Most people will probably remember Pitch Black as the film that got Vin "biceps bigger than his head" Diesel [I am well aware I have used that joke before. So sue me, I like it.] his breakthrough into Hollywood. And okay, it was. But it's actually quite a good film, too.
The story is fairly simple. A space ship is floating gently through space, when it gets a meteor up the tailpipe, and crashes on some god-forsaken planet, killing most of the passengers and crew. The passengers consist of a bunch of colonists looking for a place to colonise, and one convicted mass-murderer with animalistic tendencies and surgically enhanced night vision. Now I don't know about you, but personally I'd have coughed up the extra dough to rent the convict a nice snug armoured ship of his own, but hey, I'm not a bounty hunter, so what do I know? And I suppose the film would have been a lot shorter and less interesting if the only survivors had been colonists.
Because as it soon turns out, they are not alone on this planet. It's full of flying creepy-crawlies, but fortunately, they can only come out in the dark, and this particular planet has three suns working in shifts, making sure it never gets dark. But ah, this wouldn't be Hollywood if there wasn't some dramatic plot twist right about this point, and indeed, there is! It turns out our heroes have arrived just before the entire planet undergoes a total eclipse.
I'm not going to type out the entire plot here, because that's too much effort. And just watching it is more fun than reading my ramblings.
Vin Diesel plays his part of anti-hero quite convincingly. He is not the grumpy but loveable grouch that Shrek is, nor is he the tortured, violent but righteous vigilante that Batman is. He is an ice-cold bastard, who even at his most 'emotional' displays about all the empathy and humanity of a wet blanket. But despite that, you as the viewer can't help but like him.
The female lead in the form of co-pilot Carolyn Fry has a feeling to her like she's seen Alien, and would love to be as ruthless as Ripley, but never quite manages to pull it off. Then again, Sigourney Weaver set the standard for ruthless space bitch so high with her Ripley that it's really no shame to fall short.
All in all, as space horror goes, Pitch Black is a decidedly solid addition, and definitely worth a watch. As they say, "Don't hate it just because it's black." And thus I end my dark review on a lighter note.... (read on) (show less)