Riddick is looking very, very similar to Pitch Black, the first film in the Riddick series. Vin Diesel in space, chased by angry spacefarers. Indigenous space monsters attack. Diesel and fellow humans team up to combat alien menace.

But Pitch Black was an intense little creature feature, so if Riddick can offer the same thrills with a slightly higher budget, more power to it. And Yahoo! Movies has the first clip from Riddick, titled “Riddick is Ambushed.” Not hard to guess what’s gonna happen there. Go ahead and watch below:

There’s both some good and some bad in here. The good: that extra budget ($15m more than Pitch Black had) is being put to terrific use. The big mean beastie that gets the jump on Riddick looks absolutely tremendous, even if its design looks very, very similar to what we’ve seen in the Alien series. The sets, costumes, and everything else are all looking top-notch.

The puppy, however, is not. That effects for that little guy is far less convincing, and his presence forces me to ask a question I wish I didn’t have to: “Why am I seeing Vin Diesel charge into combat while cradling a frightened puppy?” That one image negates a lot of the “stoic action hero” vibe that was established so well in the earlier parts of the clip. The monster POV shots, the look Riddick gives after being attacked (minor annoyance rather than any real fear), and the slow motion dive under the alien. All of that is great. And it’s all hindered by a single shot of Diesel with the outer space equivalent of a handbag chihuahua.

Dog or no dog, Riddick will be in theaters on September 6th.

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