I once had an opportunity to own all three Darkman films for nine dollars. I refused, though. Do I regret not buying them? Maybe. Now that I've finally seen the original, I do just regret not making that purchase just a little. I'm always rightfully nervous about picking up any film that has it's own super hero. So, of course, I didn't pick up the set. But, I did pick up the Blu-ray of the first Darkman the other week out of desperate curiosity.
The story follows a scientist who is harassed by gangsters over a incriminating memo. They beat him, blow up his lab, and leave him for dead. Little do they know the scientist survives the blast and he's been developing a special flesh like plastic and 3D printer. He uses this machine to disguise himself and take on the gangsters. He also, uses this machine to re-unite himself with his lady love. The story works well and compliments the pulpy tone of the script.
The film itself is a mixture of Batman and The Shadow but, it's 100% Sam Rami. Which means Darkman is actually the opposite of dark. In fact, it's actually kind of zany and off the wall at times.Think of it as an R-rated version of Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy. If that's too old of a reference for you then catch up already! But, this film has all of the classic Raimi elements. The twisting push ins, the rubbery physical effects, and the perfect amount of camp. You know, just enough to let us know he's in on the joke. The film itself is a tribute to classic movie serials and it works Mostly, due to the use of a Shadow knock off as the hero, the classic gangster archetypes, the art direction, and of course Danny Elfman's menacing score.
I really enjoyed the film for all of it's zaniness. I thought the helicopter chase scene at the end of the film was a little much. But, in the end I really had a fun time and that's what truly matters. Go out and find Darkman on Blu-ray or DVD, just don't pay too much.