Friday, December 14, 2012

Darkman (1990) Review:

For director Sam Raimi, who couldn't get the papers to The Shadow, decided to make his own super hero which came out to be a great film. Darkman seems to be a mix of different genres. It's like a mix of science fiction, horror, romance, and action/adventure. It plays a little like Beauty and the Beast (even though that came out after it). It is Darkman's disfigurement that makes him like the "beast". The storyline is almost a replica to RoboCop. An innocent man is physically disfigured in some manner by a group of bad guys and has now become a vigilante and gets his revenge one way or another.

A very, very young Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson stars as Peyton Westlake who is a scientist who looks to find a cure to repair damaged skin cells. Co-starring with him is his love interest, Francis McDormand. Ironic as it is, Westlake is attacked by a gang and is blown up with his lab. Somehow he survives but sustains major skin damage. When he escapes the hospital he reconstructs his lab in an old warehouse and manages to start where he left off. Because Westlake's original face is literally unrecognizable, he can create other faces from his enemies and pose as them. How many super heroes can do that? So who plays the lead bad guy – no other than Larry Drake. Boy is this guy smug. Never have I seen a bad guy who doesn't care what happens half the time. He almost seems lax with everything, except for when things don't go his way. Of course villains are supposed to be jerks but Larry Drake plays the character of Robert G. Durant too well. Drake makes it look like playing Durant is part time job! It's almost like he goes home with that kind of personality. His henchmen are pretty interesting too. They even surprised me at times in this film.

Larry Drake as Darkman's nemesis, Robert G. Durant
Making things even more interesting is the musical score composed and conducted by Danny Elfman. Once again, Elfman has outdone himself with his music. As I watched Darkman, there were points where I felt so terrible for Westlake because of the music playing in the background. Elfman really knows how to get the emotions going.

Sam Raimi's story of a super hero is amazing to watch and can be emotional at times. With strong performances by Neeson, McDormand, Drake and other actors, Darkman hits the mark on bringing a new face of justice to the screen.

Points Earned --> 10:10

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