Darkman | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Writer-director Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead and its sequel) hits the big time with a fantasy thriller about a scientist (Liam Neeson) disfigured by villains, who transforms himself into a grisly avenger, unable to feel pain and getting angrier by the minute. Raimi's flair for jazzy visual effects and extravagant action sequences, combined with direction that is full of punch and energy, makes this the best pop roller-coaster ride around. Unlike Tim Burton's work on Batman, this shows a sensibility that really likes and understands comic books (although echoes of such classics as Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame aren't far behind, and be prepared for a fair amount of nastiness and gore). Frances McDormand plays the hero's dour girlfriend, and Raimi collaborated with Chuck Pfarrer, Ivan Raimi, Daniel Goldin, and Joshua Goldin on the script. With Colin Friels and Larry Drake. (Biograph, Bricktown Square, Burnham Plaza, Edens, Lincoln Village, McClurg Court, Ford City, Evanston, Hyde Park, Bel-Air Drive-In, Double Drive-In)

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