Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995)
Plot: Crime Lord Robert G. Durant (Larry Drake) comes out of his coma and vows to take back the city with the help of a crazy scientist (Lawrence Dane) who constructs a new type of super gun. Dr. Peyton Westlake (Arnold Vosloo) returns as ‘Darkman’ to stop his old nemesis.
I’m going to piss off Sam Raimi fans, but I enjoyed this more than the original. Yea, that’s right. Aside from a couple brief moments, it takes away the goofy elements and random images which I hated. It’s a solid action flick with strong acting all around. I like how Darkman is approached this time. The character is still silly here and there, especially when he yells “Nooooooooooooooo,” but it’s an improvement. He’s accepted his role, and is a confident hero but still persistent in his pursuit of skin tissue regeneration. Although you would think he would have figured out how to replace skin for more than 99 minutes. You’re still dealing this? Come on man. But at least this time he’s not dancing around singing “Look at the dancing freak.” He gets involved with a new doctor, Dr. Brinkman (Jesse Collins), who’s kind of dickish at times if you ask me. In fact a lot of people act like total dicks in this movie. Durant is driving golf balls off the roof into other buildings. I know he’s a bad guy, but come on. What a jackass. Going into this, I thought it was going to be excruciatingly predictable and more of the same Darkman being a Master of Disguise thing, but the movie actually does a great job of surprising me and keeping me on my toes. And it kills characters you think will be important early on. The great moments in the original Darkman are better than the best moments from this, but Darkman II makes up for it by not having the laughable crap from the first one.
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout)
Best Performance: Lawrence Dane as Dr. Alfred Hathaway
-I love this dude! He’s so into his job. How do you not like a guy who sings Glory, Glory Hallelujah after a successful test of a weapon he designed?
Worst Performance: Sten Eirik as Whitey
-He’s got one of the first lines in the film, and overacts the shit out of it. I’m thinking to myself, “Uh-Oh…What am I in for?” But he’s the only crappy actor, thank goodness.
Best Line: “This isn’t science fiction Mr. Perkins. This sir is science faction” –Dr. Hathaway
-Science Faction! That’s awesome. And he says it with so much energy and seriousness. Science Faction…What a great term.
Worst Line: “You forgot to zip your fly Eddie.” –Darkman disguised as Eddie
“Oh…Thanks Bud” –Eddie
-Okay, this is weird. Eddie hasn’t even left the urinal yet and ‘Darkman’ is looking down commenting on the unzipped fly. Eddie is just like, “Whatever man, thanks.” Shouldn’t Eddie be wondering why he’s looking at his pants? If it was in passing down the hallway or something, then okay. But Eddie hasn’t even left the urinal’s atmosphere yet. It’s just a little strange.
-There’s a decent fist fight between Ivan and Darkman disguised as Ivan. This was cool because it reminded me of one of those mirror fights from Mortal Kombat. I hate fighting Johnny Cage as Johnny Cage. When the nut puncher moves collide, it gets ugly.
-Darkman (disguised as Ivan) is given the opportunity to take the mega gun, but he hesitates. I know you want to keep the disguise going and fool Durant, but he could have just taken the gun and destroyed all of his enemies in one shot with this thing. Just do it! Forget the mind games! End it! WTF!
-Ivan arrives at the car place to pick up Durant’s wheels and has a shouting match with the ‘Mechanic.’ The ‘Mechanic’ rolls out from under the car and its Darkman disguised as Ivan. This really caught me off guard, and keep in mind, they had done the Darkman playing other people thing twice already. I knew it would be Darkman, but I didn’t think it would be him as Ivan. I should have known it was coming, but it was a great build up.
-When you have a movie called Darkman II: the Return of Durant and kill him in ho-hum fashion (car blows up), it’s a cop out. That’s the big climactic death? What a let down.
-It’s multiple moments, but the same idea. Although I’m not a big fan of the “Noooooooooooo” yells, I love when Durant and Westlake yell out each other’s name in rage. “Duuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaanttttt!!” “Weeeeeeeessssstttlaaaaaaaaaakkeee!!”
Bad Ass Moment:
-When Darkman knocks out Eddie and slams him into the toilet stall, Eddie’s hand flushes the toilet on impact…Awesome.