Movies that are slightly off.
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 :))
Located fittingly between "The Evil Dead" films and the "Spider-man" series in Sam Raimi's canon, his marvelously entertaining "Darkman" is a horror-superhero mash-up that only Raimi could create. Full of character, thrills, and touches of gore, "Darkman" is a stylized action film that feels ripped from the pages of a comic book. It is compelling and delightfully overwrought, and it teems with engaging personality.
The story follows Liam Neeson's Dr. Peyton Westlake, a scientist developing artificial flesh who is assumed to be killed when his lab is ransacked members of a criminal syndicate. Stalking the shadows, Westlake becomes Darkman and, as Darkman, haunts and hunts down those who destroyed his life.
The narrative weaves together elements of crime films, revenge…
i'm not sure why the world decided that mad science, goofy effects, heavy-handed metaphors, overacting, cartoonishly noir lighting, bouncing overbearing scores, weird special effects, and totally unrealistic everything weren't good enough for superhero movies anymore but we really fucked up bad. this is so much better than every other "but who's the REAL monster?" comic book movie that came after it, and it wasn't even based on a comic book. it's also Raimi's best movie and one of Neeson's best performances - the way he moves his body around is an incredible Universal Monster homage that probably nobody expected he could do. THE INVISIBLE MAN meets Adam West's Batman, what a feat to pull that off.
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…
Thriving off of Raimi's unique vision, Darkman is a film that lacks subtlety entirely, but works in it's own campy and menacing way despite that. Darkman's tale of alienation and revenge carries along with it a soulful wit and visual flamboyance that puts to shame modern entries within the genre, full of gorish effects and haunting images. Raimi seems to delight in undercutting the traditional hero (or antihero) narrative arc with a profound sense of horror, grounded with a thoroughly developed tragedy that is Darkman's life. But most importantly, as Raimi later illustrated with the Spiderman trilogy, he has a fundamental understanding and appreciation of the art of comic books. Now Darkman was a character created for the screen, but this film very much feels like a seamless transition between the two mediums. It's energy is infectious, camp hilarious, and story effective. A film that is absolutely solid on all fronts.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
a fine piece of 90s superhero camp, wherein liam neeson very intently grunt-whispers "i must perfect the skin."
there is also a montage of him hurling petri dishes across a room and growling "wrong! wrong! wrong!"
sam raimi is an expert at simple joys, is what i am saying here.
As far as I'm concerned, this is THE comic book movie— though decidedly more of the EC variety than the DC one. Burdened only by the villains, whose essential pettiness makes the film feel small, and who are also literally fucking realtors— which is pretty dumb. Liam Neeson, in a fun twist, looks exactly like Darth Maul here.
"I want... A pink elephant... For my girlfriend!"
Why can't all 90's Movies be like this?
Darkman is essentially about a man who uses 3D-printing to fight crime (interesting watching this now, since it's not far from science-fiction). It might not be based on a comic book, but this is one of the few masked-vigilante films that feels like a comic brought to life. Every shot feels like a loud, vibrant comic panel. I love Raimi's directing style. It has so much personality, and it's fun seeing an oh-so-serious actor like Liam Neeson in something so zany. This movie is bonkers. It throws so many tones around, from absurd to tragic, but somehow the craziness all works. That cameo at the end is perfect.
The best I can describe this movie is that it's a funny, over-the-top version of The Elephant Man and Kill Bill combined. And it's one of the guiltiest pleasures I've ever gotten from a movie.
Somewhere in between the campy horror/comedy elements of the Evil Dead franchise and the comic-booky schlock of Spider Man lays Sam Raimi's Darkman. An original, dark, and unconventional take on the superhero story that is enjoyable but, unfortunately, quite often shows its age.
Watching this film in a post Marvel Cinematic Universe world is rather refreshing. While every comic book film made today is a huge, formulaic, blockbuster that is essentially a 2 plus hour trailer for 15 other future films, Sam Raimi's Darkman is a film that celebrates the superhero genre as well as pokes fun at it. Our hero isn't a muscular demi-god, a billionaire with a robotic suit of armor, or an unstoppable super soldier. He is…
The cameo in the final scene 👍🏻👍🏻
Entry #15: Scavenger Hunt 14 (May 2016)
Task #17: A superhero film not based on any Marvel or DC characters
Shooting somewhere between Batman and The Elephant Man, Sam Raimi produces a film that is better than both. Darkman is a terrific genre piece, escalating tropes of film noir to wondrous images of visual excess. A melancholic downpour produces widespread tidepools in dark concrete alleys. A small flame instantly ignites an impossibly ceaseless inferno in a mad scientist's lab. A dull corporate office is drenched in monochrome shades of mahogany brown.
The theatrics of the production design are reflected in the performances as well. Liam Neeson balances camp and complexity in a turn that calls for moral evaporation and excessive…
USA Up All Night (also known as Up All Night and Up All Night with Rhonda Shear) is an American…