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Darkman (1990)

Liam Neeson , Frances McDormand , Sam Raimi  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Larry Drake, Colin Friels, Nelson Mashita
  • Directors: Sam Raimi
  • Writers: Sam Raimi, Chuck Pfarrer, Ivan Raimi, Daniel Goldin, Joshua Goldin
  • Producers: Robert Tapert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 1998
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783226012
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,386 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Darkman" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Dr. Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) is on the verge of realizing a major breakthrough in synthetic skin when a gang, led by the sadistic Robert G. Durant (Larry Drake), obliterates his laboratory. Burned beyond recognition and altered by an experimental medical procedure, Westlake attempts to rebuild his laboratory and reestablish ties with his former girlfriend Julie (Frances McDormand). But his most challenging task lies within himself. Torn between his desire to create a new life with Julie and his quest for revenge, the man known as Darkman begins to assume alternate identities in this stunning, fast-paced action thriller from director Sam Raimi.

    When attorney Julie Hastings (Frances McDormand) uncovers corrupt city real estate dealings, evil thugs attack her scientist boyfriend, Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson). Left for dead after his lab is detonated, he miraculously survives when the ensuing blast hurls him into the nearby harbor. Treated as a John Doe at a city hospital, he is unknowingly submitted to radical therapy which numbs his nerves to feeling--but which heightens his strength and his emotions. Once conscious, Peyton escapes from the hospital and builds a ramshackle lab in an abandoned industrial plant. Horribly burned and scarred by the lab explosion, he uses synthetic skin to impersonate his would-be murderers and seek retribution for their evil deeds. Peyton also tries to reunite with Julie, who believes him to be dead. While the film has an average script, it is overcome by the flashy cinematography of Bill Pope, the bombastic score by Danny Elfman, and the well-choreographed direction of Sam Raimi. The director confidently walks the line between suspense, action, comedy, and romance as he examines a bitter, victimized antihero who risks becoming as monstrous on the inside as he appears on the outside. --Bryan Reesman

    Customer Reviews

    3.8 out of 5 stars
    3.8 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific And Awesome Action Movie With Heart And Rage January 5, 2006
    Years before moviemakers really starting getting comic book adaptations right with films like "Spider-Man" and "Batman Begins" came "Darkman", a brilliant action-horror movie that came closer than any show before it to capturing the darker, more developed comics of the modern era. It's a gory and action-packed - and intelligent, emotional and quite often humorous - tale as Peyton Westlake (superbly played by Liam Neeson) becomes the Darkman after barely surviving an attack by mob thugs employed by the crimelord Durant (Larry Drake), who Westlake's attorney girlfriend Julie (Frances McDormand) is trying to bring down. A scientist researching the development of a perfect synthetic skin to aid burn victims, it's being immersed in this liquid in its unstable corrosive state and then left for dead following the explosive destruction of his lab that is largely responsible for Westlake's metamorphis into Darkman.

    Unable to feel physical pain but constantly assailed by emotional and mental anguish. Enhanced strength due to the maximum adrenaline now coursing unchecked through his system constantly, 24 hours a day. Serious rage problems. Severely altered, scarred physical appearance. Westlake/Darkman can create perfect masks of any human being (and mimic their vocal patterns precisely) but the masks break down after a finite period in sunlight, and thus he most frequently appears in his new identity's trademark garb of bandages and black trenchcoat and hat. I realize typing that that it sounds like a dopey outfit but it's actually a striking and intimidating look onscreen thanks to the great effects and costuming. Hellbent on a path of revenge against Drake's crime empire, and on protecting his love Julie from the shadows, the violent and vengeful reign of the Darkman begins. A movie that possibly could only have been made by a man capable of directing such diverse films as the "Spider-Man" epics, the "Evil Dead" trilogy and "The Gift". Highest recommendation.
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    16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Before Spider-Man, there was Darkman June 27, 2002
    Sam Raimi, brilliant director of the cult classic Evil Dead trilogy and the current blockbuster Spider-Man, directed this entertaining action yarn hot on the heels of 1989's hit Batman. While many saw Darkman as a Batman rip off (sort of), Raimi's talented directorial skills gave Darkman a personality of its own. Liam Neeson (before he hit it big) stars as scientist Peyton Westlake, who has developed a synthetic skin, only problem is, it can only hold for 99 minutes before it deteriorates. When his lab is destroyed by Robert Durant (Larry Drake), Peyton is blasted into a nearby harbor. He is left horribly scarred, but when he recovers he uses the synthetic skin to get his revenge on his would be murderers while trying to get back with his girlfriend (Frances McDormand). Darkman is really entertaining and is a great twist on superhero movies, Neeson shines as the tortured soul hero, while McDormand is great as his girlfriend. Recommended to those looking for a comic style movie with a twist. A little side note, since this is a Sam Raimi movie, Evil Dead hero Bruce Campbell has a cameo as the "final shemp" in the film.
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    29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive HD! What All HD should look like! August 2, 2007
    Format:HD DVD|Verified Purchase
    After being sorely disapointed by HD releases of Excalibur and Army of Darkness, I was extreamly happy when I saw the opening menu for Darkman.

