Somehow crimelord Robert G. Durant survived the helicopter crash that ended his battle with the disfigured, super-strong scientific genius Peyton Westlake, aka Darkman. Waking from a coma he attempts to return to the top of the criminal fraternity with the help of a mad scientist's new super weapon. But the heroic Darkman has other ideas.
After failing to obtain the rights to The Shadow director Sam Raimi decided to create his own superhero from scratch. The result was Darkman, an enjoyable yarn with an old fashioned flavour and a lush melodramatic score by Danny Elfman. But was there really a huge demand for a sequel? Maybe, as 5 years later this straight to video follow up was released.
Arnold Vosloo assumes the mantle of Peyton Westlake, and whilst replacing Liam Neeson was always going to be tough his portrayal is wholly uncharismatic. As such its hard to care about his predicament, nor that of a fellow scientist who appears to be going through a similar plot arc as Dr. Westlake did first time around. Larry Drake offers some value in the villainous role of Durant, but for the most part this light-on-action offering fails to entertain. There is an inordinate amount of time spent setting up a rather drab plot with a focus on dull dialogue scenes. The most obvious omission is the mentally unstable edge to Darkman's character, a source of much of the original's anarchic tone and visual inventiveness.
Darkman II shuns the carefully balanced pathos and black humour of Raimi's movie, replacing it with forgettable characters and overly familiar plot ideas; viewers eventually get to see the face changing hero assuming his enemies identities. Lacking a discernible directorial style it comes across as a made for tv thriller. The kindest assessment of this superhero sequel would be to label it a cure for insomnia.