Directed by David Twohy, starring Vin Diesel, Thandie Newton, Colm Feore, Karl Urban, Alexa Davalos and Judi Dench.

'Pitch Black' owed plenty to 'Alien' and its first sequel, but the scares and action were good and in Vin Diesel's character Riddick it offered up the best sci-fi anti-hero since Snake Plissken in 'Escape from New York'. A sequel was inevitable, that it would be so disappointing wasn't.

Taking place five years after the nocturnal slayings of 'Pitch Black', Riddick finds himself stuck in a stand-off between the holy people of Helion Prime and travelling army of "world enders" the Nercromongers, who either kill or convert all human life to their way of thinking. With Riddick trying to hedge his bets and just look after himself, the situation gets even more complicated when he finds out that another 'Pitch Black' survivor, Kyra (Davalos), is stuck on a prison colony.

Returning writer-director Twohy does himself no favours by trying to make two films at once - the first a straight up but far too CGI-heavy action-adventure, the second a power struggle that's often comically pretentious. There are some decent set pieces but zero suspense and '...Riddick' owes too much to the likes of 'V', 'Doctor Who', 'Mad Max 2' and countless others to be considered worthy. Diesel once again gives good scowls and shades as the shaven-headed hard man, but once again this film proves that charisma will only get you so far.

The ending leaves Riddick ready for a third movie. You won't be counting down the days.

Harry Guerin