Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Dark Planet Reviews

In the year 2638, representatives of warring factions from a dying Earth join forces to examine a planet that may be able to support the human race. Poorly scripted and cheaply made, DARK PLANET is bad enough to cast doubt as to whether the human race is indeed worth saving. War between the genetically enhanced Alphas and the nonaltered Rebels has killed billions of people. A truce is called so that a ship with representatives of both groups can be sent to investigate a planet that may be able to sustain human life. It is blocked by a "wormhole," a black hole that has only been successfully traveled by one man, Anson Hawke (Paul Mercurio). Imprisoned as a war profiteer, he is freed to pilot the ship under the mutual command of Alpha commander Winter (Michael York) and Rebel colonel Brendan (Harley Jane Kozak). Hawke and Brendan discover that Winter is plotting to launch the Benedict device, a satellite that will enable him to control traffic through the wormhole and hence to the dark planet. After overcoming Winter and his forces, Brendan reveals to Hawke and Alpha helmsperson Salera (Maria Ford) the true purpose of their mission: the dark planet must be colonized because a mutant virus will shortly render the Earth uninhabitable. Hawke decides to take advantage of the Benedict device to keep Alpha and Rebel forces from transporting war materials to the new world. He, Brendan, and Salera are the first colonists of the dark planet. DARK PLANET was made by the same company that produced the equally execrable THE APOCALYPSE (1997), with which it shares many of the same faults: a script that makes little sense; a plot loaded with incidents that have nothing to do with the main story; and sets so darkly lit that it's impossible to see anything in them (presumably a tactic to cover up the cheapness of the production). The cheapness is also disguised with a preposterous overuse of closeups that are so tight you'd think the film was made by Sergio Leone's evil twin. The dialogue is particularly awful, especially in scenes meant to convey that Hawke is not only morally superior to the Alphas and Rebels, but that this sensitivity makes him sexually irresistible to the two women with whom he begins to populate the (conveniently uninhabited) new planet. There are worse movies than DARK PLANET, but they're usually made by kids with 8mm cameras. (Violence, adult situations.)