Perhaps it’s a stretch to call this clamorous, ramshackle follow-up to Twohy’s 2000 sleeper hit ‘Pitch Black’ thought-provoking, but it certainly raises plenty of questions. Such as: did co-stars Diesel and Dench ever occupy the same set, or were the good lady’s digitally aided scenes spliced in via satellite? Is the film’s little-understood ‘underverse’ a revolving-door Hades or a particularly poetic line of futurist intimate garment? Is this a movie or a projected video game? The compartmentalised narrative and CGI cityscapes strongly suggest the latter, though the rote recyclings of ‘Mad Max’ and ‘The Matrix’ betray a few too many cinematic origins as the grumpy, musclebound ex-con Riddick reluctantly battles a crusading army of death-fetishist Necromongers. All that said, the sequel baton pass at the finale is pretty nifty, but it’s surely asking too much to think the filmmakers could leave us wanting more. Come to think of it, much, much less would have been best.
Cast and crew
Vin Diesel Colm Feore Thandie Newton Judi Dench Karl Urban