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PITCH BLACK
As a prisoner Riddick is bound in a crucifix-like position, which is messianic symbolism. He has a very disturbing way of being calmly matter-of-fact in speaking the truth while giving the facts of a situation. Truth-tellers aren't appreciated as a whole; it takes a great degree of courage to tell the truth that the majority would rather not hear.
-Review by Samuel Ewing
PITCH BLACK
(2000)


This page was created on February 20, 2000
This page was last updated on May 22, 2005

Directed by David N. Twohy
Writing credits: Jim Wheat (story), Ken Wheat and David N. Twohy

Vin Diesel as Riddick
Radha Mitchell as Fry
Cole Hauser as Johns
Keith David
Ric Anderson as Total Stranger
Claudia Black as Shazza
Les Chantery as Suleiman
Firass Dirani as Ali
Lewis Fitz-Gerald as Paris
Rhiana Griffith as Jack
Sam Sari as Hassan

Produced by Tom Engelman, Ted Field (executive), Scott Kroopf (executive), Tony Winley (executive)
Original music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography by David Eggby
Film Editing by Rick Shaine!

Rated R for sci-fi violence and gore, and for language.

SYNOPSIS:
In the future, man has found a way to not only cross the stars but the galaxies as well. A large spacecraft is making the journey to 'New Mecca', one of the most distant galaxies on the map, when it's crippled in mid-flight. Junior pilot Carolyn Fry, the only member of the flight crew to survive the accident, manages to pilot the ship to safety down on a barren alien planet scorched by perpetual sunlight. She and the six passengers - a teenage runaway, a husband-wife biologist team, a self-interested antiques dealer, a hunky cop, and a dangerous killer form an uneasy alliance to help each other in order to find a way off-planet. But their surroundings prove to be far more mysterious than they thought, the land dotted by mysterious cone-shaped hills and lifeless vines, and an abandoned human settlement whose citizens seem to have vanished without a trace.
Soon the Carolyn, the cop and the prisoner (whose eyes are enhanced for low-light vision) make two terrifying discoveries. The first is that this planet isn't under permanent sunlight, its unusual orbit plunges it into complete darkness once every sixty years. The second - they are not alone on this planet, and the deadly sources of those eerie clicking sounds have been waiting for the long night to emerge - and feed.

Riddick In Pitch Black Is A Redeemed Hero and Savior Figure.
Review by Samuel Ewing

After seeing the film myself, paying close attention to the theme of redemption/salvation; I realized that the character of Riddick is more significant than has been mentioned. Riddick is a redeemed hero and savior figure. Literally without him the other survivors would not have survived. Here are some of my insights on Riddick:

1. Riddick has the physical and mental attributes of the hero or superman. He is superior to his peers in physical strength, stamina, endurance, resourcefulness, courage, self-control, grace under pressure, leadership, stealth, a high pain threshold, and he has a definite code of honor. He is described as simply a murderer, but if you listen to a conversation between him and the mercenary, one suspects that whatever he did for his own survival may not have been as cut and dried as 'murder.' He may have gotten the proverbial raw deal. In any case, he is categorized as a criminal. As the Hero he has that designation in common with Hercules and other savior figures who are technically criminals to the greater majority. This type of Hero works on the principle that by saving lives he redeems himself and he redeems humanity at the same time.

2. Riddick's eyes and his knowledge of human nature enable him to literally see/discern the true nature of evil (in the form of the horrible monsters and the mercenary), darkness, and his eyes literally are a light in the darkness (an attribute of divine heroes).

3. As a prisoner Riddick is bound in a crucifix-like position, which is messianic symbolism. He has a very disturbing way of being calmly matter-of-fact in speaking the truth while giving the facts of a situation. Truth-tellers aren't appreciated as a whole; it takes a great degree of courage to tell the truth that the majority would rather not hear.

