HULKING killing machine Riddick (Vin Diesel) is left for dead on a sunscorched planet awash with alien predators.

The mercenary’s only hope is to activate an emergency beacon and steal aboard a rescue ship.

The beacon alerts bounty hunters to his position and they descend on the planet determined to kill Riddick and collect their fee. Santana (Jordi Molla) and his men are first to answer the distress signal and they set up sensors around their craft to track Riddick’s movements.

A rival squad led by Boss Johns (Matt Nable) and his sassy sidekick Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) arrive next, but they have a slightly different agenda for tracking down their muscular prey.

However, time is of the essence – a deadly storm approaches that will sweep across the surface of the planet, killing everything in its path.

The third film in the Riddick series, which began in 2000 with the muscular sci-fi thriller Pitch Black, is the most dramatically unsatisfying chapter of the ongoing saga.

This new instalment pares back the pyrotechnics, focusing on the lead character as he adjusts to hazardous new surroundings, even throwing in a canine sidekick to humanise the antihero.

Diesel reprises his role as the visually impaired ‘zulu warlock’ with unabashed gusto.