Darkman is what you get when your unable to secure the rights to Batman or The Shadow. You get an original “superhero” from the mind of Sam Raimi. An R rated story about a man who gets horribly beaten by a gang of criminals, has a life changing operation, gets revenge on the criminals, and eventually confronts the evil businessman responsible. Oh wait that’s Robocop. Well Darkman still has its own unique style. Although it sounds just as dark as every other superhero movie that came out in the 90’s, the tone is actually very campy and darkly comedic. Similar to the Evil Dead movies it’s sandwiched between. In fact, the role was intended for Bruce Campbell, but it ended up going to Liam Neeson instead. Making this his first action role.
Darkman is about a scientist named Peyton Westlake who creates a synthetic second skin. A gang led by Durant leaves him horribly burned and disfigured. After which he gains superhuman strength and an immunity to pain, but he also loses his mind. Going on a gleeful quest for revenge that requires the use of his second skin to frame the criminals that wronged him. While at the same time trying to win back his girlfriend Julie.
His appearance is like a cross between The Phantom of the Opera and the Invisible Man. As he himself gradually becomes a monster. My parents were actually the ones who introduced me to the movie. They frequently quoted lines that they thought were funny. The most infamous one involving a pink elephant at a carnival. The most impressive action scene involves Darkman swinging from a helicopter. Really a lot of moments are similar to Raimi’s mainstream superhero flick Spider-Man. Darkman is just as underrated as it sounds.