Reviewed by: Gabe Rodriguez
|Featuring:||Vin Diesel, Keith David, Radha Mitchell, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Cole Hauser|
“Pitch Black” opens with a bang—the spaceship belonging to our group of heroes crashes onto a desert planet where it’s always daylight. (The planet revolves around three suns, and therefore never gets dark). Our heroes discover, however, that in the dark underground of this world lurks some nasty winged aliens. So what’s the problem? Those menacing, people-eating aliens can’t survive in daylight, so all they must do to stay alive on the planet is not go underground. But then, somehow, they find out that a total solar eclipse is coming and that it will be pitch black on the planet for who knows how long. The old underground pals are sure to come out for some dinner.
The performances are mostly not much more than cardboard. Filling the tough-girl Sigourney Weaver role is Radha Mitchell, an indie actress who actually gets to have some fun with her role. Wasted character actors Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser, and Keith David don’t really go anywhere with their roles. The script is only mediocre, and its dialogue is classic of B-movies (which this one would be). After the opening 10 minute crash scene, this film falls flat and becomes neither scary nor interesting. And after the lights lose and the aliens attack, it gets old really fast.
Content wise, this film has a great deal of profanity, violence, and gore. There are somewhere near 30 f-words, not to mention other foul language present. The violence is all bloody, but some of it is actually restrained for a sci-fi movie, especially when compared to its obvious role model “Alien”. The main character, although he is a bad guy/escaped convict, curses God a few times. But “Pitch Black” doesn’t have an anti-God slant, thanks to a save from a friendly Muslim guy.
My advice would be to anyone who is not an avid sci-fi buff, skip this film. It has shaky camera work (“Blair Witch goes to Mars” anyone?) and the last half bears the title color almost completely, both of which makes it hard to see much of anything. Pile that on top of the language, bloody violence, bad script, bad acting, and a super-non-entertaining story, and you get something destined for the Sci-Fi Channel.