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Pitch Black  (2000)

Cast: Radha Mitchell, Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Claudia Black, Rhiana Griffith, John Moore, Simon Burke
Director: David N. Twohy
U.S. Distribution: USA Films
U.S. Release Date: 2/18/00
Running Time: 1:48
MPAA Rating: R

A spaceship crash lands on a planet with no signs of existing life. Radha Mitchell is a daring pilot - and the film's heroine, Fry - who for all of her efforts is stranded with (among others) a murderous psychopath with golden eyes named Riddick (Vin Diesel), a drug-addicted bounty hunter (Cole Hauser), a teenage stowaway (Rhiana Griffith) and several Muslims (led by Keith David).

At first, the lack of water and the presence of Riddick seem to be of greatest concern to the survivors. However, it is soon learned that there are other life forms of the nocturnal and lethal variety just below the surface. When the eerie planet's three suns align to form a total eclipse, this ferocious race of alien predators come out to feast and in yet another interesting twist, only the desperado Riddick can see these killing machines in the dark.

Rural Australia makes for a good landscape for director-cowriter David Twohy to stage his sci-fi show and make the most of Pitch Black's $25 million budget. It is a mostly-enjoyable sci-fi experience that is a cut above your average space alien flick.

 "Nightmarish!" (The New York Times)

© 2000, Delton Perrodin

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