Twohy succeeds in staging moments both tense and funny, but they're fewer and farther between than one would hope, and the dialogue is served up with a heaping helping of cheese, especially when delivered in Diesel's low-frequency growl.
This is not one of those Johnny-come-lately sequels preoccupied with getting a new audience up to speed on where the story was. It's about living in the moment, in the now, and killing in the now.
Riddick's at his most fun when the pressure's on, and he retreats to plan something special for his new visitors. All the build-up pays off with tense showdowns in the dark, thrilling restraint and ominous suggestion giving way to slasher gore.
The movie jogs along nicely without ever getting a case of the stupids; far from being a bloated "John Carter," it's just a pared-down yarn of survival: "Die Hard" on a planet.
Much of the film is over-the-top, but that won't be a surprise to those who saw the previous two installments. Diesel is in fine form, growling his lines and being the most menacing person on screen even when he's in chains.