Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Colin Friels, Larry Drake, Nelson Mashita, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, Rafael H. Robledo, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi
More info: IMDb
Tagline: They destroyed everthing he had, everything he was. Now, crime has a new enemy and justice has a new face.
Plot: Peyton Westlake (Neeson) is a scientist who has discovered a way to produce synthetic skin. This could revolutionise skin grafting, except for one minor glitch; the synthetic skin degrades after 100 minutes of exposure to light. When gangsters attack Peyton, he is horrifically burnt, and assumed dead. In his quest for revenge, Peyton, aka the Darkman, is able to take on the appearance of anyone (using the synthetic skin,) but he's only got 100 minutes per disguise.
My rating: 9/10
Will I watch it again? Duh.
I've always heard that Sam Raimi had his heart set on directing BATMAN (1989) and that when that honor went to Tim Burton, he set out to make his own damn comic book movie and, in my opinion, he made a better one and he even used Burton's go-to composer, Danny Elfman. This was back when Elfman could do no wrong and was cranking out great scores with wonderful themes left and right. This picture is no exception.
The story hits all the right beats. There's humor (Raimi's style of funny is just...hilarious), action, horror, sci-fi goodness and a 90 minute thrill ride that's exactly what a good action hero comic movie should be. I adore this movie and it's just icing on the cake that Raimi's favorite chin-god, Bruce Campbell, shows up for a brief cameo just before the credits roll. Too bad he didn't end up in the sequels, which I haven't seen a single one...yet. I know they're not going to come close to being as fun as this one but I need to take the plunge already and just do it.