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Darkman (1990)

August. 24,1990
| Action Thriller Science Fiction

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.


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Before the Spider-Man Trilogy there was Darkman starring Liam Neeson you know it's funny how people say that Neeson became an action hero with Taken which is true but isn't this movie an action adventure movie too? Anyways Darkman is about a A brilliant scientist who was left for dead and returns to exact revenge on the people who burned him alive. Now it's been decades since i saw this movie and last night i finally saw it again and i have to say after all this time even tho it's enjoyable and it's a mix of Batman/Batman Returns it is pretty goofy and there isn't a lot of action i didn't got bored or anything but i remembered it different. Anyways this is still a movie that is very well done thanks to a very good cast, story and direction by Sam Raimi who directed the Evil Dead & Spiderman Trilogy.


Darkman (1990) *** (out of 4) Scientist Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) is brutally beaten and left for dead when a gangster (Larry Drake) pays him a visit after his girlfriend (Frances McDormand) learned of a crooked business deal. Peyton is left deformed and burned beyond recognition so he sets out to seek revenge against those who did it.Sam Raimi's DARKMAN isn't a great film by any stretch of the imagination but there are certainly enough good things to make it worth sitting through. For starts, director Raimi certainly knows how to build up a lot of energy and he certainly handles the action scenes like a pro. The film manages to tell a good revenge story but it also works as an action film that isn't afraid to wink at the viewer and have a good time.There are a lot of references to other horror movies and it's clear that Raimi just wanted to have some fun with the dark character and the over-the-top villain. The violence itself is never graphic as it always stops short of showing anything too disgusting but the violence has a certain comic book nature to it. It's not graphic but you get the pain that the characters are feeling but in a fun way. Technically the film is extremely well-made with some good special effects, some nice cinematography and a ripping score.It also helps that the performances are so good. Neeson is certainly believable in both of his roles. As the scientist he's perfectly believable as this genius and he certainly makes you feel for the character. He pulls off the pain that the character is going through and of course he's very believable during the action scenes. McDormand is good in the role of the girlfriend and Drake nearly steals the film each time he's on the screen. He's certainly one of those old-fashioned villains that would have been hissed at.DARKMAN has its flaws along the way but it's certainly an entertaining movie.


For me, Raimi is an underrated creator : he has a bit the same talent as Spielberg (writing, casting, directing, producing) but without his recognition and money. Sure Raimi wants to have fun while liking dark and horror so he alienates a part of his audience but he is full of original ideas: Here, he shows that he can do a real super-hero movie well before CGI effects and without a big budget. And what's amazing it's that is even better than the real thing : for one time, the origin story is interesting, the power is original and the LA setting is a change from the old metropolis. Raimi never misses the opportunity to a stunning and horrific frame or angle, his camera is like alive by itself and he stages great action sequence ! Ice on the cake : he has a wonderful cast to play with a Liam bringing all his massive drama and Frances rather convincing as the crying girlfriend ! Anf for sure, you will find all his usual cameos : Bruce Campbell, his brother and himself ! So it's a dream to watch the works of that guy such passionate in movies !


Sam Raimi's trial run for the Spider-Man franchise is a whole bunch of fun. Liam Neeson plays Dr. Peyton Westlake, a super scientist who after a major run-in with the villainous Robert G. Durant (Larry Drake), reinvents himself as Darkman, a super-anti-hero who sets about ridding L.A. of its mobsters.It's a comic book film that isn't based on a comic book, Raimi inventing his own tortured protagonist whilst homaging similar beings of eras past. All the silliness of such fare is here of course, overblown violence and colourful characters are frequent, but there's good thought gone into the revenge theme, while the action sequences are often excellent. The pace hardly sags, as Raimi's creations move about a Los Angeles that is equally decaying or affluent, and in Neeson the story has a lead actor with swagger, pathos and emotional force in abundance. 7/10