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Pitch Black
2000 - R - Mins.
Director: David Twohy
Producer: Tom Engelman
Written By: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Lewis Fitzgerald
Review by: John Ulmer
   

Damn you Riddick, nobody told me there'd be chronicles.
I must say that I didn't expect much from "Pitch Black," but I got a lot back, in terms of excitement and pure fun. It's the type of flick where you can just sit back, relax, and have a great time just being entertained. This isn't a deep film by any means. Everything that it offers is either recycled or ripped off of other movies such as "Alien," "Predator" or such. But when I watch a rip-off, I want it to be good, and this rip-off is great.

It opens with a galaxy of stars. Some of the greatest films of all time open with this type of scene - "2001," "Star Wars," "Alien," "Predator." A ship is cruising through space when inside the entire cryogenically frozen crew is awoken. The ship has been hit by something. They crash land on a nasty little planet with three suns. Everyone flocks out of the ship when they find that their prisoner transport, Richard Riddick (Vin Diesel), has escaped confinement. They scan the desert planet in search of him and eventually find him, but they have no way of getting their ship to fly again. They search the planet for water and civilization but it seems that everyone suddenly disappeared from the planet not too long ago.

Then they find out that every 22 years the planets line up in a solar eclipse and the entire planet turns pitch black. There also happen to be hoards of aliens that thrive in darkness living on the planet - what are the chances? They happen to be on the planet right as the eclipse happens - what are the chances? And Riddick has a rare talent - he can see in the dark - again, what are the chances?

There seems to be a lot of coincedence in this movie, but a film like this isn't out to get Oscars for originality or believability. It's there to entertain the audience - it does so with ease. Vin Diesel is a big gorilla of a man with no acting talent whatsoever. But I've got to say if there's anyone who can fit the part of a trashy, homicidal felon it is Diesel. Listen to him mutter, "He did not know who he was fu**ing with." Great stuff.

The aliens in this movie are a mix between hammerhead sharks, those from "Alien" and Predators. They've got long, horizontal heads like a hammerhead, the quick-moving agility of the aliens, and the stealth of a Predator. I assume David Twohy (director and writer of the movie) didn't expect audiences to believe his creatures were truly something never seen before. At least I hope not.

"Aliens Redux" might be a better name for this movie, but then again, it is better than both the second and third "Alien" films put together. In a time when supposedly finished franchises are getting revived - "Terminator 3," "Alien 5," "Predator 3," "Alien vs. Predator" - "Pitch Black" stands out as a new series altogether. Two more sequels are planned. Let's just hope they don't get carried away. I can just picture it twenty-five years from now: "Aliens vs. Predator vs. Pitch Black Aliens: *The Fight of the Year."
 
Movie Guru Rating
An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater.
  4 out of 5 stars

 
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