The film at one point offers the finest sustained act of emotional storytelling to grace a Marvel production.
The film finally tips the franchise over from modestly thoughtful stupidity into tedious, loud inanity.
The action builds to such a head that even the serious stakes of the film’s motivation give way to pleasant vibes.
Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk does astounding work animating the mind of its young soldier.
Vin Diesel’s lifelessness flies in the face of the film’s more original and ultimately transitory surface pleasures.
It lays bare that the franchise’s most radical asset is also its most conservative: an overriding emphasis on, above all else, the on-screen family.
For every scene that soars into the dizzying heights of the pop sublime, there’s another that crashes back down into the mundane troughs of studio-mandated formula.
For a film about a killing machine who can see at night, it’s ironic that Riddick itself is, both narratively and visually, a dark, muddled mess.
Justin Lin strives to approximate something like Ocean’s Eleven for petrosexuals, but testosterone outweighs wit and cleverness at every turn in Chris Morgan’s starched script.