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Customer Review

on 4 August 2011
While it's showing its age a little bit in a few areas, such as the 'gang-speak', slick villains and the style of the action, this is still a fascinating and fun vigilante movie. Written by schlock-master Chuck Pfarrer (Navy SEALs among others), the plot is determined to focus on character angst and lots of violence, and it's a fun ride. Sam Raimi directs it with a signature mix of slightly absurd humour and enthusiastic horror, as the hero scientist scarred in an apparent gangland attack tries to piece his life back together while plotting revenge.
Liam Neeson is decent as Westlake/Darkman, although his accent slips from American back to Irish many times. He gets to play several emotional extremes, from happy pre-attack Westlake, the emotionally unstable and rage prone scarred victim, and the nasty and revenge fixated Darkman. He pulls it off with aplomb, although Raimi allows him to go rather over the top into charicature in the 'rage' sequences, which isn't helped by a silly graphic showing neurons firing in his brain and his vision turning red every time he gets angry. However, his Darkman is an emotionally complex scarred monster (we really mean 'monster' - they've been brave enough to make him utterly hideous) who keenly feels the pain that society will reject his appearance, but is furiously determined to seek and kill those that did it to him.
Everybody else is just 'decent '90s action' in their acting style, but engaging enough to sweep the film along.
Kudos goes to the make-up effects, which make Darkman a memorable character and still stand up 20 years later.
The film also has some exciting chases, and a nervewracking climax.
It's a mildly dated but very interesting and enjoyable classic which deserves to be in the collection of anybody who likes vigilante heroes or dark comic-book style tales, and I couldn't help thinking that it would be stunning if remade today, due to its originality and it's 'The Dark Knight' feeling of bleakness and violence.
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Product Details

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
£14.37+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime