Tyche | Simi Valley, CA USA | 03/29/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The lack of Liam neeson and raimi's directing is what ruined this movie for me. While Mr. Vasloo is superb in his taking on the burden of the Liam created character and mr. Drake always has appeal, the movie as a whole needed a much better script. It was too predicatble, too phoney.
On the bonus side, they did manage to keep the hapahazard and crazy comments Darkman makes during chases and fight scenes in tact, so that was a plus."
Durant Might Be Back But Nobody Else Is
Richard Ross | 07/18/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's been about 10 years since I saw Sam Raimi's original 'Darkman' but I decided to give this direct-to-video sequel a try for a number of reasons. First off it stars one of my favorite villains, Arnold Vosloo ('Hard Target' which was also produced by Raimi and Robert Tapert), second it also features the super sexy Kim Delaney ('NYPD Blue') and finally it was only a $1 brand new. As a movie it's pretty terrible due to its over-the-top and cartoonish nature. But as a comic book movie it's very entertaining. It tries very hard (and occasionally succeeds) to recapture the style and spirit of the original.
Now that Peyton Westlake (Vosloo) has defeated his mortal enemy Durant (Larry Drake) he can focus all his energy into his life's work - creating a synthetic mask that will cover his horribly disfigured face. The only problem is that in all of his experiments he can never get the mask to last longer than 99 minutes. Peyton joins forces with a fellow scientist who's also working to create a synthetic mask. His experiments have been more successful since his mask can last for nearly 3 hours. Before these two can perfect the mask, the scientist is murdered by Durant who wants to inherit the scientist's giant warehouse and conduct his own experiments. (Even though Durant was killed in a helicopter explosion in the first film, he somehow managed to survive with only minor scars and debilitating migraines to show for it.) In an effort to corner the arms market, Durant has also joined forces with a scientist, only this one is working on an atomic laser gun which Durant plans to sell to rival dealers in the hopes that they'll wipe each other out with the new super-weapon. With both Westlake and Durant scrambling to complete their experiments it's only a matter of time before their paths cross and they realize the other one is still alive. After this inevitably happens, there's only one person Peyton can trust - an ambitious reporter named Rachel (Delaney).
Like I said the film is totally campy and over-the-top but in a good way. These are precisely the elements you look for in a good comic book movie. With the exception of some subpar special effects the film looks good. There's lots of dark alleyways, spooky thunder and lightning and loud explosions to jolt the senses. The action scenes, as low key as they are, rely on archive footage from the first film a bit too heavily. One of that film's best gags, Peyton creating a Durant mask to infiltrate his inner circle, is repeated here twice but with Durant's henchmen this time. The script makes up for any inconsistencies by supplying an endless amount of great one liners, most of them delivered by Drake. If there is such a thing as a best performance it would probably be him. He seems to genuinely be enjoying the chance to recreate the elegant and eccentric title character. Vosloo, in a rare leading role, does an okay job as Westlake. He doesn't fare as well as Darkman though constantly screaming "Durant!" at the top of his lungs and smashing his fists on whatever hard surface is in front of him for added dramatic effect. Delaney is given the least to do out of anyone. But she's super beautiful to look at. That seems to be the theme of the film - no matter how dumb things get or over-the-top they are, there's always something visually interesting to look at."