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The Chronicles of Riddick - US reaction



Compiled by: Jack Foley

VIN Diesel reprises his star-making Pitch Black role, of enigmatic anti-hero Richard B Riddick, in the new science fiction action-adventure epic, The Chronicles of Riddick. But while some reviews rave about the look of the film, US critics largely seem to have emerged disappointed.

The Chicago Tribune, for instance, wrote that ‘the tightness of the Pitch Black horror-movie structure has been replaced by sprawl and lots of back story, geography and interstellar politics’.

While the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Weighted down with money, pretension and Diesel's tenuous importance - and not enough story, story, story - the follow-up to Pitch Black inverts nearly everything that made the first film an effective-enough shocker’.

Entertainment Weekly wrote if off, merely, as ‘mostly a ponderous chronicle’, and the New York Times lamented that ‘in bodybuilding terms, this overmuscled sequel to Pitch Black is all bulk and no definition’.

Worse still was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which declared that it is ‘a sci-fi disaster on a par with the notorious John Travolta bomb Battlefield Earth’.

On the subject of that notorious Travolta travesty, the San Jose Mercury News wrote that, ‘in terms of idiotic, incoherent plot progression, David Twohy's spacey follow-up is in a class by itself. Think John Travolta's Battlefield Earth and then drop a couple of rungs’.

There were some positive reviews, however, with the Dallas Morning News describing it as ‘an enjoyably pulpy sci-fi saga that has rough patches’.

And the Hollywood Report Card felt that ‘aside from a sticky clunky beginning, in which the audience must be taught the rules of this sci-fi adventure, the film shows great discipline in pace and intensity’.

JoBlo’s Movie Emporium, meanwhile, stated of Vin Diesel’s Riddick, ‘he's the ultimate badass with the ultimate chip on his shoulder and I couldn't get enough of him’.

And Arizona Republic declared that ‘The Chronicles of Riddick is many things, but it's never dull’.

But, in the main, the big guns existed to shoot it down.

Variety opined that ‘The Chronicles of Riddick may not quite gain entry to the hallowed pantheon of interstellar cheese of a Battlefield Earth, but it's not far behind’.

While the Hollywood Reporter felt that it is ‘an overstuffed, ponderous affair that sends its anti-hero on an epic excursion into dullsville’.

The Philadelphia Inquirer lamented that it ‘bears no resemblance to the movie that spawned its namesake’.

And USA Today concluded that ‘the movie is less than two hours but feels three times as long’.

Of hope to sci-fi fans rooting for another Twohy/Diesel classic, however, is the final word, from About.com, which stated that the film is ‘a Star Wars for grown-ups, with the complexities of Lord of the Rings and the serial adventure quality of Indiana Jones’.

UK audiences can decide for themselves when the film opens in August.

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