#10: Darkman (1990)
So, here was my basic experience with Darkman. I was sitting in my parents’ living room one summer, bored and surfing through free On Demand movies, when I came across this film. My eyes widened as I read the description. A Sam Raimi-directed superhero film starring Liam Neeson? It sounded way too good to be true.
Turns out it was.
This film is bland, depressing, disgusting… pretty much everything you don’t want in a superhero film. The entire plot is more or less based on revenge, and Dr. Peyton Westlake’s (aka Darkman, played by Neeson) “superpower” is being horribly, horribly burned and disfigured. Okay, as a consequence of that he’s given a radical treatment that removes sensory input, meaning he can’t feel pain, but there’s really nothing at all that makes him a compelling hero. Just a revenge complex and, predictably, a girl to save (Julie Hastings, played by Frances McDormand).
The villains are exceptionally boring, an evil billionaire named Louis Strack Jr. (Colin Friels) and mobster Robert Durant (Larry Drake.)
On more than one occasion, Julie indicates that she is still in love with Peyton and wants to stay with him, but he refuses on the grounds that he’s a monster and, damn it, this film is supposed to be depressing. (And violent. It’s also violent. That’s important.)
Remember the incredibly painful origin of the title character in Robocop (1987)? Imagine if that was the entire movie. Then you have a general idea of how I felt watching Darkman.
I wish I could tell you more, but there really isn’t that much to say about this film. It really isn’t worth your time, but the reasons for that aren’t very complex or interesting. Just don’t bother with this one.