A brilliant scientist left for dead returns to exact revenge on the people who burned him alive.A brilliant scientist left for dead returns to exact revenge on the people who burned him alive.A brilliant scientist left for dead returns to exact revenge on the people who burned him alive.
Professor Toru Tanaka
- Chinese Warrior #2
- (as Prof. Toru Tanaka)
Was _very_ impressed -- what could have been a forgettable Z-movie turned out to be something rather profound
This movie might have joined the ranks of the utterly forgettable Z-movies of the genre had it not been for excellent direction, superb characterization, and outstanding acting on the part of Liam Neeson, who played Peyton Westlake/Darkman, and Larry Drake, who played his enemy, the arch-villain, Durant. The movie presents the destruction of a man by a psychopathic monster for utterly trivial reasons -- and makes it clear that however horrifying the physical damage perpetrated on Peyton Westlake by Durant's minions might be, the effect on his soul and spirit is far worse. At the same time, it showed that in spite of what happened to him, Westlake/Darkman was able to rise above it at least enough to choose the life of a giver of justice rather than one of evil, as the physically unscarred drug-lord Durant & Co., the _real_ monsters in this film, had. This film does _not_ glamorize psychopathic, criminal violence in any way, but rather shows it for what it really is: repellant, ugly, and contemptible, destroying life and everything that supports it without a qualm for no better reason than cheap thrills or a very minor profit. This is _not_ a typical Hollywood film, nor just a cheap garage-flick monster movie special. It shows with graphic realism exactly what is left when conscience, civilization, and the rest of the more delicate mechanisms that constitute our humanity are stripped away: pure beastliness, without glamour and without redemption of any sort. -- And it shows, as well, that even when everything is taken from a man, he can rise above it, choose to remain a man, however damaged, rather than sinking down to the level of the beast.
- Jan 30, 2000
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