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Blankman is a 1994 superhero parody film, directed by Mike Binder. It features a nerdy amateur inventor trying to start a superhero career.
Darryl Walker (Damon Wayans) is an appliance repairman with a gift for inventing. He has a tendency to observe life through rose-colored glasses, failing to notice the urban decay, political corruption and police indifference surrounding him (not even realizing that his flat is right next door to a crack-house), in stark contrast to politically-active Grandma Walker (Lynne Thigpen), his own grandmother. Grandma is a key figure in the political campaign of mayoral candidate Marvin Harris (Christopher Lawford), who is running on an anti-corruption platform; this results in Grandma's assassination by order of local mob boss Michael "The Suit" Minelli (Jon Polito).
Finally aware of what's going on around him, Darryl becomes determined to fight crime, at first in a low-key way, helping an old woman against a mugger. But he quickly decides this is not enough. So he creates an arsenal of weapons and gadgets, puts on a ridiculous suit and starts his one-man crusade. He is soon joined by his brother Kevin (David Alan Grier), a news cameraman with a decidedly down-to-earth view. He acts as Darryl's advisor, determined not to let his brother get killed.
The cast is soon rounded by a love interest to both brothers, television reporter Kimberly Johns (Robin Givens). The press dubs Darryl as "Blankman." At first Blankman is merely helping civilians and facing various thugs. But then takes his first high-profile case: Minelli's gang has taken Mayor Harris hostage in a bank, threatening to detonate explosives if their terms are not met. Blankman intervenes, sends the gang running...but fails to disarm the explosives. The popular Mayor is killed, the bank is destroyed and Blankman barely escapes with his life.
Now the public turns on the failed hero and Minelli is out for blood. He abducts Kimberly to lure Blankman to his location. This motivates even Kevin to put on a superhero costume, as imaginatively-named sidekick "Other Guy." All is set for a final battle.
The film was intended to be an Affectionate Parody of various films portraying Superman and Batman, but reviewers noted it was "surprisingly mild on good laughs." The deaths of Grandma and Mayor Harris were hardly humorous material, and several other scenes were often amusing but not laugh-out-loud material. Much of the better humor curiously came from Straight Man Kevin's reaction to extraordinary situations. The film was not particularly successful critically or commercially, though it did earn $7,941,977 in the U.S. box office. It was only the 122nd most successful film of its year. The film seems to be better remembered by those interested in the entire Superhero film genre, rather than the general audience.
- Ascended Fanboy: Darryl
- Back-to-Back Badasses
- Badass Normal: Kevin
- Bald of Evil: A twofer -- Kevin's boss Mr. Stone and Minelli.
- Big Damn Heroes
- Big No: Done to humorous effect by Darryl after J-5 gets destroyed by a bomb.
- Black and Nerdy: Darryl
- Bungling Inventor: Darryl again.
- Crazy Prepared: Darryl built a robot designed to, among other things, safely contain explosives out of junk!
- Da Editor: Kevin's boss Mr. Stone.
- Death by Origin Story: Darryl and Kevin's grandmother.
- Decision Darts
- Deconstruction: Blankman, like Kick-Ass many years after it, shows how much danger a person can put himself through if they decide to go fighting crime without any formal training. Without Kevin, Darryl would have been dead during the first night.
- Also, the bank robbery scene points out how ridiculous it is for law enforcement to entrust their job to a caped crusader with odd gadgets; an obvious riff towards the concept of Batman.
- Demoted to Extra: Kevin's seen this way to the public. They literally call him "Other Guy."
- Diabolical Mastermind: Minelli. Blankman even calls him a "diabolical fiend."
- Disposable Woman: Grandma Walker dies early in the film.
- Damsel in Distress: Kimberly. And it is only when she is in danger that both brothers get serious.
- Domino Mask: OTHER GUY wears one (Blankman wears a sock or something).
- The Dragon: Sammy the Blade for Minelli.
- Evil Is Stylish: Minelli
- Gadgeteer Genius: Darryl himself.
- Genre Savvy
- Hollywood Nerd
- Homemade Inventions
- Hot Scoop: Kimberly
- I Know Karate: Kevin
- Jizzed in My Pants: Darryl, after Kimberly gives him a "thank you" kiss.
- Jumped At the Call
- Just Trying to Help
- Let's Get Dangerous: Blankman remains somewhat inept throughout the film. Including losing battles to thugs. But by the final battle, he is motivated enough to take down said thugs and their boss with relative ease.
- Love Triangle: Both Darryl and Kevin are in love with Kimberly.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted by Blankman. Not only is he about to faint when Kimberly kisses him, but when he heroically proclaims his intentions to make the world a safer place for his children, Kevin observes:
Kevin: Your children? You've got to be with a woman first! You've got to knock some boots, man! You're a virgin!
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The save attempt resulting in Mayor Harris' death.
- To be fair though they didn't know he had more then one bomb before it was too late. The point of that scene was to show that even superheroes can't save everyone.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Mayor Harris.
- Robot Buddy: J-5
- Rollerblade Good: Blankman uses jet-powered roller blades to catch up with Minelli.
- Sacrificial Lion: Mayor Harris.
- Screaming Birth
- Secret Keeper: At first, Kevin is the only one to know that Blankman and Darryl are the same person.
- The finale reveals that Kimberly had deduced it on her own, but willingly kept silent about it.
- Sidekick: The Other Guy.
- Something Else Also Rises
- Stuffed Into the Fridge: Somewhat subverted. Grandma is murdered, all right, but not to send a message to either of her grandsons. She was targeted for her own activities. By that point, Minelli probably had no idea said grandsons existed.
- Tempting Fate: Knowing Darryl made the costumes bulletproof, Kevin - as Other Guy - gleefully mocks all the mooks with guns. Then he gets shot in the shoulder, for you see, Blankman only made his own costume bulletproof.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Played straight.
- Vigilante Man: Averted. Even when angry, Blankman isn't trying to kill anyone.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?