Vin Diesel can officially be considered action movie royalty. He single-handedly saves "Riddick" from total disaster, compensating for an almost abysmal screenplay and reappearing onscreen just as the purported villains(a group of bounty hunters lead by "Bad Boys II" villain Jordi Molla) threaten to derail the whole darn thing with their blasé banter. Early on, Riddick says very little and lets his actions do the talking. This is actually a blessing, because the voiceover he provides is the first indicator that the screenplay isn't exactly going to be a brain-buster.
Riddick is looking for some forgotten planet when he is double-crossed and left for dead under a pile of rubble. Being the tough guy that he is, he survives, but that doesn't make him any less concerned about the approaching storm. The impending rain will bring about the alien creatures that thrive in the flooded pools that it creates. Knowing he won't survive it alone, he activates an emergency response beacon, alerting any ships in the nearby vicinity to his location. Since there is a price on his head(which doubles if he is returned dead), the beacon attracts a ship full of bounty hunters, and another with a group possessing ulterior motives.
At one point, Riddick tells his would-be assailants to look south. Now how, pray tell, would anyone know what direction south would be on another planet, especially one that doesn't appear to have a sun(but does have some sort of funky moon-shaped object). That is just the beginning of the screenplay's immaturity. Profanity is substitution for any meaningful dialogue. Lines require nothing more, and serve no further purpose than the characters reiterating how badass they all are.
There are a few strange points of chauvinism that border on being offensive. When Riddick gets captured by the band of bounty hunters, he insinuates that the lone female of the group would want to have sex with him. Early on, she makes it clear that she is a lesbian, but that doesn't stop her from looking like she wants to jump his bones near the end of the film. The whole business comes off as tacky, and somewhat disrespectful to both women and lesbians. Heck, this reviewer is male, and he was slightly uncomfortable. It makes one wonder why this even had to be in the film at all.
With Diesel once again strapping on the boots of Riddick, action aficionados can rejoice in the return of the beloved antihero first introduced in "Pitch Black" some thirteen years ago. A lot of time has passed(nine years since the character last graced the big screen), but it certainly feels like Richard Riddick(yeah, didn't think his first name was Richard) hasn't progressed at all. Everything told in flashback form just feels like an excuse for an action sequence, and some of those story elements get tossed aside once the bounty hunters show up. And once nightfall hits, the story and characters tread ground very similar to writer-director David Twohy's original. But there's no denying that seeing the character at work is a lot of fun, and Diesel certainly seems to be having fun. This translates to a fun time for the audience, as long as they don't go thinking about it too hard. This one comes with a tentative recommendation.