Not sure why I originally saw this besides it was something to watch but it impressed me more than I thought it would. I have never gone on to the Riddick movies or cartoons or anything, so it exists in my mind as a standalone movie.
Pitch Black is about a small group of mercenaries transporting a captured prisoner (Vin Diesel) back to confinement. Diesel's Riddick is built up as the baddest of the bad, with a surgery that allows him to see in the dark. When the transport ship crash lands on a planet with multiple suns, it doesn't take long for the crew to figure out that bad things come out when all the suns go down. If they have any hope of surviving, they may just have to free Riddick and hope he helps them.
Although a B-movie through and through, David Twohy (who also directed Below) brings all his considerable skill to making this a solid survival horror. The cast is small and each character gets one or two traits to set them apart from the others before the monsters start attacking in earnest. Diesel is able to deliver on the action promised by the hype they give his character. Seeing his anti-hero tearing through some aliens is a ton of fun.
In the end, that is what the movie is all about, some popcorn fun. It is not deep or significant but it is a fun way to pass some time. If you wonder how Diesel became a star, this film is the answer. Worth a watch.