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Pitch Black (2000)
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Review Date: February 19, 2000
Director: David N. Twohy
Writer: David N. Twohy, Ken Wheat and Jim Wheat
Producers: Tom Engelman
Actors:
Vin Diesel as Riddick
Radha Mitchell as Fry
Cole Hauser as Johns
Plot:
A bunch of good folks, along with one bad mutha, fall upon a desolate planet infested by crazy, alien monsters who hunt their prey exclusively in the dark. Unfortunately, these folks apparently picked the worst time to have an accident on this planet, since a solar eclipse is just about to take place, and the chompin' critters are ready to take a bite out of any human left unprotected by light.
Critique:
Vin Diesel rocks! Or did I mention that already? Fact one about this film is that it doesn't truly stray into any original ground. Fact two about this film is that most of its characters, mostly no-names, do little to allow themselves to be given a shit about, except for the "bad guy", Vin Diesel, who kicks major ass! And fact three about this film is that it includes one of the coolest opening crash scenes that I have ever seen, is charmed with an intriguing look of filters, yellows, blues and reds clogging the screen one at a time, and simply pumps the last 30 minutes with enough tension, cool alien freakazoids and dark undercurrents to register a "fun time" stamp on my face. Is this the next sci-fi classic? Certainly not, but it also doesn't pretend to be, with just enough one-liners from Diesel to vie for a nomination into the cult movie favorite category of the year. This movie is pure cheese with a touch of arty pretension, all draped under the banner of a simple good time at the movie theatre. I thought that it started with a bang, slowed considerably once they all settled onto the planet, but then took off again when Diesel and crew took to shelter after the eclipse.

I mention Vin Diesel so often in my review because his character truly made this film memorable for me. Where else could you see a buff dude with silver eyes and slick sunglasses run around and knife-fight alien bat-thingies? Not sure but this film delivers on the Diesel meter full-force! Unfortunately the rest of the two-bit characters are one-dimensional at best, with a contingency of Muslims and the proverbial Obi-Wanesque guy simply getting on my nerves. However, on the whole the film did provide me with enough thrills, money shots and cool moments with Diesel to warrant a full membership to the club of enjoyment. The two elements which could have been improved upon in my opinion, include the soundtrack, which was almost non-existent and the quality of the rest of the characters in the crew. I assume that this flick was on a low budget, but that doesn't really justify the exclusion of any other interesting characters from the mix. But don't cry for me Argentina, cause all in all the movie delivers its punches on the targets of its choice, which include the fun special effect-laden aliens, the slick stylings of director Twohy and the charismatic performance by Vin. So if this "type" of film is your schtick, then wait no longer to catch this dark son-of-a-gun in the theatres right now. But if you're looking for something a little different and more intellectual, I suggest that you wait a little longer and check into the two Mars movies still to come later on this year. Either way, Vin Diesel rocks!

And if not for anything else, just see this movie in order to witness a character go mano-a-mano with a friggin' alien! Very cool!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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