Apparently the original Darkman grossed just enough money to greenlight a sequel. Well two actually as parts 2 and 3 where filmed back to back. According to some info this was actually filmed after part 3 but released earlier making this part two. It’s not without reason as there would be no returning character in part 2 if they had released it in the direction of filming. Only Robert G. Durant returns from the original cast which makes you probably go… hey, wasn’t he in a helicopter crash part 1?
Yes, he actually was, and to bring us up to speed the opening scene is a recap of the events that took place in part 1 including said helicopter crash. Only alternations in this recap are the images that feature Liam Neeson. He is replaced by Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy) who now plays the titular character. Liam Neeson at the time was doing almost-Oscar-worthy stuff with Spielberg so showing up in a direct-to-video sequel of a pulpstory wasn’t kind of his thing as one might guess. Also not returning is Sam Raimi in the directors chair. He does get executive producing credit meaning he got a cheque to put his name on the title sequence most probably.
Durant has one of those cheap movie-revivals. You know, we saw him getting blown up entirely be it turns out he came out alive and in a coma. Other than a scar and a limp nothing much has happened to the man. Ok, so he takes some pills from time to time but that’s it. Seems like his henchmen got him scraped out of the helicopter and stashed him away secretly and alive all this time. Now, out of his coma, he goes further where he left off; making money the illegal way. Because everybody thinks he’s dead he tries to maintain a low profile. He wants to start some arms-dealing with brandnew high-tech weapons his organisation develops themself. He wants to use a specific building to operate from and it just so happens that the building he picks is owned by a scientist working on celregeneration. Yes, the same technique our man Peyton was working on when he got turned into Darkman. What are the odds right? Peyton even contacts the man and wants to work with him on a working formula. But you guessed it; the man gets killed by Durant and so it’s up to old Darkie to once again put on the masks and get some revenge!
A lower budget and lesser actors make this a far inferior product than the original. Gone are spectacular scenes like hanging from a helicopter and being dragged through traffic. The movie is a basic rehash of the original with these kind of exhibitions removed. We get the occasional shootouts and imposting scenes but they are not so interesting. Arnold Vosloo does what he can with the material but sadly is too bland to impress. The only redeeming factor is Larry Drake, the only actor to return to this installment. His Larry Drake is still a fun character although he is less interesting this time around, which is also the case with the directing. In the original Raimi included shots from the point of view of a nail being shot for instance. Those kind of touches are gone this time. It all looks cheap and uninspired. The little effectswork there is looks in some cases better than it’s predecessor but nowadays it looks dated.
This is DTV-sequel making by the numbers and math isn’t my thing