Pitch Black : Movie Review

Crippled by a rogue meteor storm, a merchant space vessel is forced to crash land on to a desert planet. Sweating under the heat of three suns - and with only alcohol to drink - the ten survivors fear dehydration, but will any of them survive the nocturnal nightmares brought about by a rare total eclipse?

Featuring an original concept - bloodthirsty light-fearing creatures dwell below the surface of a seemingly deserted planet - Pitch Black nevertheless suffers from a lack of originality where its characters are concerned.

BR> Though admirable in its racial awareness - the character list runs like a Benetton's most wanted - the individuals lack the necessary depth to warrant concern within the audience. As such, the viewer is left unconcerned as to whether Riddick (Vin Diesel) - the brutal cannibalistic murderer who just may retain a shred of humanity - can utilise the 'shine job' on his eyes to lead the group through the desert to their only way of escape.

Despite these criticisms, the acting of the assembled characters, including a junkie bounty hunter (Cole Hauser), troubled pilot (Radha Mitchell) and gender confused-adolescent (Rhiana Griffith) is good and the special effects are suitably realistic. It is only a shame that the screenplay - by Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat with director David N. Twohy - didn't allow for the vital third dimension needed for a compelling thriller.

Author : Jim Digby