Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Film Review: Darkman

While searching the local Walmart to see if there were any good movies on the cheap, I found the Darkman trilogy for only 5 dollars. Darkman was one of those films I grew up seeing my brother watch and think "that's lame" then I'd go about my business. As I got older I began to look at films differently and let me tell you this film is a gem in my opinion.

First let me say that Sam Raimi did an amazing job with the film. Its even based on a short story of his. Since the studio was unable to secure the rights to the shadow or batman, Raimi made his own superhero. While it may not be as well known as Spiderman or The Flash, this film and its sequels have gained quite a cult following over the years.

While there are obvious parallels to films like Robocop, its more of an homage than rip off from what I've seen. The story is fairly basic but effective. Dr. Peyton Westlake is a scientist working on a technique to synthesize skin and is on the verge of a major breakthrough. That is until the Villain of the film, Robert Durant   kills him, or at least thinks he does. Instead he brings about the changes to Westlake that turns him into Darkman. Equal parts scientist,monster and hero he sets out on a path of revenge against Durant and his goons.

Like i said basic plot but what makes this so interesting is the unstable nature of the character. Liam Neeson played this character to a T with the facial expressions and the tones he just did an outstanding job. Just take a look at this scene from the film, you see the change in the character and his surroundings. Subtle at first not wanting to alarm or frighten his girlfriend, but towards the end it gets intense and he just snaps. Going from one extreme to the other takes great skill, Neeson's ability shines here.

 Larry Drake portrays Robert G.Durant, a ruthless mob boss with a sadistic nature. Durant's trademark is to sever his victims fingers off with a cigar cutter and collect them as trophy's. He treats killing people like its just day to day business, with an almost calm attitude about it and it was pulled off masterfully in this film by Drake.

With a great supporting cast , great makeup and special effects Darkman is what I consider a total package of a film. With its sometimes surreal atmosphere and darker tone, this one a must see for fans of superhero or just plain old action movies. Definitely check it out!

Final Grade: B+


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