innocent_man: (emo)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Darkman is a 1990 superhero movie starring Liam Neeson, in a role he'd probably rather forget. Sam Raimi wanted to direct a comic book movie, but he couldn't get the rights to The Shadow or Batman, so he made up his own. Which is awesome, except...well.

OK, so Neeson is Petyon Westlake, a scientist looking to create a synthetic skin that can immediately graft itself onto tissue and replace damaged skin. Trick is - it breaks down after 99 minutes. Turns out that's because it's photosensitive (it only breaks down after 99 minutes of exposure to light), but before Neeson has a chance to play with that notion, Larry Drake and a band of thugs (including Ted Raimi in his obligatory cameo) burst in to find a document that Neeson's attorney girlfriend (Frances McDormand, in a role she'd probably rather forget) left in his lab. So they kill his assistant, beat him to shit, and blow the place up.

He winds up in a hospital that apparently experiments on homeless people, and due to an experimental procedure (severs nerves mumble mumble science something adrenaline), he's got augmented strength, can't feel pain, and is more emo than a teenager in a factory that produces Joy Division CDs and razor blades. He goes after the dudes who blew him up, killing them one by one, impersonating them using his lab that he reassembled and raw materials that he apparently made from garbage. Oh, and he can impersonate voices, because he practices. Although he has no lips.

You know, the opening scene has Drake and his buddies pulling guns from nowhere after they'd been searched. Sarah commented on this, and I told her it was literally the least absurd thing in the movie. You could fly the SHIELD Helicarrier through the plot holes in this movie, right down to "how does he produce bilabial sounds with no fucking lips?"

For what it is (a lousy action movie), it's OK to watch. You can kinda see hints of the actors that Neeson and McDormand really are, but they don't have much to work with (best line Neeson: "Take the fucking elephant!" Best line McDormand: "If you're not going to kill me, I have things to do."). Larry Drake (whom you know from the "Shindig" episode of Firefly; he's wearing a red sash) is actually the best thing about the movie. His ruthless, vicious mobster Robert Durant is also gay as the day is long, and I never realized it before, but last night it was so obvious. He's obviously having a thing with Ted Raimi (seriously, watch them together), he's crisp and well-groomed, and he deliberately butches up in front of his boss. It's actually a really well-considered performance, and it's totally too subtle for this movie.

My grade: D
Rewatch value: Medium. Fun to yell at the screen.

Next up: Dave

Date: 2012-05-10 05:25 pm (UTC)
nagaina: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nagaina
Ohhhhh man, this takes me back. I do believe that this was the second movie I ever rented whilst first dating the mate -- the first being Hardware -- and I suspect that it was the point where he realized I was totally going to unquestioningly enable his love of snarly loners with horrible facial injuries. Such glorious cheese.

Speaking of cheese...Spawn. You remember that movie/comic? Also a big loud stupid '90s comic book action movie. We randomly caught the last twelve minutes of it last night and, oh, how the CGI has not aged well.

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