Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Summer of '90's-1990: Darkman

Fuckin' LOOOOVE "Darkman". I seen this when it came out on video and I was blown away. Watching it again 20 years later, I'm still blown away. And amazed that this movie stars Liam Neeson AND Frances McDormand.

This is a Sam Raimi movie and it shows. This was probably what he showed Marvel when he was interested in directing "Spider-man" because this entire movie feels like a comic book movie. The style, the background scenes, hell even the overall story is almost like a mash-up of every comic book hero ever.

The story focuses on Peyton Westlake (Neeson) who is a scientist working on making realistic skin for burn victims and whatnot. He's successful but the skin can only last for 99 minutes before it melts away. But he discovers that in the dark it lasts a long time. Peyton is dating Julie (McDormand), who is an attorney for some sleazy building developer named Strack. Julie discovers some sort of illegal thing going on with Strack and rather stupidly goes right to him about this.

Strack isn't happy about this so he sends his right hand man named Durant (Larry Drake, yes THAT Larry Drake) to Peyton's place to get this memo. Durant trashes Peyton's lab, kills his assistant, and pretty much fucks up Peyton's body, badly burning him. As a final "fuck you", Durant and his men blow the shit out of his lab. Peyton goes flying and lands in a nearby water source.

Sometime later, Peyton is found and put in a hospital where they cut off all his nerve endings so he doesn't feel the pain of being horrible burnt. The cause of this, however, leads to Peyton getting pissed off a lot and kinda sensitive. He wakes up and escapes the hospital and after salaving what's left of his equipment, moves to an abandoned warehouse and starts a-new.

Eventually, he moves on to revenge and starts making faces of Durant's men and fucking with their lives. He poses as one goon and takes Durant's money, so then Durant goes to the real goon's house and kills him, not believing his story of "it wasn't me" even though Durant saw him on the counter AND on the sofa.

Finally, Peyton is able to make a fake version of his face and he goes out to find Julie and...not tell her what happened. O....K. While he's getting his groove thang back on with Julie, he's planning revenge on Durant and his men by fucking up more shit.

After Peyton tries to pretend to be Durant and take some more money, in which the REAL Durant shows up, and Julie tells Strack Peyton is alive, life gets hard(er) for him. Durant followed Julie to the abandoned warehouse to plead with Peyton to let her see his real self (after she finds out he's been using his equipment to make fake faces) and kidnaps her and tries to rid of Peyton. Peyton alludes them and eventually stops Durant. Now to save Julie.

Peyton disguises himself as Durant but Strack figures it out and tries to pay off Peyton, but Peyton is like "Fuck you" and a fight ensues. It's a pretty awesome fight. Hell, the chase scene one scene back was awesome too. This entire movie is just awesome. I'm stopping here cause if you haven't seen "Darkman" you need you get on that.

Sadly, there were some sequels that don't have Liam Neeson nor were written or directed by Sam Raimi so I'm sure they're crap. I'll give them a watch eventually but for now, let's just enjoy this awesome original movie. Oh and look out for a cameo by Bruce Campbell. Can't miss it.



Nolahn said...

Awesome. I'll have to revisit this one -- haven't seen it in years.

The thing that stands out in my mind about this movie (that I thought made it really cool) was that Darkman came across as somewhat... unbalanced, which made for a different kind of superhero.

Reel Whore said...

Darkman rules! One of my favorite line/scenes: "Take the fucking elephant!"

It's a sad story, full of great action and had some crazy-funny moments. I think I liked Spider-Man 2 so much because it felt the most like Darkman of the trilogy.