Filmed back to back with part 2 with part 2 being actually filmed later but released a year apart. What’s up with part III you might ask that it was shelved all this time? Is it that bad? No, but it isn’t really good either…
Arnold Vosloo will never be a really great actor. He might be a scary mummy, but he’s not a great hero. His Darkman is bland. Just watch the dream sequence where he starts dancing around like a prancing pony singing something like “I breaked the 99 minute barrier tralalalala”. What the fuck!? That’s some shitty acting. The monologue over the openingcredits is another fine example of his crap performing. The guys just hasn’t got a menacing voice. I don’t know why I didn’t address this in my review of Darkman II, maybe it wasn’t that obvious or Vosloo got his game on over time while performing the role (remember this was filmed earlier).
His opponent, who receives top-billing, is Jeff Fahey. Now Arnold Vosloo might not have been the greatest actor on the planet, but playing the titular character twice and both time not recieving top-billing. That’s an insult. Michael Keaton played Batman, but had to let the top-billing go to Nicholson, but in Batman Returns it was his name on top.
Now Jeff Fahey goes out over-the-top playing a deliciously evil druglord. How evil is he? Well he cheats on his wife, even with the maid of honor during the wedding-reception and neglects his ± 10 year old daughter entirely. What an asshole!
So this time around Darkman has a new opponent. This one is a druglord who wants to move to new territory; steroids. Who needs guns when you have your fists or something like that he blurs… I’d like to see the first sniper using his fist instead of a rifle. In order to get those steroids he turns to Dr. Bridget Thorne (Darlanne Fluegel, who after this movie took a 12 year, 14 actually considering it was filmed in 1994, hiatus) who was one of the doctors who did surgery in Darkman 1. of course true to the Darkman movies they didn’t use the original actor from part 1, but it was a bit part so I guess you don’t really notice. Well she tracks him down and promises him that she could repair his nerves once more and make him feel again. of course it’s all a lie and he is just being used for donating his evolved adrenaline which gives him his strength so she and Fahey can create supersteroids. Yeah, laugh all you will, next year you’ll be ordering it by phone just because Chuck Norris is endorsing it on one of those infomercials!
This is the point where the movie starts derailing. Darkman is down, in surgery and instead of killing him afterwards they let him live and plant a device to his spine so that whenever they want they can just give him a surge which brings him to his knees. Why do that? He’s your enemy, he’s dangerous, he stole a $ 100.000,- from you. Ehm, yeah letting him live is probably the smartest way to go. He’ll never get that device out of his body!
5 minutes of self-surgery later…
So he’s on the loose again and they both know where the other is. Darkman does his usual spying and photographing. Fahey eventually goes to Darkman’s lair. But as soon as Darkman flees the scene he doesn’t even go to any trouble to actually reaching the lair. If it was my enemy I would go there, rig the entire place with explosives and let them do their thing when he returns.
Fahey does his part of the villain nicely but it’s not one of the smartest characters he’s ever played.
There’s also a subplot in which Darkman takes over Fahey’s Identity and starts developing feeling for his nemesis’ wife and daughter. Even resulting in a sacrifice he makes. But that’s just in the last 20-30 minutes or so… They could have trimmed the first hour and expanded on that development, now it feels rushed.
Now I’ve got one more thing to mention. In the opening-monologue, Darkman tells us “Now, Crime Has a New Enemy, And Justice Has a New Face!”. Ok, but he isn’t really doing any real vigilante-work. I mean, he rips of drugdealers but that’s just so he can buy equipment to help him perfect his formula. He’s not stopping robberies or anything. It’s all personal… Only in the last 15 minutes or so he starts to do something for other people than just form himself so the monologue should actually be the epilogue.
So Darkman III is watchable, but not memorable and I suggest you only buy it if you can get the trilogy-box cheap.