Movie Review: Pitch Black

[ PITCH BLACK POSTER ] I’ve already decided I’m going to see the new Riddick movie and so to get ready for it, I thought I would watch the Riddick trilogy. I’d never seen Pitch Black and Dark Fury and while I didn’t have high hopes for them, I was hoping that they were at least decent.

Pitch Black starts off with Riddick on a ship where everyone is in cryogenic sleep. Riddick is the only prisoner on the ship. Everyone else is a civilian. Why you would put a dangerous convict on a ship with a bunch of civilians, I don’t know. Anyway, the ship gets damaged and the two pilots are awoken from their sleep and lead the plane to a crash-landing on what appears to be a desert planet. The place seems uninhabited but once one of the civilians is killed, the survivors realize they’re not alone.

The acting is poor and leaves much to be desired. The movie never goes in to who Riddick is aside from telling us he’s a murderer and a convict. The only reason I knew anything about him was because I’ve seen the third one, which tells the audience a lot about his character. However, my roommate Jon, who hasn’t seen any of the Riddick movies, had no idea who Riddick was. None of the characters are memorable aside from Riddick and that’s only because he’s a convict and is easily distinguishable next to the other characters. Everyone else’s role is bland with poor script-writing.

Both him and I were trying to figure out what was going on the whole movie. There’s some unnecessary dialogue between characters that doesn’t further the plot, nor do I care about it. At least half of the characters were nameless for the majority of the movie so Jon and I had to keep referring to them by what they looked like. It’s also hard to relate to characters that don’t have names. Whenever there’s tension between two characters, one of them usually drops the f-bomb to try to act macho but it comes across as cheesy rather than intimidating.

Even though we don’t know who Riddick is, it is apparent that there is a character conflict inside of him. There are a few points in the movie where you can tell he’s debating whether to help the others or fend for himself. However, similar to Mitt Romney, he’s flip-floppity and doesn’t have any consistency in his choices, which means I never understand where his true motive lies.

This movie, similar to After Earth, had more running around and character interaction then action scenes. There’s a decent amount of plot holes and just when you think the movie can’t go any lower, it does.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3World War Z42)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Now You See MeMan of SteelMonster-In-LawWhite House DownJobs)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (OblivionThe WolverineJagged EdgeElysium)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss Goodnight)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The HobbitAfter EarthRoad to PerditionTotal Recall, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great Gatsby)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight Cowboy)

My score for Pitch Black: 44.

The acting is really bad and the characters aren’t relatable. I don’t get into Riddick’s head, which is a problem if Riddick is your main character. By the third act, Jon and I were deciding whether or not to take the over or under that 3 people other than Riddick survived. We took the under.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

They never tell you what caused the ship to crash. The footage is dark, but it looks like some projectiles pierce the ship, something small…bullets, perhaps? They never tell you though, so your guess is as good as mine. They land on this desert planet that seems devoid of life and after at least 20 minutes, they finally notice there’s two suns. Seriously some of the most unobservant people ever. You think they would have figured that out just by seeing how bright everything was.

Later, after all the survivors arm themselves so they can defend themselves from Riddick, a man comes to the side of the ship. One of the survivors almost kills him because she thought it was Riddick. He says something to the point of “I thought I was the only one here” before the Middle-Eastern man with an Australian accent shoots him in the back 4 times because he thought it was Riddick. The man he shot was at least half a foot taller than Riddick, wasn’t entirely bald, and didn’t have goggles around his face, but yep, he thought it was Riddick. What’s worse is the survivors let that guy keep the gun. After that, the guy has lost his firearm privileges. Also, there is absolutely no reference to the guy that gets killed for the rest of the movie. We’re never told if the guy was another survivor that the other survivors didn’t know about or if he was a native. It’s a shame the Middle-Eastern Australian was trigger-happy. If that man would have survived, he probably could have given the survivors as well as the audience valuable insight as to what the heck was going on, but nope, we need to kill off anyone who might know what’s going on because we need the audience to be as dumbfounded and clueless as the characters.

Early in the movie, Carolyn, who is one of the few people whose name I actually remember in this movie, goes into one of the warehouses the group discovers and finds an orbit model. She moves the planets around a few times as if she’s never seen one before and then leaves. Very productive scene for everyone. Later on, Carolyn finds rocks that are time dated and finds that the last one is dated 22 years ago. Aside from knowing that no one has worked here in 22 years, I don’t see how this is relevant. But wait, there’s more. Carolyn somehow must be the smartest person in the world, because she figures out she should turn the orbit model until the marker on the model says 22. What?! How did she know that would lead to something relevant? Why did she go straight to that thing? Does she have a fascination for astronomy toys or something? It was necessary for the plot but it was still stupid.

Then there’s the monsters. They’re surrounding all the survivors waiting to strike when the survivors are on their way to the fuel cells, but on the way back the monsters start attacking each other. Why?

This movie is bad. The new one better be a lot better than this.

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