeds in being exactly what it aims to be, so if your expecting this to be anything other than a mildly entertaining sci-fi actioner rich with cheesy one-liners & cliched characters, then you need to rearrange your viewing priorities.