4. Riddick has the courage and conviction to face down evil and destroy it. An example of this is his confrontation with the so-called police officer who was actually a bounty hunter/mercenary interested only in money and his own survival. This mercenary was willing to kill an innocent girl and anyone else to get what he wanted. He certainly filled the role of a Lucifer-type figure in attempting to entice Riddick into doing evil. Riddick would have none of it. Riddick destroyed this man. In addition, Riddick saved the lives of the remaining survivors by confronting the creatures on two occasions, looking them in the eye and destroying them with his great physical strength and a large blade. This is the classic divine hero killing the dragon/the Devil with the Word (sword or other weapon). Christianity isn't the only religion with this theme. This is universal in many religions, legends, epics, and stories. Bram Stoker's Dracula, the movie has this theme too. Sealing the survivors in a cave with a boulder required him to exert great strength. Those of the Christian faith may see some resemblance to Jesus or Lazarus entombed. When the captain and Riddick came back to get them out of the cave one can detect the resurrection theme. They were called like Lazarus and Riddick removed the boulder.

5. Three suns on that planet kept the creatures of darkness (evil, bottomless pit) from rising up to kill; however, the eclipse freed them. Very apocalyptic. The creatures came from the bottomless pit's interior to the planet (Satan and its demons). The trio of suns is the Trinity of God (the Light), which destroys these monsters and keeps them in the pit. ***We see later in the movie that Riddick is the one who carries the Trinity of God/Light in the form of three solar battery cells, that give illumination to the light-giving tubing the survivors wear to see and protect themselves against the "demons." Riddick is the bringer and giver of light, and therefore life.

6. The entire experience on the planet transforms Riddick into the Redeemed Hero so that Riddick the convict "dies" and a new man is born. The Christian theme is strongly suggested here, as are the death and resurrection of the messianic hero. He becomes a person who has COMPASSION, which now is the basis of his other admirable qualities. This man has matured into "a real person."

7. Riddick empowers the spacecraft to rescue the survivors and take them from that hellish planet. Riddick, like the Good Shepherd, has found the lost sheep; he has "raptured" them out of hell and taken them into the heavens above to salvation. Rapture, ascension, apocalypse, redemption, compassion, the hero destroys Satan and its brood; the Hero uses the Word to destroy evil (the knife and the fire = the Wrath of God). The final scene shows Riddick casting the evil creatures into the lake of fire using the flames coming from the spacecraft's exhaust.

Riddick is very much the savior figure and hero of this movie.
Sincerely, Samuel Ewing
http://pages.prodigy.net/saraswati (website)
SARASWATI@prodigy.net (e-mail)

Bulletin Board:

SAVIOR FIGURE IN PITCH BLACK
Subject: Riddick In Pitch Black Is A Redeemed Hero and Savior Figure.
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001
From: "Samuel Ewing"

Hello, I purchased Pitch Black on video. I'd already read the commentary from other viewers on this film. After seeing the film myself, paying close attention to the theme of redemption/salvation; I realized that the character of Riddick is more significant than has been mentioned. Riddick is a redeemed hero and savior figure. Literally without him the other survivors would not have survived. Here are some of my insights on Riddick:

1. Riddick has the physical and mental attributes of the hero or superman. He is superior over his peers in physical strength, stamina, endurance, resourcefulness, courage, self-control, grace under pressure, leadership, stealth, a high pain threshold, and he has a definite code of honor. He is described as simply a murderer, but if you listen to a conversation between him and the mercenary, one gets the suspicion that whatever he did for his own survival may not have been as cut and dry as 'murder.' He may have gotten the proverbial raw deal. In any case he is categorized as a criminal. As the Hero he has that designation in common with Hercules and other savior figures who are technically criminals to the greater majority. This type of Hero works on the principle that by saving lives he redeems himself and he redeems humanity at the same time.

2. Riddick's eyes and his knowledge of human nature enable him to literally see/discern the true nature of evil ( in the form of the horrible monsters and the mercenary), darkness, and his eyes literally are a light in the darkness ( an attribute of divine heroes).

3. As a prisoner Riddick is bound in a crucifix-like position which is messianic symbolism here. He has a very disturbing way of being calmly, matter of fact in speaking the truth while giving the facts of a situation. Truth-tellers aren't appreciated as a whole, it takes a great degree of courage to tell the truth that the majority would rather not here.

