The third film in the Riddick series, which began in 2000 with the muscular sci-fi thriller Pitch Black, is the most dramatically unsatisfying chapter of the ongoing saga.
Made at a fraction of the price of the overblown 2004 sequel The Chronicles Of Riddick, this new instalment pares back the pyrotechnics, focusing on the lead character as he adjusts to hazardous new surroundings.
Writer-director David Twohy even throws in a canine sidekick to humanise his hulking killing machine and provide us with moments of obvious humour.
Vin Diesel reprises his role as the visually impaired “zulu warlock” with unabashed gusto, flinging himself into the various action sequences that Twohy uses to punctuate his flaccid storyline.
In one of the film’s many risible moments, the leading man strips off and clambers up a rocky formation and stares intently into the sky, his rippling frame bathed in the light of an alien moon.
And if all else fails, frighten off the enemy with gratuitous nudity.