Pitch Black (2000) starring Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Rhiana Griffith directed by David Twohy - movie review on The Movie Scene

Pitch Black (2000)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Vin Diesel in Pitch Black (2000)

In the Dark

When a crew on a space mission are woken up from their cryo-sleep when their ship is hit by debris things quickly turn chaotic when they are unable to stop it from crash landing on a planet where the sun never sleeps, well it does have three suns. Whilst the crew lead by Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell - The Crazies) try to make sense of the situation Riddick (Vin Diesel - Boiler Room), a dangerous prisoner who they were transporting escapes. It soon becomes apparent to the crew that whilst the sun doesn't set there will soon be an eclipse causing the planet to fall into darkness where they realise that they are not alone and need to be afraid. The only one who can help them is Riddick who has the ability to see in the dark. The question is will he want to help those who had kept him locked up.

Many years ago I sat down to watch "Pitch Black" but gave up as I just didn't get it, well not so much get it but it was leaving me feeling deflated as I had heard so many positive things about it. I knew that one day I would watch it again and here I am having done just that and to be honest "Pitch Black" left me still feeling deflated. Now I am not saying that it is a bad movie as it is entertaining but considering how popular it is I really wanted it to blow me away which it failed to achieve.

Radha Mitchell in Pitch Black (2000)

Maybe part of my problem is that at its heart "Pitch Black" is that old familiar storyline of a crew who come across something alien and of course have to battle to survive. It made it instantly comparable to numerous other sci-fi movies and whilst it accounts for itself well, doing some nice things with this familiar theme, it still boiled down to that battle to survive. As for those nice things well for me they come more from the characters with the likes of Carolyn Fry played by Radha Mitchell bringing a touch of Ripley to her character but still making her her own. And it also brings some interesting conflicts none more so than that of the crew needing Riddick's help and we are never sure whether or not he will and if he does will it be for his own selfish reasons.

But ironically one of my issues with "Pitch Black" is what many people loved about it as the style whilst logically correct put me off. I say logically correct as whilst it makes sense that on a planet with 3 suns the image would appear bleached I didn't like it. On the same sort of thing the whole drama in the darkness whilst making sense did little for me as at times what was going on was not clear at all.

The thing is that whilst "Pitch Black" didn't wow me it is a good movie and much of that is down to Vin Diesel. It is an imposing, muscular performance from the actor and he does well to make us question his motives.

What this all boils down to is that in a way I can see why some absolutely love "Pitch Black" but for me it failed to wow me like I had hoped leaving it as a solid piece of entertainment but not something which for me demands numerous viewings.


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