Pitch Black (2000)

Pitch Black
Director: David Twohy
Writer: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, David Twohy
Cast: Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Rhiana Griffith

A spaceship crashlands on an unknown planet, steered by Carolyn (RadhaMitchell) who takes over from the captain. The ship carried a few passangers, most of them civilians. But among them are also Riddick (Vin Diesel), prisoner of William Johns (Cole Hauser) who is transporting him to a penal colony. While everyone is anxious at first about Riddick, the fact of the matter is that the only thing more dangerous than Riddick himself on this planet are the creatures that inhabit it.

Pitch Black is one of those rather claustrophobic space thrillers and it works rather well. Though the sometimes rather cheap look hurts the film a bit, I did enjoy it.


While watching the movie what bothered me the most – and I know that this is probably something most people won’t even notice – was the look of the film. For one, it looks about 10 years older than it actually is, which was especially weird as it’s set in the future.

The other thing is that it looks cheap. I don’t actually know if it was, and I usually don’t mind if a movie embraces its cheapness. But this is a film that tries very hard to look good and falls a little short. (Though the shots of the sky with the very close planet look amazing.) I think most of that is to do with the rather idiosyncratic lighting throughout the entire film.


But apart from that I rather enjoyed the movie. Vin Diesel is pretty much the perfect cast for the role. He really sells it. And the contacts look pretty cool. I also liked how the movie showed his character and slowly changes the perception of him – both from the other people in the film as well as the audience. It’s not exactly surprising, but it works.

And I liked the monsters and the tension and Jack (reminded me of Cowboy Bebop’s Ed). I just generally enjoyed the film, in a rather mindless, popcorn-y way.


Summarizing: if you want an action film, go for it.

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