Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995)
Darkman and Durant return and they hate each other as much as ever. This time, Durant has plans to take over the city's drug trade using high-tech weaponry. Darkman must step in and try to stop Durant once and for all.
The greatest movie ever made..!
Instead, you get a movie that's enjoyable enough, but leaves you feeling like it could have been much, much more.
There is definitely an excellent idea hidden in the background of the film. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find it.
It's more of the same from the Renaissance stable, except where the first film had a unique visual style and ferocity thanks to director Sam Raimi, a journeyman director brings nothing new to this movie and only succeeds in ripping off his predecessor. The story has been changed to make way for new characters here but it's still the same hijinks with Darkman disguising himself and infiltrating the enemy camp just as he has done previously. They even throw in a scientist torture scene almost exactly the same as the one in the original.Liam Neeson had become too big a star for a low budget movie like this in the four years since the first film, so the lead role was taken by Arnold Vosloo, who had already made an impact as the villainous henchman in Van Damme's excellent HARD TARGET. To be fair, I've always liked Vosloo in his films, even if his acting ability is somewhat limited. The only problem is that he doesn't bring much in the way of freshness to the role, instead happily copying Neeson's performance in every possible way. Larry Drake also returns from the first one as the film's villain and gives a great, hissably evil pantomime performance with lots of one liners in his own inimitable style, and he's the best thing in this film. I just wish they could explain how he escaped from inside an exploding helicopter with only a few scars.As for Drake's henchmen, they don't have personalities and are just there to look cool and imposing, which they do. Some of the performers show a surprising comic touch but nobody really shines. Female interest comes from the familiar Kim Delaney, as a cocky reporter, and Renee O'Connor, better known these days as Gabrielle from XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. It's interesting to watch O'Connor in a different role but you quickly realise why she has been relegated to just one television series instead of becoming a major star: she's an actress just impossible to take seriously! There are enough explosions, fights, shoot-outs and basic plot intrigue to make this watchable, but in all it's a bit of a mess. If only they had added to Darkman's character instead of giving him a few one-liners to convey his suffering which are just variations on Neeson's script. We don't learn anything new about any of the characters at all here, we just watch their actions, there's no depth which at least the original had. By all accounts the third film in this series is even worse, so it's probably best give that one a miss as well. This is a passable but disappointing film which just comes across as a slapdash rehash of the superior DARKMAN more than anything else.
not bad at all for a sequel,, personally i thought that it would ab solutely suck without liam neeson, well i was wrong arnold vosloo does a very credible job in this one. the storyline is very good also,, i was wondering how was darkman gonna get durant this time, in the day and age of cgi and today's movie superheroes , it's very nice to know we have darkman from the 1990's to fall back on,, it's seem like for this storyline anyway that less is more,, meaning less or no cgi is better than all of that stuff that you see today. larry drake returns as durant and is as evil as ever,, he is just such a great bad guy,, maybe not as bad as his role as the evil dentist,, but still he's a villain you sure don't wanna mess, with ,, vosloo is very credible as darkman,, so all in all a very decent sequel to watch for all.
I remember back in 1996, when I saw this one, being pretty disappointed. Because this movie lacks the grandeur of the original. It felt like a lesser movie, and in a way it is of course. But re-watching it, learned me to re-appreciate it, and I now even like it more than back then. It is a darn decent sequel, if you ask me. What it lacks are some heavy-weight emotional aspects of the Darkman (provided in the first one because of his love-interest), therefor the revenge-theme is bit thinner here. It also, clearly lacks a budget of the same size as the first one, making it look a little less impressive. Other than that, the movie delivers as far as most of its predecessor's characteristics go. I must add, however, if you were to take the Darkman himself out of this movie, you'd just end up with a pretty mediocre, run-of-the-mill action movie, truly worthy of the direct-to-video status. But, fortunately, he's still in it, and Darkman only still is the sole reason we watch these movies, now don't we? This time (and this might be a disappointment to many), Dr. Peyton Westlake is played by Arnold Vosloo. At the time of my first time viewing, I didn't like this very much. Now, I can only conclude Vosloo does a more than decent job stepping in Neeson's footsteps. A nice touch in the script, was having Peyton set up his laboratory on a new location, underground this time. The writers did a very good thing by bringing back Larry Drake as Durant (he's just so mean! :) and having him team up with a mad scientist/weapons inventor. Good thing too, in the plot, was having Darkman, at one point team up with a fellow scientist (Dr. Brinkman) to try and perfect his liquid skin techniques. When, later in the movie, he finds Dr. Brinkman murdered and his dreams smashed to pieces, all the agony of similar things happening to him once come back... and it's Darkman's Revenge Time again! Sadly, this movie is lacking an enjoyable climax in the end. The ending itself doesn't necessarily hint at a sequel, but it leaves the door open saying: this might turn into an on-going series.
The first movie "Darkman", directed by Sam Raimi, was also already made in a B-movie kind of style but in the fun and comic book type of B-movie. The kind of style all Sam Raimi movies till some extend have in them. But this movie is just made in a bad B-movie kind of way, with some horrible dialog, lacking editing and simple camera compositions. It actually shows how uniquely talented Sam Raimi is, with his hard to copy style.And how is Durant still alive in this one? I remember that the helicopter crash from the first "Darkman" movie in which Durant died was one of the most fatal looking once out of movie history. It exploded like a balloon, with an enormous blast. No way that it's credible that anyone walked away from that one. But yet somehow had the bright idea for this sequel to let Durant return. And come on, he wasn't even the 'main' villain in the first "Darkman" movie but yet they show him in this movie as one of the biggest crime bosses in the country. But of course the Durant character is Larry Drake's greatest role and he is one of the bes movie villains out of recent movie history. So it didn't mind seeing Larry Drake reprise his role from the first movie, although I would had of course preferred a more creative solution to let his character return.The story as a whole was a disappointing aspect of the movie. I was shocked at how simple and without ambition it was. It somehow even features a group of Neo-Nazi's and a crazy professor. The most thrilling aspects in the movie are the recycled sequences from the first movie, in which Westlake takes over the identity of the henchman of Durant. What I did liked about the movie was that it showed more as a crime fighter with morals this time. It was not just a revenge movie this time.The movie and its characters are still all portrayed in an over-the-top comic book kind of way but it this time doesn't really work out as good as in the first movie, which is I think also partly due to the obvious lower budget of the movie.With this movie Arnold Vosloo shows he's a good actor, although his South African accent is too notable in the movie. It's good for most of his roles but just not suitable for Dr. Peyton Westlake. He is fine as Darkman though and he obviously carefully looked at how Liam Neeson played the character previously. Also Larry Drake shines again although he also was struggling with delivering some of the badly written dialog. Not even he could make it sound good and believable. Most of the other new characters are all mostly just disappointing ones, not to mention the horrible actors that portray them all.A disappointing movie that could had worked but just doesn't ever does so, which can for most part be blamed on the script.4/10http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/