Darkman (1990)

When you want to make a superhero film but can’t get the rights to the character you want, no need to fret: just come up with your own character instead. Worked quite well for Sam Raimi in this case. We’re delving once again into the murky waters of Brendan’s DVD collection, and surfacing with another film that, like Freddy Got Fingered, I would probably never have thought to watch were it not picked for me by him. Unlike Freddy, though, I actually liked this and it probably would’ve been my loss. While watching it, I found myself unable to resist imagining how it might be remade today, cos it seems like the sort of thing Hollywood would remake now with a $200m budget, CGI and probably 3D… and yet it probably wouldn’t be as much fun, cos it’d likely also be about an hour longer. I think there is still much to be said for a film like this which doesn’t waste time getting down to brass tacks and doing what it needs to do without waffling on. It’s preposterous, obviously, but all superhero films are in some way, and this one is a lot of fun along the way, revolving around a scientist who is burned hideously, saved by an operation that leaves him impervious to pain but also slightly mad. And I do admire Sam Raimi for having the courage to go for the unhappy ending despite test audiences not liking it; no doubt the studio would’ve urged him to reconsider it, but I’m pleased that he didn’t. I daresay that’s something else that would be “improved upon” if it were remade now…

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