For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
They destroyed everything he had, everything he was. Now, crime has a new enemy and justice has a new face.
Dr. Peyton Westlake is on the verge of realizing a major breakthrough in synthetic skin when his laboratory is destroyed by gangsters. Having been burned beyond recognition and forever altered by an experimental medical procedure, Westlake becomes known as Darkman, assuming alternate identities in his quest for revenge and a new life with a former love.
The movie that always gets forgotten when people put together lists of the best superhero movies of all time -- probably because the character is invented for the screen, rather than adapted to it. And, maybe because its "hero" is a self-described "monster" with a gruesome face. But this really is Raimi's first stab at the genre, and a very successful one.
Plus, it's eerily like a TAKEN movie when you watch it now: Liam Neeson's life gets wrecked and he swears revenge using (in this case literally) superhuman fighting skills.
It also includes the phrases "The Rangeveritz Technique" and "The Bellasarious Memorandum." I love DARKMAN.
In the era of Batman '89, Darkman surely puts it to shame in just about every category: effects, tone, pacing, humor, gags, origins, ingenuity, music, color, sets, even most of the cast fits together and has chemistry. Holds up marvelously.
Blu-ray looks very pretty indeed :))
It's times like these that the 5 star rating system just isn't good enough. Definitely a 4.25/5
Raimi fundamentally understands the art of comic books and shoots his film in the same way a comics artist would panel their work. This is the biggest difference in what Raimi does, and the crop of Marvel/DC movies that have come out in the last few years. He isn't shooting a brand or a revisionist take on comics. He is diving right into what makes them work. Visually the frames from an alleyway in a kind of storyboarder's view, the intense close up, the sparse dialogue that appears while always keeping a characters face in frame is all in the dna of comic books. It's as if he crafted this movie in the same way he would as if he…
Wanna know what the best Liam Neeson moment ever is?
"Take the fucking elephant."
"I'm everyone and no one. Everywhere, nowhere. Call me... Darkman."
Sam Raimi couldn't secure the right for either The Shadow or Batman, so what he did? He created Darkman.
A good balance of suspense, campy fun and comic book action, even the way it was shoot reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons. Raimi has a peculiar sense of humor and it shows from the pink elephant scene to the dance number, Darkman is a joy to watch.
To see a young Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand was a pleasure, specially Neeson, one of many things I like about'em is his 100% investment in every character he plays, doesn't matter…
Fun and campy. Love the design of Darkman.
I can't think of any movie in recent memory where I needed to suspend my disbelief more than this. But hey, it's goofy ass Sam Raimi doing his goofy ass take on Batman. If you like Spiderman 3 because of how hilariously bad it is, you're in for a treat.
I know I had seen this a long time ago, but for some reason I had no recollection of anything in the film on this watch. The only image I held was that of Darkman's face in rags, and the trench coat.
For the most part I liked it quite a bit. It has a good amount of violence, and it helps that it's rated R, I feel if it was PG-13 it wouldn't be nearly as entertaining. You can definitely tell it's a Sam Raimi film, there are so many things that remind me of his film making style. It's pretty goofy with the dialogue and the bad guys being ridiculous. The special effects are very Raimi-esque as well,…
Taken 4: This time they took his face.
"Take the fuckin elephant"
For a superhero film that's about 2 bloody hours long, only about 45 minutes are superhero stuff. Liam Neeson is really good at overacting and this is one of the better characters I've seen Frances Mcdormand play. The "face cloning" scenes are really interesting, could definitely see how this would inspire a movie like Face/Off. The effects in this movie are terrible(liam neesons face is good but the rest is shit) this movie came out a year after batman which while I didn't love it did have good effects. I do realize this was made with about 1/3rd of the budget batman was made with but still. Nowadays a dumb action flick can get away with…
It still holds up! Sure, the effect shots already looked shitty 25 years ago (Bad FX in the pre-CGI era? Un! Be! Lievable! How is that even possible?!) and the script has some plot holes, but this is one of Sam Raimi’s most inspired directing jobs. He and Bill Pope shoot the shit out of every frame, creating the most comic book looking movie, that doesn’t take place in a super stylized world like DICK TRACY, SIN CITY or the Burton & Schumacher BATMAN films.
Liam Neeson gives us a nice mega acting performance, without sacrificing the humanity of his character, while Larry Drake, who was at the time mostly known for playing a loveable mentally disabled man on L.A. LAW,, has visible fun with playing the sadistic villain.
It’s one of those A-level B-movies, that you don’t find very often. Too bad that DARKMAN isn’t the kind of popcultural cornerstone that it should be.
Odd to think that once this tale of a wronged man who uses skills and resources to get revenge was a weird aberration on Liam Neeson's CV. Sam Raimi's film lurches around somewhat with Westlake/Darkman's struggle and the general grimness of his predicament clashing with a bunch of goofy badguys you can't really take seriously.
It's got that whole nineties superhero thing where they know the technology's just not there and play it safe going on, which does mean it lacks something in the thrills department.
It's still great film !! Cinematography is like a living thing in this film. Raimi does it with so much skill. Apsurdly kinetic, highly tense and entertaining but also very serious film. First of all it's not actually a superhero film but a monster movie inspired with a likes of Batman (by scenography and design), RoboCop and particulary Frankenstein and classical monster movies with high sense of understanding for a main character of Darkman. Noir feel of the film is also in the game with Durant's thugs of whom some look like they were transported from James Cagney movies... It's a damn shame Raimi doesn't direct more often. He is a freakin genius !!! Movie itself aged well... Violent and nasty film with a point and a soul.
A really fun b-movie. The story is simple but good and the cast do well. The effects are mixed. Some stand up well enough and others not so well. The make up effects are good. The action is good fun. True it's not the greatest but it is a lot of fun.
USA Up All Night (also known as Up All Night and Up All Night with Rhonda Shear) is an American…