Campy, violent and fun, Sam Raimi's 1990 film DARKMAN is an explosive, wild ride for nearly every one of it's fast 96 minutes.
Liam Neeson is Peyton, a shy scientist in the wrong place at the wrong time when his reporter girlfriend Julie (Frances McDormand) stumbles on a document that unveils some very dirty politics.
Evil Henchman Durant (Larry Drake sporting Spock hair) descends on Peyton's lab with his gang, torturing Peyton and blowing him to smithereens.
Of course, Peyton isn't dead, he's simply blown about 300 yards through the air into the lake in one of many scenes that Raimi (Evil Dead, Spiderman) manages to make hilarious and horrifying at the same time.
His body is horribly disfigured, but he soon applies his technology to create masks and body parts that allow him to plan some very creative havoc and revenge.
Raimi builds in some clever suspense by making sure that you and Peyton both know that his disguises will only last 99 minutes before they turn into bubbling goo.
That ticking timeclock adds to the fun.
Neeson (Rob Roy, Taken) and McDormand (Fargo) both would grow into some of film's finest actors, but their performances here are just as cartoony as the rest of Raimi's cast.
Joel and Ethan Coen also provided a lot of input on the script, which you can see in some of the most twisted laughs.
This is a revenge flick with R rated blood and violence, but tongue planted firmly in cheek.
The final 20 minutes is an operatic explosion of action, chases, final confrontations on top of a skyscraper, heroes hanging from helicopters and Schwarzenegger worthy one-liners.
It's perfectly late 80's/early 90's in all the right ways, with goofy special effects and killer camerawork by Bill Pope (The Matrix, Spiderman 2).
This is arguably Danny Elfman's best music score as well, loading nearly every minute with themes that equal his score for Michael Keaton's debut in Tim Burton's "Batman".
Like Batman, its a tale of a man serving up revenge against evil-doers, but when he takes HIS mask off, Darkman looks like hell, not Bruce Wayne.
DARKMAN is either the most violent comedy ever made or the funniest revenge flick of all time. Either way, its a very enjoyable A-.
Followed by two direct-to-video sequels I've never bothered to watch.
(Film buffs watch closely for brief appearances by Bruce Campbell, Jenny Agutter and Director John Landis.)