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Revisiting 1990: Darkman

September 26, 2010

“Don’t look at me.”

Considered For: Guilty Pleasure

Plot: Scientist Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) is in the midst of developing technology to duplicate healthy skin for burn victims when he is brutally scarred and left for dead by a crime lord (Larry Drake) looking for an incriminating memo in possession of Westlake’s girlfriend (Frances McDormand). Westlake uses his skin process to return as Darkman and seek revenge against those that ruined him.

I imagine in my quest to find the best guilty pleasure in various years I’m going to run across some true stinkers. Despite a solid crew that features respected actors (Neeson and Oscar nominee McDormand) and the director that brought us the Evil Dead trilogy and Spider-Man, Darkman still manages to suck. Even if you can look past the ridiculous plot, the number of holes in the script are enormous and laughable. In the beginning of the film, Westlake discovers that his created skin will only hold for 99 minutes in the light, but can maintain its composure infinitely in the dark. You’d think this discovery, combined with a film title of Darkman would indicate our vigilante would do most of his work at night, but Darkman operates during the day time. In fact, rather than using this knowledge to his advantage, our brilliant scientist finds himself wearing a mask, sitting on a bench in broad daylight, and acting shocked when he realizes his 99 minutes are up any second. Seriously? How stupid is this character? If you have a mission you can only carry out in the daylight, plan ahead! If you know it’s going to take more than 99 minutes, bring a second mask (that’s all it is anyways, right?), store it in a bag that keeps out the sunlight, and switch faces at a convenient time that doesn’t jeopardize your task. But seriously, you can be whoever you want, however long you want at night, so why are you even fucking with daylight hours? Also, did anyone ever notice how fucked up Darkman’s hands are? We see that the faces Darkman wears are simply masks, so I’d have to assume the hands he wears are merely gloves and there is no way he’s fitting his mutilated paws into those things without getting some double takes.

Darkman has some solid actors and is mildly entertaining at times, but the writing in this movie is terrible. Definitely the worst movie I’ve watched in a while.

Grade: D
Viewings: 2+
Replay Value: Very limited
Sequel Potential: Spawned two sequels that I imagine are equally as bad, and probably worse.
Oscars?: None
Nudity?: None

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