I saw Pitch Black in 2000, and quite frankly I was amazed. What I found truly significant about that film was the build-up. Pitch Black spent somewhere around an hour in heavy character development before unleashing the monsters. By the time you saw serious action, you already had feelings towards each character, you cared whether they lived or died, you could relate.
In sharp juxtaposition, Riddick offers none of that. What makes this contrast so devastatingly drastic is that the stories consistently parallel one another. If we step back and view them side by side, we have the same formula: tremendous hardship occurs, people hunt Riddick/ character development, darkness falls and monsters ensue, run for fuel cells, escape. This formula worked well for Pitch Black for several reasons: the acting was well above average, the characters (and their subsequent actions) were plausible, the CG was pretty state-of-the-art at the time, and the story, although not untold, was given a novel approach.
If this weren't another Riddick movie, I would have walked out.
If you're a huge Riddick fan, and you've already seen Pitch Black, then you've essentially already seen this movie. Except "Stay In the Light" and "Stay Out of the Light" are now "Stay Out of the Wet." There's a lot of recycled content in this movie, from the concept to the music and even some of the alien monster noises. The monsters themselves even resemble those found in Pitch Black, though without the awesomely gnarly protruding eyes.
But now Riddick has a dog. And suddenly he's concerned about right and wrong instead of being the classic anti-hero from all previous movies. Nothing is solved. Like Pitch Black, the entire movie is about him getting off a planet infested with alien monsters bent on eating him. The huge mass of predatory aliens only come out into the world when it rains, which apparently, judging from the desert-like conditions is extremely rare. Sort of like another certain planet, also desert-like, whose creatures only venture out when it's completely dark, another uncommon event.
Visually this movie is great. Only a few scenes make this movie look cheap, but the rest is well done on such a tight budget. Lots of creatures scenes showing 3 types of creatures which look good enough for me. That said I am easily entertained when it comes to creature movies as long as they look believable. Favorite movies of mine are the first four Alien movies, Gwoemul, Outlander, The Relic, Grabbers, Prometheus, Attack the Block, The Hellboy movies, Mimic and even Godzilla. This doesn't say that the movies are good or bad.
This is sort of a well made B-movie containing cool action-packed sequences performed by a unique and awesome highly skilled predator. But in the end you get the feeling that there should be more, this adventure is a bit too short and i would really love to see Riddick facing more then the same old mercenaries and monsters.