Blankman

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The desire to defend the innocent and punish the guilty has always been inside Darryl Walker (Damon Wayans), even when he was a youngster. But Darryl doesn’t want to be a lawyer or politician, he wants to becomes a real life superhero, one who can right all of the wrongs in the world, or at least solve local problems. He and his brother Kevin (David Alan Grier) used to watch the Batman television series all the time and while Kevin loved it too, he took a more serious outlook toward life, while Darryl daydreamed. In addition to his daydreams however, Darryl also has a knack for inventions and when he manages to create a bulletproof liquid, he realizes the time has come to become the superhero he has dreamed about. So he puts together a costume, soaks it in the bulletproof serum, throws together some other useful gadgets and turns into the newest crimefighter in town, Blankman. But is Darryl’s dream just that, leaving him to embarrass himself, or will he really be able to perform the services of a true superhero?

I’ve always liked Blankman, but most of my friends can’t stand it, so I guess is sort of a “love it or hate it” kind of picture. I’ll never claim that this is a masterwork of cinema or anything, but I do think it is hilarious at times and has a ton of memorable moments, characters, and of course, repeatable catch phrases. And in a silly comedic movie like Blankman, those elements are crucial to the film’s success, if you ask me. Of course, you have to appreciate the outlandish antics of Damon Wayans and the often outrageous material, which puts the main characters into some unbelievable, but highly humorous situations. So you can’t approach Blankman with any kind of seriousness, as it is based on a silly premise and uses a liberal dose of crude humor, mixed with a mild romantic angle, but I doubt anyone would look for the romance here. No, Blankman won’t pull the strings on us all, but if you’re a fans of Wayans and want to see a fun, clueless comedic film, then I more than recommend this release. I do think Columbia should have done more with this disc, but with a rock bottom asking price, the value is still more than evident.

The main reason Blankman works is the performance of Damon Wayans, who also helped pen the film’s screenplay. You can tell he is comfortable with the material, as he plays Darryl in a natural, believable fashion that really enhances the experience. I especially love his scenes with David Alan Grier, as their bond seems sincere and their banter provides a lot of laughs, including one hilarious sequence involving the Sucrets communication devices. Wayans has a knack for playing warm, ambitious simpletons and that is just what is called for here, although the simpleton refers to social skills in this case, not brain power. His mannerisms and speech seem on the mark also, as well as his reaction and affection for the various inventions, very humorous stuff indeed. Other films with Wayans include Bamboozled, The Last Boy Scout, Mo’ Money, Major Payne, and The Great White Hype. The cast also includes David Alan Grier (Jumanji, 15 Minutes), Robin Givens (Boomerang, Book of Love, and Jason Alexander (Shallow Hal, Pretty Woman).

Video: How does it look?

Blankman is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition also included on the disc’s flip side. This is a more than solid transfer for a catalog release, with a clean source print and no serious flaws to report. I do wish the image were a little sharper at times, but detail is eons better than the laserdisc and as such, I won’t complain too much. The colors are bold and never slip up, while contrast is smooth and well balanced also. A few small defects aside, this is an acceptable, effective visual presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

You’ll find a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track here, but don’t expect too much in terms of dynamic presence or surround use. This is due to the material, which is driven by dialogue and low impact effects, so no real need is there for intense surround use, though some scenes do let the speakers tee off, which is nice. The dialogue is crisp and consistent in terms of volume balance, so no worries in the least arise in that respect. This disc also includes 2.0 surround options in English and French, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, and Thai, so plenty of choices there.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.

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