Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Pitch Black (2000)

An accident in deep space sends a starship hurtling toward a planet. As the two-person crew struggles to land safely, one of them wants to jettison the cargo - cryogenically frozen passengers - in order to improve their chances. She's stopped from doing so by her colleague, however. The ship crashes, with about a dozen survivors in all. These include the crew member who wanted to drump the passengers (but not the one who saved them), and also a dangerous criminal named Riddick.

At first, the planet on which they've crashed doesn't seem too bad. Their biggest worry is Riddick, who quickly gets free. Unfortunately, appearances can be deceiving, and they've picked a very bad time to land on this particular planet ...

Pitch Black was the first of the the three movies that cemented Vin Diesel as an action star (the others being XXX and The Fast and the Furious, which came out shortly afterward). It's a very fine science fiction thriller, with an excellent cast, decent effects, and a solid script. Frankly, it's the best Alien film of the last twenty years. Not that the hostile lifeforms in this movie are all that like everyone's favorite xenomorphs, other than their aggression, but the structure and feel of the film is quite similar.

This is a well-crafted, tense thriller with characters who grow and evolve in interresting ways over the course of the film, and whose actions are believable and consistent within the context of the film. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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