4. Riddick has the courage and conviction to face down evil and destroy it. Examples being his confrontation with the so-called police officer who was actually a bounty hunter/mercenary interested only in money and his own survival. This mercenary was willing to kill an innocent girl and anyone else to get what he wanted. He certainly filled the role of a Lucifer-type figure in attempting to entice Riddick into doing evil. Riddick would have none of it. Riddick destroyed this man. In addition Riddick saved the lives of the remaining survivors by confronting the creatures on two occasions, looking them in the eye, destroying them with his great physical strength and a large blade. This is classic divine hero killing the dragon/the Devil with the Word (sword or other weapon). Christianity isn't the only religion with this theme. This is universal in many religions, legends, epics, and stories. Bram Stoker's Dracula, the movie has this theme too. Sealing the survivors in a cave with a boulder required him to exert great strength. Those of the Christian faith may see some resemblance to Jesus or Lazarus entombed. When the captain and Riddick came back to get them out of the cave one can detect the resurrection theme here. They were called to like Lazarus and the boulder was removed by Riddick.

5. Three suns on that planet kept the creatures of darkness (evil, bottomless pit) from rising up to kill, however the eclipse freed them. Very apocalyptic. The creatures came from the bottomess pit's interior to the planet (Satan and its demons). The three suns are the Trinity of God (the Light) which destroys these monsters and keeps them in the pit. ***Here we see later in the movie that Riddick is the one who carries the Trinity of God/Light in the form of three solar battery cells, that give illumination to the light-giving tubing the survivors wear to see and protect themselves against the "demons." Riddick is the bringer and giver of light, and therefore life.

6. The entire experience on the planet transforms Riddick into the Redeemed Hero so that Riddick the convict "died " and a new man is born. The Christian theme is strongly suggested here not to mention the death and resurrection of the messianic hero. He becomes a person who has COMPASSION which now is the basis of his other admirable qualities. This man has matured into "a real person."

7. Riddick empowers the spacecraft to rescue the survivors and take them from that hellish planet. Riddick like the Good Shepherd has found the lost sheep, he has "raptured" them out of hell and taken them into the heavens above to salvation. Rapture, ascension, apocalypse, redemption, compassion, the hero destroys Satan and its brood, the Hero uses the Word to destroy evil (the knife and the fire = the Wrath of God). The final scene shows Riddick casting the evil creatures into the lake of fire using the flames coming from the spacecraft's exhaust.

Riddick is very much the savior figure and hero of this movie.
Sincerely, Samuel Ewing
http://pages.prodigy.net/saraswati (website)
SARASWATI@prodigy.net (e-mail)

REDEMPTION OVER SAVING LIVES
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001
From: Heather

Warning!! Major Spoilers!! The first time I saw this movie, it was late at night and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, it wasn't until I rented it again the other day that I really saw how profound it was. Obviously there is the whole redemption of a two people(one a murderer, one willing to sacrifice others for her own life), but the most interesting line for me came just before the end. From the beginning it was a little harsh to see all the children dying, when the last child traveling with the priest is taken right out of his arms, Riddick asks him "Where is your God now, father?" After the confrontation between Riddick and Fry where he asks her if she would die for them, her answer convinces him to help her go back for the others. When he(Riddick) pops his head inside the cave, the priest answers, "There is my God." God's true goal is to redeem man's spirit, not save his life. This man understood that God's testament of love to us is not in how comfortable or safe or long our life is but in the redeeming relationship with Him and how that transforms us. All in all, great movie. P.S. I found out in the DVD commentary that the line from the priest "There is my God" was actually ad-libed by the actor on the day. Director David Twohy loved it so he kept it in.
Heather

PITCH BLACK REBIRTH
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000
From: "Keith Beasley-Topliffe"

