Not only is this my favorite Schwarzenegger movie (at least, I’m pretty sure it is), but it was also one of my favorite movies from around that time. Even now, it’s still so much fun to watch, and it’s great to see that the practical effects still look so cool — sure, they don’t come off as realistic anymore, but there’s something really satisfying about them, that you just don’t get from the early days of CG (which I guess I’ll be hitting when I start re-watching films from later in the 90s). I’ll admit that I even liked the 2012 remake, but it’s definitely in no way better than the original.
I’ve always thought this was the weakest of the three. After the madcap thrills of all the time jumping we got in the second one, turning the last one into what ends up being a “comedy western” felt lazy. Re-watching it now — and maybe it’s because I was in the ideal mood to watch it — I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. The characters, the mood, the silly action, it all amounts to a plain ol’ good time.
My favorite thing about this movie is the presence of David Cronenberg in one of the main roles — sure, his acting isn’t all that great, but I just love seeing him on screen. The directing here is a bit weird — I’m pretty sure it was Clive Barker’s directorial debut — but I like this movie, with all its weirdness. I’ve generally always liked Barker’s brand of horror — the horror of the flesh that we know from Hellraiser — and it’s here, but weirdly with a more positive vibe. I wasn’t really sure if I was still going to like this or not, but I think I ended up enjoying it even more than expected. It’s not necessarily a great film, but there’s something very watchable about it.
I seem to remember this sequel being a pretty big disappointment at the time, that it just wasn’t really funny or interesting. Revisiting it now, maybe it’s because I went in with those low expectations, but I ended up having a pretty good time watching it. It just feels so end-of-the-80s (basically, they’ve got the 80s action-comedy formula to a tee), with all the visual style we’ve come to expect from Walter Hill films. And hey, there were some funny bits here and there, and the action is decent. Gotta love UZI shoot ups in night clubs.
I remember really liking Darkman back in the day. Watching it now, there’s still a lot to like in it — and for me it’s really all of the manic sequences that pop up throughout, my favorite being the one where he dances around with the tin hat, which feels so Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness-ish. What I like are the Raimi-isms you get, and the rest is a bit of bore — the first 30 minutes or so of the movie are especially slowgoing, and it was really only in the second half that I was getting into it. It was fun to revisit though.
I decided to kick off my 1990 movie marathon with this for some reason. I seem to remember that it didn’t get a great reaction when it originally came out, mostly because of the lack of Arnie, but I think it was interesting to do something so different for the sequel, and to use a completely different setting (city instead of jungle). I didn’t remember the Robocop-like media parody though. The film came out in 1990, but it’s set in the far future of 1997, with everyone seemingly having a gun (and futuristic guns at that), and Morton Downey Jr. hosting an exploitive tabloid news show. As for the movie itself, it was alright, but I think it’s mostly let down by the direction — there’s an action sequence set in subway cars that’s especially annoying because it’s constantly strobing and you can’t tell what’s going on, and it lasts 5-10 minutes.