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Darkman

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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.

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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


Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • 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
    • Dubbed: French
    • 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 (145 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783226012
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,858 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Darkman" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Stephen B. O'Blenis on January 5, 2006
    Format: DVD
    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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    17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 27, 2002
    Format: DVD
    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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    30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By M. Daneker on 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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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frank Ponce on February 3, 2004
    Format: DVD
    If your wondering what the title of my review means, it's because "Darkman" was a favorite movie of mine growing up. I think I was three or four years old when I saw it over and over again. Pretty young, huh? Anyway, "Darkman" is a twisted story of revenge and is entertaining thrill-ride from start to finish.
    Director Sam Raimi, future commander of the "Spider-Man" blockbuster, shows us his talents by writing the screenplay of a dark tale that goes like this: an attorney named Julie (Frances McDormand) stumbles upon cover-up real estate dealings, then hoodlums brutally attack her scientist beau, Peyton Westlake(Liam Neeson) and leave him for dead. But Peyton miraculously lives, and is taken as a John Doe at a hospital. The obscure patient is yielded to breakthough, but extreme therapy which insenates his nerves to feelings and enhances his strength and emotions. Then Peyton unexpectedly awakens and escapes the hospital. He builds a dilapidated lab in an abandoned industrial plant. His terribly burned skin from the lab accident prompts him to develop synthetic skin in order to impersonate the thugs who horribly disfigured him. His revenge gives him a sign of life when he visits his love, Julie, who thought he died.
    I thought it was an intriging plot, and the cinematography and fantastic score by Danny Elfman are highlights. I also loved the character Peyton, aka Darkman. He's a haunted soul and the ultimate anti-hero who can't view himself in the world because of his horribly scared skin. There's also great directing by Raimi, who balances suspense, action and moments of humor.
    I'll always cherish "Darkman" because I never get sick of it. It will always be one of my favorite movies because it was a bear in memory from my childhood.
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    Confusing...
    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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