Some of the letters of my A-Z movie challenge have been… tricky. Not so, P. The obvious choice would be The Princess Bride. With 8.2 stars and #176 on the IMDb Top 250, and clocking in at 98 minutes (more or less the perfect length for a movie) it’d be a safe choice.
But instead I’m going for Pitch Black. A paltry 7.1 stars on IMDb and running to 109 minutes, it should pale in comparison.
Don’t be afraid of the dark. Be afraid of what’s in the dark…
Pitch Black popped into view in 2000, seemingly out of nowhere. Costing only $23 million it launched Vin Diesel’s action hero career – previously he’d appeared in Saving Private Ryan and interestingly, provided the voice for Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant. Also starring Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser and Keith David, it was the appearance of Claudia Black which caught my eye at the time, being a big fan of Farscape. *fans self*
The plot is pretty simple stuff – criminal and All Round Bad Guy Richard B. Riddick (Diesel) is being transported to prison when the spaceship is damaged by some debris. It crash lands (rather spectacularly) on a desert (and apparently deserted) planet and Riddick escapes…
So far so good. Diesel’s Riddick is a completely wonderfully over-the-top ultimate bad guy. But you can’t help falling under his spell, the anti-hero who you’re rooting for from the off. The other characters are just tagging along in his wake. Diesel is utterly electric and steals every single scene he’s in.
The story takes a darker turn (sorry) as the planet’s three suns set and something comes out to feed.
Cue classic monster flick, very much following in the footsteps of Aliens – it’s a race to escape without being eaten.
Glorious fun. It’s spawned two sequels, the first of which I’ve seen (and urge you not to bother with) and the second of which I haven’t (but have heard good things about).
previously, on The A-Z Challenge
A is for Alien
B is for The Breakfast Club
C is for Catching Fire
D is for Die Hard
E is for The Empire Strikes Bank
F is for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
G is for Goldfinger (and GoldenEye)
H is for Howl’s Moving Castle
I is for Inception
J is for Jurassic Park
K is for Kung Fu Panda
L is for Labyrinth
M is for Moon
N is for National Treasure
O is for Oldboy
16 thoughts on “P is for Pitch Black”
I’ve seen The Chronicles of Riddick and thought it was pretty crap. Maybe I should give this a go.
I highly recommend it – it’s a much smaller, compact and streamlined film. Diesel stamps his mark on Riddick with a mythos you really want to find out more about (then wish you hadn’t when you watch the second movie!)
Pitch Black is one of those movies that is way better than it has any right to be. I think it’s because there’s unexpected layers to most of the characters. Almost any time I’m channel surfing and run across it, I’ll stop and watch. The first sequel was pretty terrible, but I haven’t seen the second one yet – maybe I’ll give it a try.
Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,
Pitch Black is an awesome film. Chronicles is terrible, the new one is a mix of the both, there are times when it soars and times when it falls, but it has a great cast. Loving the a-z and yes, Claudia Black has quite the effect on many Farscape fans. Sex on legs.
thanks Edward. Any recommendations for films from R onwards? After I get to Z, I’m going to do ‘films other people said I should watch’ 🙂