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Darkman – 1990 Raimi
- Darkman is just Sam Raimi’s fourth film and it is a worthy effort. It comes in 1990, the year after Batman, and with Darkman using a Danny Elfman score and obviously living in the same subgenre (this would happen again with Spider Man), it is hard not think of Tim Burton’s work.
- At the 20-minute mark, Raimi uses a superimposed transition from Frances McDormand (playing Julie Hastings- the love interest of Liam Neeson’s Peyton Westlake- and this is far from the best work of either actor). As always, Raimi blends the dark mood with comedy- “All they found was an ear- it didn’t take long to bury that”.
- At the 27-minute mark there is a nice sewer drain to eyeball graphic match dissolve
- This predates Guillermo del Toro (Cronos is 1993) but it is a compliment to Raimi that large section of this film could pass for a del Toro film. There is also a film firmly rooted in the 1930s Universal Studio monster films as well- like The Invisible Man (1933). The montages used here are not modern at all- but homages to these earlier films- like Neeson’s Westlake experimenting scene.
- The greatest composition in the film is spotlight coming in as Westlake discovers the perfect lair for his work (above).
- Some of the action special effects (this is the auteur behind The Evil Dead films of course) is played for laughs- it is fun- but it does take some of the teeth out of the drama and story.
- The little Bruce Campbell cameo end is a miss- I get that he and Raimi are buddies (he wanted Campbell for the lead I guess), and he wants to get him in the film- but it is distracting.
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 1990