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In The Dark There Is Hope....(And Some Spoilers),
This review is from: Darkman Trilogy (Darkman / Darkman II: The Return Of Durant / Darkman III: Die Darkman Die) (DVD)
Darkman II was the first Darkman movie I ever saw when I was a kid (on HBO I believe?). In the years since, I have seen all three either on TV and/or a VHS rental. Back in 2008 or 2009, I was walking by the electronic department in Wal-Mart when the trilogy caught my eye in the stand. And for a mere $9 at that.Of course, the box set contains all three movies.
What are these movies about, you may ask? Well the movie's main character is a scientist by the name of Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson in the first, Arnold Vosloo in the sequels) who is working on a revolutionary severe burn related project. Specifically, synthetic skin that completely covers up any burn wound and remains on the person like it's real skin to the point no one can tell the difference.
In the first movie, his girlfriend is a reporter who unfortunately gets on the bad side of a local mob boss, Robert Durant. Durant tracks down a piece of paper he wants to Westlake's lab where the girlfriend forgot it. Durant ultimately has the lab blown up and (thinking) Westlake killed. In reality, the blast blew him from his lab and only severely burned him over most his body.
Westlake is able to break free from his hospital--where his nerves were removed leaving his brain to feed off adrenaline and his body to increase his strength and unfortunately more or less uncontrollable rage--and re-establish his lab to continue his work.
Westlake takes it upon himself to take down Durant in the first two and a businessman who is secretly a drug dealing mob boss.
To do this, Westlake, as his new identity Darkman, can literally look and sound like anyone thanks to his skin project and ability to alter his voice.
All in all, I do really enjoy these (the third, not as much as the first two but...). They're not the greatest movies ever don't get me wrong but still enjoyable enough if you're looking for a straight-on superhero or action movie. Me? I'd say the franchise as a whole is a favorite of mine.
As for Special Features, unfortunately there are none. None at all. I wish they had at least put in the theatrical trailers or something.
Now, the actors. Larry Drakeman is great as the antagonist mob boss Robert Durant. The villain in Die Darkman Die, well, honestly, it was well enough but I don't think you'll find much talk about the character or his performance. Darkman himself? Honestly, I feel that Liam Neeson did a MUCH better job at playing Darkman than Arnold Vosloo. He got the "uncontrollable rage" aspect of the character done much better. Not that Arnold Vosloo was horrible or anything. Only I liked Liam Neeson better.
The last thing I wanted to mention doesn't really have anything to do with anything. One interesting thing to note is that originally, the sequel order was going to be swapped. Meaning that the Return of Durant was originally meant to be the third movie and Die Darkman Die was going to be Darkman 2. Honestly, I wish they had done it that way. I would have preferred the final movie to be Darkman vs Durant considering their history. I hear it changed because Larry Drakeman's schedule became opened. Oh well, what can you do though.
All in all, perhaps not the best but still fairly decent movies.