by Jonathan Engwall
Vin Diesel is back for his third appearance as Riddick. Since crash landing years ago, Riddick has been planet hopping. When times are good, Riddick relies on character. He is witty, calculating, ironic and dangerous. When times are bad, he is a survivor. Though this array of survival skills gives one the temptation to wonder if Riddick had been framed for rejecting futuristic values, whenever Riddick does not get his way the body count rises.
At first, Riddick is perfectly happy to wander a dangerous landscape alone. When he finds evidence of mankind trouble starts. He is a fugitive with a bounty on his head. The bounty is not for his body, or testimony, or rehabilitation-just his head. Mercenaries seeking money, revenge, or glory swarm to wherever Riddick might be found. Who ever they are and why ever they have come for him, Riddick does not fight alone. Like always, a hostile planet is on his side.
This third instalment is a pleasing blend of computer generated graphics and special lighting for an other worldly feel with awesome alien scenery. It holds true to an internal logic. The mercenaries are believable. They handle specialized technology casually and speak with sensible jargon. Their rivalries are harsh. Also, the unnamed planet is beautifully developed. Dry river beds warn of monsoons, weird blind vipers sting with poison, brutal storms awaken monsters, and clear skies are the domain of flying carnivores. All beneath a boiling red super planet amid the ruins of a dead civilization.