    As soon as the clips began to roll behind the menu I knew they'd done the job right here. This film was largely missed in theaters and the home video and DVD versions where grainy, washed-out presentations that greatly diminished the style of director Sam Rami.

    This is a must for HD DVD players. The pitcture is fully restored, crisp, clear, vibrant and devoid of all film flaws such as dust and scratches. Where some HD DVD versions are nothing more than the original DVD digital masters transfered to the new format (much the way many early DVD's where really Laser-disk copied to the then new format) this is not!

    Darkman is a great, twisted peice that blends the ultra-violent comic-book styles seen in now in films like Sin City with the breakneck actions sequences of films like Spiderman.

    See it again for the first time on HD DVD! This is the sound and fury of Home Theater and one of the best restorations I've ever seen!

    BTW, if you have a smaller HD set (1280X720p max)that only accepts up to 1080i, then set your HD DVD player only to output 720p, it reduces the pixelation in the dark grays and blacks and reduces motion blure. I use this with my Toshiba Player and 42" sony grand wega through HDMI and the picture is flawless. Remember, if your set is 46" or under, 720p is mostly likely it's native resolution and outputing at that resolution can cause major improvement.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Darkman Deserves to See the Light of Day July 11, 2011
    How do you follow up a double dosage of slapstick horror like "The Evil Dead" and "The Evil Dead II?" Why, you make a superhero film! Well, that's what Sam Raimi did, anyway. Raimi's first big-budget Hollywood film, "Darkman," marks a creative left-turn for the writer-director, one that would ultimately define his future film career and set the tone for a variety of projects that are completely different from one another yet somehow are linked by something Raimi-esque that could never be duplicated.

    Liam Neeson stars as scientist turned superhero Peyton Westlake, who is left for dead by a gang of criminals. It's "Phantom of the Opera" meets "Batman," as Peyton -- burnt, battered and broken-hearted -- struggles to reconnect with the love of his life (Frances McDormand), avenge his attempted-murder and rebuild himself both externally and internally. While it's Raimi's wild visual sense and unrelenting sense of cinematic adventure that drives the film, it is ultimately Neeson who carries it through to its brilliant conclusion. Strong and sympathetic, Neeson is perhaps the ultimate good-guy and someone you can't help but root for. Likewise, his co-star, Frances McDormand, while underused, plays a big part of the film's success. Because both characters are portrayed so realistically, you believe even the most unbelievable moments of the film.

    True, there are some stale green-screen effects at hand and one can't help but feel the movie moves just a little too fast, but in spite of some minor issues here and there, the film's heart is in the right place. Compared to Tim Burton's "Batman," it is (brace for backlash) a superior and near-perfect superhero film. In fact, when you stack it up against Raimi's far more successful and marketable "Spider-Man" flicks, it still comes out on top.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Very good.
    Published 11 days ago by Douglas Barber
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    This is the best of the Darkman movies. Liam Neeson makes the entire movie worth watching.
    Published 14 days ago by Cris Q
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Interesting story line
    Published 2 months ago by Dianne Kirkpatrick
    5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the extras
    Looking for copy for my own library. Loved the extras.
    Published 2 months ago by Jessica L. Edwards
    4.0 out of 5 stars a worthwhile action classic
    A solid classic comic book style movie the reluctant anti hero super hero with interesting villains, these types of movies are Sam Raimi's specialty!
    Published 2 months ago by Thomas Miess
    4.0 out of 5 stars Movie For True Fans
    If you like loan, you will Love Dark man.... it is Much older than most of his other films, yet he does not just do a cameo appearance nor is he The Mentor for somebody else. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by Eric R. Becker
    5.0 out of 5 stars Darkman
    This is a awesome movie. darkman is awesome. the story is awesome the action is good and the acting is good. I loved liam neeson as darkman. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by David
    5.0 out of 5 stars Another Viscerally Splendid Master-Work from Writer/Director Sam Raimi
    Liam Nesson portrays a superhero…FINALLY!

    Okay so from the minute I heard that Liam Nesson was in this movie, I was excited, then I heard
    that Sam Raimi had Written... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Ian Hutchins
    5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Seriocomic Action/Drama from Sam Raimi
    I am very surprised at the spread of reviews here! (I would have rather expected it to be all fours and fives. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by J. G. Lewis
    4.0 out of 5 stars Sam Raimi at his best
    Great pre Spider-Man Sam Raimi film, and Liam Neeson is fantastic as always in the title role. This film uses great practical FX work before the film industry started to rely on... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Tim Mynhart
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    Topic From this Discussion
    darkman 2 has those actors, jenny agutter has done quite alot of tv and movies , she was in 'logans run' etc. this was a low budget movie , they don't have the money to go back and fix effects from that long ago usually. I just want a good print.
    Apr 12, 2011 by Michael Dobey |  See all 2 posts
    Any Extras?
    little in the way of extras, a documentary and such. no deleted scenes.
    Apr 12, 2011 by Michael Dobey |  See all 2 posts
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