★★½ / 👍
Twohy jettisons the Dune fanfiction for a return to the slasher/creature-feature mashup that made the first film work. Diesel once again commits fully to Riddick as growling sociopath ubermensch. The result is grim and bloody and surprisingly effective.
I’ve subtracted a full star from my rating for Riddick‘s embrace of slasher-movie tropes: one-dimensional characters who exist to be killed, flat dialogue, and problematic gender/sexual politics. After the baroque mess of Chronicles, I can see why Twohy might want to simplify, but minimalist archetypes can also come across as deeply lazy. (If you’re going to hire Katee Sackhoff, “Starbuck meets The Vasquez” should be the starting point, not the entire character concept.)
I enjoyed Riddick, and would recommend it to genre (or Vin Diesel) fans; but I am also uninterested in defending it.