Liam Neeson stars as Peyton Westlake a brilliant scientist who is trying to create masks for the horribly disfigured. Westlake comes to break through in his research when he discovers the masks melt because of the sun. Westlake's life is ruined when Robert Durant a mafia leader comes to get a document which connects him to Westlake's girlfriend Julie's boss. Durant burns down Westlake and his lab but Westlake manages to survive. He is given a bizarre procedure which takes away all physical pain but amplifies his emotions. Westlake vows to have revenge on Durant. He uses his <more>
research to destroy Durant's mob and his boss Louis Stack.It's sad really that this is the definitive Sam Raimi superhero film. The camera work here is the best of Raimi's career. Liam Neeson starts off his career as a leading man on an extremely high note. The script has moments of weakness but our actors manage to hit all the high notes and achieve greatness. The make-up effects should have taken home the Oscar
Sam Raimi's superhero epic that is Darkman (by Rautus)
Sam Raimi's Evil Dead Trilogy is a true classic and so is Darkman, his own hero idea before doing Spider-Man. A mix of black humour and action Darkman is a epic. Liam Neeson does a perfect job as Darkman as he makes us feel sympathetic for the hero when you think what the character as gone through. Larry Drake is great as Robert Durrant, he is sinister with the way he does things like cutting off fingers and keeping them.The camera effects are clever such as Darkman's rage sequences and the camera style of the POV of the nail's being shot. This effect was also used in Army of <more>
Darkness. The Darkman make up was good as it does look like burned and disfigured skin. Darkman is a great film that is worth watching. Also check out Bruce Campbell as one of Darkman's disguises. 10/10
Peyton Westlake is a scientist who is researching synthetic skin tissue in order to help scarred victims of accidents. However, the tissue becomes unstable after 99 minutes. Peyton never has a chance to work on this, as the shady dealings of a property tycoon result in him being hideously disfigured when a gang of thugs blow up his lab. Peyton becomes the subject of an experimental new process being developed in the hospital involving the severing of nerves which cause pain . Escaping the hospital, he starts using his synthetic skin tissue to create copies of the faces of his enemies, in <more>
order to avenge himself on the villains who turned him into Darkman, a 'Phantom of the Opera'-like character.What puts this film above countless other action-thrillers is that it deals with emotion just as much as violence. I really felt for Peyton as to struggled to come to terms with his suffering, and the surreal nightmare sequences are very effective. The film is filled with strong characters - whether he is being monstrous or emotional, Liam Neeson dominates his every scene as Darkman. Durant is a genuinely chilling villain, and the action sequences never become dull due to their often outlandish qualities. A first-class film.
The parallels to Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop films, the original at least, are so prevalent that I like to think that they're deliberate homage. This would not be at all surprising coming from an equally over-the-top director like Sam Raimi, a cult God for the Evil Dead movies. Which leads me to wonder why one reviewer on the IMDb thought it would be cool to rent Darkman as a good date movie. So's you know, Darkman is NOT a date movie. Not in ANY WAY. It is, you might say, about as much a date movie as RoboCop is a date movie.Before I watched Darkman yesterday, I hadn't seen it <more>
since I was about 12 years old, which was about 12 years ago, and the only thing that I remember from it are the bad guy cutting people's fingers off, the other bad guy getting stuck up through the manhole into traffic, and Darkman screaming 'JUUUUULIEEEEE!!!' Oh and I remember that my parents hated hated HATED it. In rewatching the movie, I was expecting to be confronted with an overly violent and gratuitously gory horror/action movie, but was surprised at how well made it really is. Then again, my mom is so scared of sex and violence that the only things she'll watch are Nightmare Before Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and Finding Nemo. It is now a little off-putting to see Liam Neeson in such a performance as he delivers in this movie, with so much screaming and moaning and face melting and close-ups of his face while watching a good friend shot in the head. Pretty rough, since he's now so well known as Oskar Schindler and Qui-Gon Jinn, both such serious and impressive characters that they're like philosophers. So anyway, in Darkman he plays a doctor who is in the final stages of perfecting synthetic skin, which could either revolutionize cosmetic surgery or revolutionize special effects. Either way, it was a hell of a convenient thing to be working on for someone that was about to be dipped in toxic waste and come out of it much worse off than the Joker did, although not quite as bad off as Clarence from RoboCop. The problem is that he can't seem to get the skin to remain stable for more than 99 minutes, which is great for providing a time crisis for whenever he creates enough skin for himself to be able to go out in public.Thankfully, Raimi does not spend too much time on the time limit of the skin that Peyton Neeson is able to create, focusing instead on such thrilling things as having Peyton disguise himself as other people in order to infiltrate the gang that attacked and disfigured him in the first place. It's a great scene when Peyton accepts a briefcase full of money as one of the gang members, while the real one is dead asleep, then the leader, Larry Drake as Durant in another great performance, comes to the room looking for the money. There's a whole series of things like that, one of my favorites being when he impersonates Durant himself. Let's just say that Durant ends up in jail for a crime that he didn't even have the fun of committing.In a time when comic book movies are released almost constantly at the time of Darkman's release as well as at the time of this writing , Raimi decides to invent his own character instead. The thing that I think the movie does especially well is that it doesn't all of a sudden turn a regular, albeit brilliant, doctor into a superhero, after all the villains on the street. Even Spiderman, probably the most normal of all superheroes, is turned from a regular guy ultimately into a superhero out to rid the streets of crime. Darkman is trying to regain his own life and get his wife back for the majority of the film. It is not until the closing shot that he gives himself an anonymous superhero name, accepts his fate outside everyday humanity, and the brilliant Bruce Campbell finally shows up.I also love the way he develops his powers. He was never exposed to radiation or anything like that, he simply uses the material that he created in his lab, the synthetic skin, to enable himself to impersonate other people, and when he was rescued after the attack on his lab, the doctors cut a vital nerve, cutting off his ability to experience pain. Some of the rather convenient side-effects, for the movie at least, are superhuman strength and a tendency toward outbursts of violent rage. Dishonest carnies beware. I can certainly understand why my parents didn't like the movie, it's not exactly the kind of thing you want your kids watching, but as far as a good action/horror film, it ranks with the best.
