LEAGUE OF FORGOTTEN HEROES: Blankman (1994)

Daryl and Kevin Walker (Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier) are brothers who grew up idolizing Batman, watching the 1960’s show and dressing up and playacting crime fighting. As their neighborhood deteriorated around them, Kevin became a cameraman. Daryl may be a simple man-child, but he excels at repairing and inventing things. And he may have never given up on his dreams of being a superhero.

He finally gives in to his dreams after his grandmother (Lynne Thigpen, the Chief on TV’s Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?)  is killed by a mobster. Despite nearly getting killed several times, Daryl becomes the media sensation known as Blankman.

He even gets a love interest — Kimberly Jonez (Robin Givens) — whose kisses reduce him to a quivering mess. However, not everything is easy. Minelli’s gang attacks a bank and takes the mayor hostage, tying him up and rigging the building with explosives. But Blankman can’t stop every bomb and is forced to run, causing him to give up on his superheroic dreams and going to work at McDonald’s.

Kevin’s boss Larry Stone (Jason Alexander) uses Kimberly to get an exclusive interview with Minelli. But the mobster takes over the station, so Kevin convinces Blankman to come back and stop the man who killed their grandmother. Kevin even gets his own superheroic identity as the “Other Guy.” And, of course, they save the day.

Blankman has really inventive set design, as Daryl’s inventions are string together pieces of junk that somehow work. This film is kind of/sort of a spinoff of the In Living Color superhero that Wayans played named Handi-Man. That character was as un-PC as you can get and Blankman softens down the very rough edges.

This is a time capsule of the 1990’s and worth digging up to enjoy. You can find it relatively cheap in used DVD stores and streaming on Brown Sugar.

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