The Chronicles of Riddick

Rated 3.0 Vin Diesel returns as the surly character he played in Pitch Black, waging a one-man resistance to a ruthless conquering race. Is this a sequel or a prequel? Hard to say, because writer-director David Twohy’s script is all but incoherent, babbling on about Necromongers, Furians, the Underverse and the planet Crematoria; dropping characters and then bringing them back without notice; and making little sense. Somehow, though, it hardly matters. Twohy gives the film a vehement comic-book energy, and the eye-popping production design by Holger Gross is like Boris Vallejo’s Greatest Hits come to life. Diesel glowers with virile authority, while the supporting players (Judi Dench, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton and Linus Roache) add thespian heft, making the movie a guilty pleasure for the Star Trek/Babylon 5 set.