DARKMAN (1990)

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Christopher

I think this was the third time I’ve seen this movie. It’s a film that has adult themes but is in such an unrealistic universe it feels like a kid’s movie. But I feel like that’s all part of the charm of the film. Nothing makes sense, so anything can happen. I don’t feel like it’s a movie that requires a viewing but I really like that it exists. It just feels too weird and is its own thing that it still makes a mark in my mind.

The movie follows a scientist who is trying to develop skin via SCIENCE. He is then blown up and is forced into the shadows due to his disfigured/burned body. The conflict comes from the villains being intertwined with his girlfriend/fiancé. There is not a lot of superhero work going on. It’s a bunch of comic book ideas all jumbled together. It’s difficult to understand time in this film. It’s something where everyone is just where the writer wants them to be.

I feel like this review is all over the place but that really represents the film. I have more fun watching something like this than Michael Bay!

Elizabeth (spoilers!)

Often I’ve wondered to myself, “Why isn’t there a thriller/superhero movie based entirely around an office memo?” I feel like such a fool now because that movie has existed since 1990 in the form of Darkman!

Because yes, the plot of the movie revolves around the discovery/attempted recovery of the majestic darkman-macguffin. A fucking memo, for real. But let me back up.

Liam Neeson plays Peyton Westlake, a scientist developing synthetic skin for burn victims that doesn’t really work yet. His girlfriend is Julie Hastings (Frances McDormand), district attorney. Julie stumbles upon a memo that, for some reason, details all of the bribes her client has made to zoning commissioners. Because I know when someone at my company bribes anyone, a memo with every detail is sent out! Turns out some mobsters want this magical memo, too, to the point where they break into Peyton’s lab, murder his assistant, fuck him uuuuuuup thoroughly by putting his face in acid, then blows up the lab. Good thing his whole career revolves around making fake skin, because he makes nearly flawless Liam Neeson masks for himself to cover up his fucked up face while he gets revenge on everyone who caused it. He tries to get back together with Julie, who thought he was dead when his lab blew up with him in it (usually a safe assumption), but despite her declaring she loves him no matter what, Peyton determines his weirdness and anger is too much and in the end they just go their separate ways.

I didn’t get much from Darkman. The villains were so over-the-top that they seemed like goofy comic book characters instead of a real threat. It was fun seeing a young, cute Liam Neeson . . . until he got all fucked up. I was just kinda ready for this movie to be over.

That memo was pretty great, though.

 

 

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