1990 comic book mayhem
Plot: Dr. Peyton Westlake is having difficulties in his efforts to produce fake skin in his laboratory. He's also got girl problems and a funny haircut. When some bad guys blow him and his laboratory up, he repairs his disfigured face and body with masking tape and putty and wanders through the darkness to seek revenge.
This isn't a great movie, but it's still worth watching for Raimi's typical visual thrills and wry sense of humor. Raimi's superhero tale nods and nudges both the old and the new, both B-sci-fi nincompoopery and polished big-budget comic book flicks. Darkman's a ton of fun until the incoherent finale where it does its best impression of a Batman movie and bursts at the seams with nonsensical action and makes a big sloppy mess all over the screen. Liam Neeson is really awful any time his character is thrown into an unnecessary serious moment, especially anything relating to the unnecessary romantic sub-plot. For evidence, watch a scene where he gets angry after winning a carnival game and not being allowed a pink elephant for his girlfriend. During the action scenes or scenes where Neeson is alone, he seems to be channeling Raimi's boy Bruce Campbell, especially in a scene where he says, "They took my hands!" or in the carnival scene where he repeats, "See the dancing freak--pay five bucks!" ad nauseum. I really loved Danny Elfman's weird score, his trademark vocals perfect against oddball montages and Raimi camera swoops. The contrived but creative skin transplant stuff works well as Darkman ingeniously plots his revenge. It's only when the dumb action scenes stomp all over the proceedings that Darkman gets a little tiresome and typical. My favorite scene: one of the bad guys has a prosthetic leg/machine gun that he uses early in the movie. It's how the posse sneaks a weapon into the place where they want to shoot up some other guys. A few scenes later, during a scene in which it wasn't necessary to sneak a gun in, the camera pans past a guy shooting a machine gun and then continues to pan to the guy hopping on one leg while he watches. That's either really really funny or I'm drunk again.
Kairow, have you seen this one?