A film about a musician, Eric Draven, who is brutally murdered, along with his fiancé, Shelly Webster, who comes back from the dead 1 year later for revenge.
Eric Draven, a man who comes back from the dead in order to exact revenge against a gang who murdered him, and raped and murdered his wife, 1 day before their wedding. He comes back confused and weary and seems unsure what is happening.
The film starts off just as the murders happened, and the past is shown through flashbacks that Eric has, or maybe they aren’t flashbacks. It seems that Eric doesn’t remember a lot at the start, it’s when he touches certain things, it’s like he takes the feelings and memories from objects that were strongly connected to him, so it’s as if he’s having these memories for the first time. Sometimes the memories are so strong and sad that it makes Eric succumb to grief and collapse to his knees; the pain of remembering the murders so vividly, as if reliving them all over again.
Eric gains a variety of powers, most notably the power of immortality, and high-speed regeneration. We see throughout the film, that he slowly gains more, he reads people’s minds, better reflexes, even the ability to extract drugs from someone’s system. He uses these powers to also help a few people who are close to him, but no one else.
Eric is focused on revenge, aside from helping a few friends, he is focused on nothing else. He isn’t a hero that brings safety to the people, saving them, stopping the criminals, he just wants to kill those who killed him. It even seems like he will return to the dead once he’s got his revenge, he isn’t in this for the greater good, he doesn’t care about cleaning up the city, he cares about the deaths of those who killed him, and if anyone gets in his way, he doesn’t mind killing them.
The film’s setting is in Detroit, stylised to look dark and foreboding, it seems like it never stops raining. The streets are covered in litter and filth, the shadows covering most of it, showing us the faintest parts of the city, only when what little light there is casts itself. The film really looks and feels like a dark and edgy comic book movie, and Eric really feels like he is torn right out of comic book pages.
The film gives us an action fantasy with style and a character which is only motivated by his desire for revenge, which is different from most superhero characters. While Eric is ruthless and almost falls into the trap of becoming just as bad as his enemies, his enemies are far worse, and you’ll still be rooting for Eric all the way.