I completely agree with Bobby Savage... (by Soapbar)
Yes, this film doesn't quite live up to that "Sam Raimi Standard" but it is guaranteed to cause even the coldest of all movie watchers a grin, especially at the moments where he goes temporarily insane. watch carefully at the end for Bruce Campbells 2 second cameo, and watch the rest as well. Once again I confirm that this film is WELL WORTH WATCHING, so do not miss out.
Should've been Batman's true origin story. (by corbz4g)
This should've been Batman's true origin story.Raimi's direction and Neeson's acting are a perfect combo when it came to making this movie.Personally, I think this role should've been for Bruce Campbell yet, Universal wouldn't allow Sam Raimi to have such creative freedom to do so.9/10
Fairly exciting and entertaining. (by HumanoidOfFlesh)
Sam Raimi's "Darkman" is a highly entertaining and energetic combination of science fiction,action and horror!The performances are good,especially Liam Neeson is really believable as a disfigured doctor Peyton Westlake/Darkman.It's nice to see also an underrated Larry Drake "Dr Giggles" as a main villain.There are some huge gaps in logic,but I don't care.The score by Danny Elfman is fantastic and there are some nice visual effects!So if you have enough time to waste-check it out.7 out of 10.
Stylish B-Type Super Hero-Revenge Tale (by ccthemovieman-1)
For a Class-B type movie and feel to it, it's pretty good....better than I anticipated. I've seen it twice and enjoyed it more the second time. I had forgotten how stylish-looking it was and it was fun to see.What I did remember were a couple of wild scenes, such as "Darkman" Liam Neeson being swung around in the sky on the end of a chain from a helicopter, and the big fire scene early on which turns Neeson's character into the masked hero.The villains in the movie are over-the-top, leading with Larry Drake's character "Durant." There also is some <more>
outrageous Rambo action which stretches way past credibility, such as people shooting from five feet away and missing our hero!Overall, not as good as the critics would have you believe, but still entertaining. At least it has two quality actors in Neeson and Frances McDormand. Drake went on to play the infamous "Dr. Giggles." If you liked this crazy film, you'll love that one.
a little better in the mind thinking about it more, an above-average masked avenger saga (by Quinoa1984)
Sam Raimi, at a definite cross-roads in his career, takes on his first kind of 'major' project err, bigger than the other films he made in the 80's and by evidence here he was up to the challenge. But those who come from the Evil Dead films expecting a dark side crossed with some very sick, amazing gags and over-the-top jokes might wonder where the latter is at. It's a kind of realized vision of what was both portrayed on radio in the 40's the Shadow, Darkman, similar as well as the side villains as well as graphic novels of the 80's. It's violent, and in a <more>
Hollywood 'action' mode most of the time with big explosions, a fairly high body count, and suspense as a man seeks revenge when not completely whole. It also is the kind of pre-film, which may be dumb to say as 'pre' gets overused, but one can see the relation to comics like Spawn, V for Vendetta, and of course the future filmmaker of the solid Spiderman features. At times though he does really walk the line of doing something different with the revenge tale of having it over-done not work. He has the style knacked for it, but as a first time going at it here and there it does get a bit too much.That being said, those who are coming to this film after having seen most of Raimi's other work get a convincingly B-story to go along with his wild techniques. Liam Neeson stars as a on-the-brink-of-something-big scientist who gets about as horribly close to death as possible after ruthless rather ruthless in as much comic-book as 80's action-movie gangsters do "a number" on him and his lab. Assumed dead, he puts his equipment back together, puts on masks of his enemies, and little by little gets back at them while trying to have a connection with his old love Frances McDormand connected to all of this as well. With this as the groundwork, and with the two main actors up for the roles- Neeson is very good here in a performance that's got him as tortured leading man ala 30's horror/murder mystery movie- the set pieces allow for Raimi to be creative in his own ways with the camera. I loved one scene where Neeson and McDormand are at the carnival, with the imagery hitting harsh other freak , and then his frustration over a game. This is a scene emblematic of what Raimi is doing, and does more often than not, with his material.Darkman is ambitious on that level of the visual, of trying to make a picture that in other hands would be very standard and possibly wretched in dramatic presentation, because it is both original and homage, typical in some ways and notable in others. These two sides may frustrate viewers; I'm inclined almost to say that this is even more 'cult' than Raimi's Evil Dead films. Moments of hilarity do come up sometimes, and it is with some relief when it does come along, though sometimes too the subtle black-comic approach doesn't hit. It's worth a watch though if you're a comic book fan or even just into thrillers that don't kid themselves too much. Up to par with the rest of the director's work? It's close enough, if not really great, but then in its sort of B-movie status, it doesn't need to be as a good time.