Dark Avenger (1990) mini review

superhero film not based on a comic

Throw in 3 parts Batman (vigilante dressed in dark, using high tech gadgets, keeping an eye on the local insane asylum), 2 parts Darkman (scarred vigilante dressed in black hat and trenchcoat), and you've got the TV movie Dark Avenger (released the same year as Darkman).

In Dark Avenger, a judge (Leigh Lawson) is scarred by a police captain (Hector Elizondo), who is in cahoots with the local Commissioner (Robert Vaughn). Believed to be dead, the judge puts on a mask and leads the life of a vigilante.

While it seems like the filmmakers attempted to make a noirish vigilante film with some interesting cinematography and editing, the movie can't be saved from bad writing, terrible acting, and worse directing. I should have realized it was made for television when I saw the opening credits that looked like they were made on someone's PC. In its defense, I guess, it kept me interested enough to not want to keep fast forwarding through it, but I won't be recommending it to anyone anytime soon.

It does contain an interesting cast. Hector Elizondo is a prolific character actor who includes a few comic titles in his resume (he was recently in the Princess Diaries movies, but also did voices for Justice League and Batman cartoons and video games and a role in Tales from the Crypt) and Robert Vaughn has had a pretty good career (to include superhero properties like Superman III and Pootie Tang). Other cast members include Ken Jenkins (famous as Dr. Kelso in Scrubs), Thora Birch (Ghost World) - in one of her first parts, Aki Aleong (the upcoming Superhero!), Victor Bevine (a part in Birds of Prey), and Tony Amendola (El Muerto: The Dead One, Lois & Clark, and voices in the HBO Spawn animated series).

See it if you're having trouble falling asleep.

Don't see it if you'd rather see great comic book cinematic masterpieces like Daredevil or Ghost Rider.

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