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.
It's times like these that the 5 star rating system just isn't good enough. Definitely a 4.25/5
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 :))
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.
"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…
Wanna know what the best Liam Neeson moment ever is?
"Take the fucking elephant."
A cinematic grab-bag.
Recipe as follows: One part super-hero flick, one part comedy. A dash of classic horror [see: Written & Directed by Sam Raimi], a splash of mystery [harking back to the days of old-time radio, see also The Shadow]. Garnish with an over-arching revenge plot-line. Serve ice cold, obviously.
Dr. Peyton Westlake is on the verge of realizing a major breakthrough in synthetic skin when his laboratory is destroyed by gangsters. I love the idea of the storyline in this movie a man lose everything he want's the people who hurt dead. I think if your fan of Liam Neeson you will enjoy this movie.
Scientist Peyton Westlake, portrayed by Liam Nesson, is a scientist working on perfecting artificial skin. After a lab accident, he is left horribly burned. He seeks revenge on those that did this to him and also tries to regain the love of his girlfriend Julie, played by Frances McDormand, who thinks he perished in the accident. Liam is good as Peyton/Darkman. Though his performance in a scene or two may be chuckle worthy, he portrays the brooding and troubled nature of the character. It at times can also be quite funny. The film does a few times become campy, but never enough to be distracting. At most, it just provides a few more chuckles. Some of the computer effects look…
Is this movie perfect? Oh goodness no. Does that matter? Not even a little. There's maybe two scenes where the movie slows down to a normal pace, but everything beyond that, the narrative is constantly in forward drive. My opinion hasn't really changed from my previous review and there I noted that the movie is really just a live action comic book, a remark I still 100% stand by, but now I'm taking note of how well Raimi has absorbed all those stylized horror B-movies from the 60's and 70's. The opening title sequence alone strikes such a vintage note, live action comic book yes, but also midnight madness psychotronic as well. Still Raimi's best film and sadly, stylistically speaking, one that he'll probably never revisit. Fingers crossed though that he comes back to direct Darkman IV: Darkman in Space-The Final Sunrise.
"Take the fucking elephant."
The best/amusing part of the movie:
- Liam Neeson singing 'see the dancing freak'
- Liam Neeson when he is entering his 'rage' mode
- Liam Neeson talking to himself in his 'scientist' mode
- Liam Neeson in his rotating(?!) bed
- Liam Neeson
It would not be as amusing as it is without the help of:
- The script
- The visual effect
- The cinematography
I didn't expect the movie to be funny/ campy. I thought it was gonna be full with angst and brooding (cough* like The Crow cough* cough*). Still, slapstick aside, you can't help in the end but to feel that Darkman is really reaaaaally cool as one of the vigilantes!?
Can't help but to want to see more of him...... in Sam Raimi's version.
Not being a huge fan of Raimi, this is one of his better efforts, a admirable attempt to introduce an original superhero. It has some lovely bizarro moments, but it sort of peters out by the end, the victim of a one-note bad guy.
Gosh, I almost forgot how great this movie is. Now I remember why Raimi did Spider-Man.
The main thing you need to know about this film is, BRUCE CAMPBELL CAMEOS AT THE END.
GO WATCH IT.
Best comic book movie not based on a comic book ever.
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