Darkman (1990)

logoDirector: Sam Raimi

Writer: Chuck Pfarrer, Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Daniel Goldin, Joshua Goldin (Screenplay) Sam Raimi (Story)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Colin Friels, Larry Drake, Nelson Mashita, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, Rafael H. Robledo, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi


Plot: Peyton Westlake (Neeson) is a scientist who has discovered a way to produce synthetic skin. This could revolutionise skin grafting, except for one minor glitch; the synthetic skin degrades after 100 minutes of exposure to light. When gangsters attack Peyton, he is horrifically burnt, and assumed dead. In his quest for revenge, Peyton, AKA the Darkman is able to take on the appearance of anyone (Using the synthetic skin) but he only has 100 minutes per disguise.


Verdict: A comic book hero is born


Story: When it comes down to revenge driven storylines it is always about how far they have been pushed or left for dead before making the return from the impossible to get full out revenge. This offers an over the top kill leaving the hero horribly burnt, all this fuels he revenge not just because of the crimes committed against him but the life he had to give up. As all good vigilantes he uses what he knows best his science to take down the villains. With this out in 1990 it really did pave the way for other films with similar story motives to be made, yes the story is simple and the science in complicated but it sums up dark comic book style action. (8/10)


Actor Reviews


Liam Neeson: Peyton Westlake the scientist looking to change the future, but when the mobsters attempt to kill him, he comes back for revenge and to reclaim his lost love. Great performance from Neeson, showing that he was ready to take Hollywood on. (8/10)


Frances McDormand: Julie the lawyer girlfriend of Peyton who uncovered a secret that ended up being the catalyst for everything. Moves on after his death quickly but never stops loving him. Good performance in the heroine of the piece role. (7/10)


Colin Friels: Louis the business man with the plan to rebuild big part of the city even if it means stepping on everyone in the way. Good villain role that doesn’t get revealed until late on in the film, also shows that human villainy people can have. Good performance playing the weaselling business man. (7/10)


Larry Drake: Robert the gangster who put Peyton in his current state, ruthless and has an obsession with cutting of fingers with a cigar cutter. Good performance creating a villain everyone is scared off. (8/10)


Director Review: Sam Raimi – Following on from the Evil Dead films this fits all of what Sam is about dark, comic without losing its serious side. (8/10)


Action: Plenty of action sequences with the best being Darkman hanging on to a helicopter going around town. (9/10)

Crime: Plenty of crime driven storylines with the gangster against the police and getting away with things. (9/10)

Fantasy: The science behind the Darkman is stuff of fantasy comics. (8/10)

Thriller: Keeps you interested and wondering what the next disguise will be. (8/10)

Settings: All dark setting adding to the story of the broken down town in need of a hero. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Great special effects to create the burnt effects and explosions as well as with the creation of the false faces. (9/10)

Suggestion: This will be one for the comic book fans, even though it isn’t based on a comic book, it just has the same feel as most of them. (Comic Book Fans Watch)


Best Part: The helicopter chase around town.

Worst Part: Not enough support characters built.

Action Scene Of The Film: The helicopter chase.

Kill Of The Film: Rick

Believability: Creates the human side of the battle but all very farfetched. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel:  Has two sequels with different actor as Darkman.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $48,878,502

Budget: $16 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Tagline: Now, Crime Has a New Enemy, And Justice Has a New Face!

Trivia:Sam Raimi wanted Bruce Campbell to play the lead role, but the producers were uncertain that Campbell could handle the part. He does make a cameo though.


Overall: Great Comic Book Like Action Film

Rating 85

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