Darkman (1990)

Sometimes I am inexplicably uninterested in a movie. Tell me it’s Sam Raimi. Tell me it’s goofy. Tell me it has Frances McDormand in it. Doesn’t matter, for whatever reason I’m just not into it. Even as I’m writing this, Q asked me “how could I have sold Darkman to you better?” There’s nothing that could’ve been done, sometimes you just have to downright force me to watch a movie. And, sometimes, I’m happy that you did. Darkman is just such a case.

Liam Neeson plays Dr. Peyton Westlake, deeply entrenched in researching synthetic skin. His girlfriend, Julie (McDormand) is an attorney on a big case involving the biggest local baddie. She’s recently come across some incriminating documents she shouldn’t have. The baddies find out about it and raid Peyton’s laboratory, find the papers, and set the place on fire. Peyton suffers burns all over most of his body, and as far as everyone’s concerned is dead. Little do they know, he’s been a patient of experimental surgery, which cuts off nerve endings and takes away pain sensation, but also leaves him horribly disfigured.

He escapes the hospital and comes back home to his burned lab and wants to exact revenge on the guys that destroyed his life. Good thing he’s a kickass scientist, and also good thing the lab equipment still works, so he can make masks to disguise himself in any way, to make himself look like anyone he wants to. This makes revenge an easier business.

This movie is wonderfully entertaining. I love the way it’s shot, and I love that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to see it. So, the lesson I take away from Darkman: get excited when someone tells you “you want to see this movie.”


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