Pitch Black

Film

Science fiction

Pitch Black

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Time Out says

A smart, suspenseful sci-fi movie from director Twohy, whose underrated 1996 film, The Arrival, also brought visual imagination and intelligence to the genre. When an interstellar spacecraft collides with a meteor shower, passengers and crew awake from cryo-sleep to find the captain dead and the ship spinning out of control. Inexperienced docking pilot Mitchell crashlands on a planet, scorched by three suns that never set. This is particularly bad news for psycho prisoner Diesel, whose surgically altered eyes are adapted for night vision. It also gives a vital edge to his captor, hardass lawman Hauser. With help from the game but guiltridden Mitchell, Hauser tries to rally the survivors, who include an antiques collector, a Moslem cleric and a shy boy. Despite the modest budget, the visualisation of the parched planet and voracious creatures is credible and spectacular. But it's the skilful handling of the tense, shifting group dynamics that seizes your attention. If the film has a weakness, it is perhaps that Diesel's intense psycho totally outshines Hauser's bland, handsome hero and Mitchell's Ripley-like heroine.

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Release details

UK release:

1999

Duration:

110 mins

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