The action scenes are great (not surprising, since the movie's directed by John Woo); they're the highlight of the movie. The writing and acting, on the other hand, are a different story. The script has good intentions, but ultimately fails due to characterization cliches, poor dialogue, and wanna-be sentimentality. Nicholas Cage acts in his typical, apathetic fashion (a zombie-esque scowl upon his face, peppered with the occasional slurred line) for most of the movie; the rest of the performers don't fare much better.
The Chronicles of Riddick takes the B-movie mythology of Pitch Black and attempts to magnify it with dozens of new characters, planet hopping, and political intrigue on the level Frank Herbert's Dune--with hints William Shakespeare's Macbeth--but it ends up a little more like a backwater galaxy somewhere in the Star Trek universe. Like Star Trek, there are sweeping images of hundreds of space ships, hordes of computer-generated extras that attempt to broaden the political and social scope of the story, but the gap between the backdrop and the foreground is at bit on the wide side.