The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty. The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won’t leave the planet without Riddick’s head as their trophy.Riddick is left for dead on an unknown planet with hostel indigenous predators. With a bounty on his head he calls upon the very people who want to have him killed in order to escape.
Director/writer David Twohy certainly delivers a fan pleasing sequel that fittingly harks back to the first instalment’s roots in both story linkage and tone. While not as grand, fans of Chronicles will also be pleased with the stripped continuation back story and a cameo from Karl Urban’s Vaako.
It’s a good piece of science fiction action entertainment with decapitations, shootings, spaceships, a hostile planet, yes it’s familiar and debatably derivative as the characters get picked off one by one, but as with Pitch Black Twohy effortlessly manages to create a convincing environment with new memorable biological creatures which is no easy task, to his credit it’s no often lighting strikes twice given how many forgettable alien creatures have been put on screen. Yet, even though reminiscent Alien (1979) he manages to recreate what he did with the photosensitive, reptilians in his breakout 2000 film.
Vin Diesel returns as the character created by Jim Wheat & Ken Wheat- Riddick, this time he rekindles his previous edginess but the ‘one Riddick and his dog’ aspect expands the character, sneakily retaining some likability (especially for animal fans).
Given the way the production was funded the special effects are a mixed bag but serve their purpose. The first act is a special effect survival piece with sparse dialogue and smart action, with the second act taking place after an (unstated) amount of time when Riddick finds a small base. From then on its full of action setups, space motorcycles, conflicts and one-liners as the mercenaries and bounty hunters have to make an alliance with Riddick to survive an impending alien onslaught.