First, thanks for the site. I just found it yesterday, spent a fair amount of time exploring. Second, I hope you will have time to check out the movie Pitch Black. First, it's actually fairly decent sci-fi (as opposed to, say, Mission to Mars). More to your point, it is a movie about redemption. The main character is an escaped murderer being returned to prison by a bounty hunter. The most interesting arc in the film is how he is slowly drawn to more and more interaction with the other characters because of their need for help only he can give (his surgically altered eyes allow him to see in the dark). It is completed when another character dies trying to rescue him and he both recognizes his unworthiness of this sacrifice and accepts it as a call to rebirth.
Keith Beasley-Topliffe
Pastor, Fifth Street UMC 1721 N. 5th St. Harrisburg, PA 17102
717/234-8001
Response: I agree, it was a fascinating film. Lots od spiritual connections. -David.

"I BELIEVE IN GOD, IT'S JUST THAT I HATE HIM."
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000
From: Matt L

My wife and I went to see the movie today and had an overall thumbs up. The special effects were great! There is a great exchange between the Muslim priest and the main character Riddick that reveals a lot about people in our society who are angry at God. Riddick responds to the Priests assumption that he doesn't believe in God. He goes through the horrible events of his life and responds something like this, "I believe in God, I believe in God its just that I ____ Hate Him." I believe that there are many of us that believe people who are not religious or attending Church don't believe in Him. The fact is they are angry they have not seen Gods love for them, they believe He exists they just don't see Him through all the pain in their lives. The Priest responds to Riddicks taunting later in the movie when they are saved from the creatures as a testimony that Gods saves them. Also one of the last lines of the movie (and I am probably stretching this a little) the young girl asks what she should say when the authoities ask what happens to Riddick, Riddick says "We will tell them Riddick died on that planet." Sub-points= Fry shows the ultimate attitude of sacrifice. She has made it to safety without the girl and the Priest, Riddick is ready to take off but she stops him and tells him they are not leaving without the others. Riddick puts a knife to her throat and asks if she is willing to die for them, she says yes, then they go and save the others. Ultimately she gives her life for Riddick (the murderer) lets not get carried away here but it is an example of how Christ gave His life for everyone, even murders who hated Him. Wow there was more there than I thought!!! Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts! Matt L
Response: Thank you. Very insightful -David.

JESUS AND PITCH BLACK
Subject: Jesus Parrallels
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000
From: "Matthew Muters"

I saw this film last week and the biblical parallels were so in you face. the whole "will you die for them?" question was put into contrast with the fact that the woman wanted to sacrifice the group to save her own hide in the beginning. For some reason it made me think of Jesus in the garden where he is saying "take this cup away from me" but in the end Jesus bent to the will of the Father. In such a way Fry went back after the two people she had left behind, I had expected her to die on that trip but when she got separated from Riddick on the trip back I thought then that Riddick was going to sacrifice himself for them and become the hero but the great ending where she is ripped from his hands, and they make you think that he stabbed her for a little bit there, man I am almost speechless. Then with Riddick's line, "you said you would die for them." but not for me, not for me. it was so powerful because that is so much how we react when we think about Christ dying for us, the whole idea is that we don't deserve it and neither did Riddick but Fry and Christ put their lives on the line because of love for the other. Fry's character was a good Jesus parallel but like any other metaphor or allegorical character she is not Christ. The grace of God comes only through Christ but this movie really points us to look at Christ and understand how we would feel if we were to find ourselves at the foot of the cross at the moment Christ died for us. Anyway I am looking forward to your review David. By the way I don't remember if I thanked you for your help on my class project I got an A and people are wanting to buy our resource. I am going through the process of writing permissions to find out if this is going to be possible.
Matthew Muters
Middler Wartburg Theological Seminary Dubuque Iowa
Response: Glad to help -David.

PITCH BLACK IS PRO-GOD
Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2000
From: Nick

Liked this movie--it's hard to talk about this film without giving away any spoilers. All I can say is that at one point, I thought that David Twohy was making an anti-God statement, but when the film completed, especially in the last five minutes, he was making a pivotal, pro-God, Christ-like parallel. I was elated.
Nick.
---Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it. -- George MacDonald
Response: You are right it is had not to spoil films when talking about them.Thank you for your comments. -David.


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