Pitch Black

on February 18, 2000 by Dwayne E. Leslie
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   A freak meteor storm causes a commercial space flight to make an emergency landing on an unknown planet. After surviving the harrowing crash, the passengers think that the main threat to their safety is an escaped convict, Riddick ("Saving Private Ryan's" Vin Diesel), who was being transported to prison on the ill-fated flight. But Riddick proves to be their one hope for salvation from the indigenous human-devouring aliens that soon make their presence known (with the help of impressive CGI effects used to bring the winged, blade-nosed, lizard-bodied creatures to life). The photosensitive monsters are kept at bay as long as the three suns shine bright. But, as fate would have it, a total eclipse engulfs the interstellar castaways. As the group is stalked, their only chance of being led to safety is by relying on Riddick's night vision and survival instincts.
   Vin Diesel's demeanor is refreshing and the combination of his voice and physical build make his character memorable. He's a one-man Eastwood, Schwarzenegger and Snipes. The macabre past or further adventures of his character would be an excellent follow-up. Not since the second coming of the Terminator has there been an anti-hero so worth cheering. Starring Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Lewis Fitzgerald, Claudia Black and Keith David. Directed by David N. Twohy. Written by Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat and David N. Twohy. Produced by Tom Engelman and Tony Winley. A USA release. Sci-Fi/Horror. Rated R for sci-fi violence and gore, and for language. Running time: 108 min
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