I remember really wanting to see Darkman 2: The Return of Durant when it came out. I would see previews for it when I would rent movies every weekend. It was also a direct to video release so that meant that I could see it pretty soon after it came out. I don’t remember it getting as much play on TV as the first one but direct to video movies rarely did. It was directed by Bradford May with a screenplay by Steven McKay and story by Robert Eisele and Lawrence Hertzog. It was still produced by Sam Raimi’s production company though, so he didn’t abandon it.
The movie takes place an indeterminate amount of time from the first movie. Peyton Westlake is still working on getting his synthetic skin past 99 minutes. He reads about another scientist that is doing similar work and goes to meet him. His name is David Brinkman and he run afoul of Robert G. Durant by not selling his building to him. Durant survived the helicopter crash from the first movie and has been in a coma since. Durant plans on using new weapons to retake the power that he lost while in a coma. Darkman and Durant buttheads and clash after Brinkman is killed by Durant’s thugs.
The only actor from the first movie to return was Larry Drake. Arnold Vosloo took over the role of Peyton Westlake in this and the next movie. I would go on to know him more for being Imhotep in the Mummy franchise in the 90s. Kim Delaney was also in this as no-nonsense reporter Jill Randall. Renee O’Connor plays Laurie Brinkman, the sister to David Brinkman. I know her best as Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess which was produced by Raimi’s production company.
The biggest downgrade in this movie were the effects. The limited budget did the best that they could with what they had. They don’t stand up all that great now. The practical effects are still quite good but the prosthetic used for when Westlake talks is noticeably stiff and looks odd when he’s talking. That’s really the only thing that I had to say about the prosthetics. The costume and production design are still fantastic.
This has some darkly comedic moments, which are also kind of slapstick which goes along well with a lot of what Raimi does himself. I still really liked it rewatching it again after so long. If you liked the first one and happen to have not seen this I would say you should give it a shot. This isn’t available to watch for free anywhere online. It can be rented or owned on pretty much any of the usual digital storefronts.