Darc
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Darc

Netflix frequenters must remember the Jared Leto-starrer The Outsider that released earlier this year. It raised more than a few eyebrows because May The Devil Take You of its alleged cultural appropriation. It charted Leto’s gradual rise through the ranks of the Yakuza, Japan’s much mythologised organised crime syndicate. But its gravest crime was its shallow narrative, which the filmmakers tried to hide beneath the lustre and grime of the city streets. Darc, the new Netflix release, replaces Leto with an unknown face, throws a cartload of action sequences into the mix and comes up with a by-the-book tale of revenge littered with corpses that uses frenetic editing to make up for its lack of drama.

Darc is the story of a comic book obsessed kid who witnesses his mother’s murder at the hands of a Yakuza boss. An Interpol cop bails him out of prison Like Father so he can help rescue his daughter who’s been kidnapped by the same Yakuza family. The kid has now grown into Darc, a name he takes after his favourite comic book hero. Our protagonist is the silent, brooding type, one among hundreds proliferating in this genre, and seems indestructible. Everyone, including, of course, the women and the director himself, recognise this immediately and ensure that he makes his way into the crime family as smoothly as a knife through butter. There’s the black sheep of the family who relies on him to prove a point to his father, in effect clearing the way for Darc to achieve his ultimate aim, and following it up with a mildly tragic end.

So far, so average. Only, Darc is white, and so are a lot of players in this film, including rivals who resemble biker gang cutouts, the strippers and the cops. Puerile references are made at intervals to Japanese-Chinese rivalries, drug businesses and all Suspiria the other shady dealing that goes on under the garb of honest business work. One gets the impression that the director was under the spell of all the stereotypes that define the genre while he worked on the film. That, or he chose to focus on plodding through the narrative interludes that led to the fighting set-pieces that truly are the saviours and the highlight of the film. For the action is decently choreographed and, if it weren’t surrounded by cardboard characters on all sides, could well have made for an interesting film.

Duration: 97 min

Release:

IMDb: 5.8

Darc
Darc
Darc
Darc