Nearly ten years have passed since Vin Diesel last appeared in a Riddick movie -- perhaps long enough for most moviegoers to forget the drubbing it took at the time (and the tens of millions of dollars it lost). Reviews for the latest Riddick film, succinctly titled Riddick, are definitely a step-up from the last one, even if few critics are cheering. Manohla Dargis in The New York Times regards it as a satisfyingly primitive spectacle. She gives director-writer David Twohy props for returning to genre basics with this installment, which serves as an effective reboot. Stephanie Merry in the Washington Post remarks that Riddick can be cheesy and silly, not to mention excessively violent, but it's also fun. Likewise Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune sums up: Riddick is extremely violent, cleverly managed fun. And Kyle Smith in the New York Post notes that unlike the last Riddick installment, which reportedly cost more than $100 million to make -- and flopped -- this one's Tinfoil Man budget works very much to its advantage. ... Cheap effects are forgivable if you're engaged in the story, and for me the two hours went by quickly. Several critics, however, are not so forgiving. The video-game quality and adolescent obsessions of this futuristic action movie are unmistakable, writes Claudia Puig in USA Today. And Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News slams the B-movie special effects and notes that the movie can't present an action scene to save its life.
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This lively romp is entertaining enough to amuse the audience even when it veers off the rails.