The Riddick Series has never been AAA cinema. 2000’s Pitch Black was a B-movie mash-up of sci-fi, horror, and action, while its PG-13 sequel The Chronicles of Riddick aspired to be more of a costumed action epic — and failed at the box office.

The character has maintained a loyal following over the years, however, and nine years after the last installment Diesel and writer-director David Twohy have stripped the character back to his R-rated essence with Riddick. The new film sets the stage for what could be a gleefully absurd genre ride, but the movie never quite finds its footing, missing out on the very elements that have made Diesel’s recent films so much fun in the first place.