The best Riddick film yet, but still not all that great.
I will give this new sequel to the Riddick franchise credit for being the coolest and most entertaining one yet. The challenges are more daunting, the enemies more entertaining, and the comedic moments fit in nicely. Having said that, in truth, this movie is really a reconstituted version of the first installment in the Riddick franchise "Pitch Black". Like in the first movie, a collection of people show up to this planet unaware of the real danger while they focus on pursuing Riddick. Also like the first movie, it is clear Riddick’s adversaries are not nearly good enough to catch their target who is always a few steps ahead of them. In the end the only interesting twist is discovering that the leader of the bounty squad is the father of Johns, the mercenary who had captured Riddick in "Pitch Black" and was attempting to take him to jail when the ship crashed on the planet that killed everyone except Riddick, the kid, and the holy man. So while this is definitely an entertaining, testosterone-driven game of cat-and-mouse, the lack of originality limits the film’s quality.
For Vin Diesel, the return to the character of Riddick reminds us all why he became a movie star in the first place. His combination of physical ability, steel-edge eyes, and witty charm makes him an easy guy to root for in any film he takes part in. The coming out party in this film belongs to Katie Sackhoff, the newest woman to take the reigns as queen of the kick-ass girls. With very few strong credits to her name prior to this film, it will be interesting to see how she embraces the new “it-girl” status that she has earned herself. The only other novelty in the film is the appearance of former wrestler Dave Bautista who fits in well with this band of out-of-this-world bounty hunters. However, beyond his look and a brief half-way decent action scene, his presence in the movie is completely ignorable.