Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Retro Movie Review: "Darkman"

Sam Raimi brings a distinct style to the films he directs. From Evil Dead to Spider-Man, he has a unique vision. However, before Spider-Man, Raimi directed another suphero flick: Darkman. As the title implies, this is no ordinary superhero.

Darkman is not based on a comic, but an original creation by Raimi. Darkman, played by Liam Neeson, was scientist who was caught with some evidence against a gangster. When the gangster's goons blow up his lab, Darkman is horrible scarred. But since his research concerned fake skin, Darkman is able to disguise himself for a limited amount of time per day. He struggles to reconnect with his lost love and seek vengeance on those who destroyed him.

Raimi shows his knack for superheroes with a script that snaps and cracks with tongue-in-cheek cliches. A couple of lines are deliciously, and intentionally, cheesy. Liam Neeson plays Darkman as a cross between the Phantom of the Opera and The Punisher. Frances McDormand really doesn't add anything to the film other than Darkman's damsel in distress, but the part really wasn't written as more than that.

There are the typical Raimi cuts, with the action entering and quickly leaving frames, and the camera taking all sorts of weird angles to film. Ted Raimi, Sam's brother, has a small role in the film, as does Bruce Campbell. Even Raimi's trademark Oldsmobile shows up.

It was an entertaining movie and a must see movie if you are a Raimi fanatic.

3 1/2 Fake Noses out of 5.


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