RIDDICK returns to the monsters-in-the-dark drama which made Vin Diesel a star in Pitch Black.
The third instalment in the galactic action franchise, directed by David Twohy, sees anti-hero Richard Riddick left for dead on a sun-scorched planet.
The opening scenes, devoid of any dialogue, show a bewildered and injured Riddick fight for survival against the alien threats of this strange new world.
When you finally do hear Diesel's deep voice, it's as an inner monologue as Riddick recounts where he went wrong as the newly-crowned leader of the Necromongers.
This doubles as a great catch-up for those who don't remember much of what happened in The Chronicles of Riddick.
It's a return to the man-versus-wild feeling of Pitch Black, where Riddick does his best to rediscover the animal within.
After finally conquering the strange water-based creature blocking his access to a more hospitable side of the planet, Riddick comes across a mercenary outpost.
In a bid to get his hands on a ship to leave the desolate planet, he triggers an emergency beacon alerting any ships in the area to his presence, and of course the bounty on his head.
It attracts two ships: the first captained by cocky mercenary Santana (Jordi Molla) and his seemingly tough crew, and the second by Boss Johns, who wants Riddick alive for reasons not immediately revealed.
Former Rugby League footballer turned actor Matt Nable, best known to Aussie audiences for his roles in Bikie Wars and Underbelly, plays Johns.
Unlike the previous two films, there are quite a few light-hearted moments in Riddick.
There's funny scenes with Riddick's pet dog, which looks like a cross between a Tasmanian tiger and a hyena, and cheeky dialogue between Riddick and the mercenaries.
It's an interesting shift away from the serious tone of Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick.
The film also shows Riddick when he is most vulnerable, and in an epic final battle scene shows his undying desire to survive against all odds.
This film brings the Riddick franchise back to its roots, which fans are sure to appreciate.
- Stars: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Bokeem Woodbine.
- Director: David Twohy.
- Rating: MA 15+
- Stars: 2.5/5
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