Not alone. Survivors search for water
In deep space, a ship's crew wakes up from suspended animation to find themselves plunging from the sky onto a desert planet with three suns and no signs of life. We have the usual stock characters: unproven young leader (Mitchell), hothead supercop (Hauser), murderous prisoner (Diesel), sardonic gentleman (Fitz-Gerald) and a bunch of kids, for some reason. And just as they discover that the planet is about to be plunged into a 22-year night, they realise that there are hungry nocturnal predators (giant flying bat-scorpions!) looking for fresh meat.
The premise is utterly routine, but the cast and crew bring it to life with lots of details. Mitchell is terrific at the centre, self-doubts colliding with responsibility and fear. And Diesel is a bundle of surprises--energetic, funny and never who you think he is. These kinds of twists help overcome the routine infighting and power struggles, and the laughable do-something-stupid-and-die set-up. The film looks fantastic, with above average effects balancing nicely against a low-tech, clanky future (shades of Mad Max). Twohy's direction is brisk and stylish, with some nifty directoral touches that keep things both fun and scary, no matter how silly it is underneath.
[15--violence, language] 18.Aug.00
US release 18.Feb.00; UK release 20.Nov.00
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