Darkman (1990)

Here on the final day of October, the EYG Halloween Horror Bingefest will be coming to a close for another year. To start today’s final few films, I pulled out a movie that crosses genres and has, basically, only elements of the horror genre. Still, with Sam Raimi at the helm of the film, I think it works for the bingefest.

The film’s called Darkman, and it’s a horror/action/superhero/crime film starring Liam Neeson in an early action movie for him.

Scientist Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) is trying to create a synthetic skin, but he has had only minimal success. The skin failed to maintain itself after so long. Westlake had a happy life with his girlfriend Julie (Frances McDormand). Unfortunately, a group of local gangsters attacked him and left him for dead in his burning lab.

Surviving the assault, Westlake was terribly scarred and his mental state was shattered. Westlake dedicated himself to revenge against those who took his life and devastated it.

This is clearly a Sam Raimi film. There are few directors whose movies are so apparent, who have such obvious tells. It is bombastic, over-the-top and filled with bright colors. Darkman checks all of these boxes.

This movie, which I remember not loving in the theaters, is fine. It is really cheesy, but it a good way. Liam Neeson is overacting like crazy. Sure the dialogue and the story is not great. but you can absolutely see glimpses of what would eventually become Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy in the film Darkman.

In fact, the third act finale really reminds me of the third act of Spider-Man 3. You can see parts that have been recycled from the director.

Sadly, the CGI does not hold up and that makes the scenes involving the CGI (especially during the finale) difficult to watch.

I would say that I did enjoy this more today than I did when I saw it in the theaters, but it is not a great movie. It’s fine.

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