‘Darkness Of Man’ Ending Explained: Was Russell Hatch Working For A Drug Kingpin?


Jean-Claude Van Damme ruled the late ‘80s and the ‘90s with films like Bloodsport, Double Impact, and Hard Target. His more recent work in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, and The Last Mercenary were pretty fun too. But, much like every other action star in their twilight years, Van Damme has struggled to stick to his action roots while acting his age. Darkness of Man, by James Cullen Bressack, doesn’t help his case, as he is made to narrate everything that’s happening on the screen in the dullest fashion possible, thereby bringing the pace of the film to a standstill. Hardcore Van Damme fans will probably be glad to see him take out some goons in gory and gnarly ways for a total of 15 minutes. However, I’m afraid they’ll find the journey to the end of the film to be quite tedious. Anyway, let’s talk about it.

Spoiler Alert

What Is The Film About?

The story (which has been written by Van Damme, Bressack, and Alethea Hnatko-Cho) holds back a lot of information and reveals stuff at regular intervals. In a better movie, this would’ve been interesting. Since that’s not the case in Darkness of Man, I’m just going to lay out the blueprint in a chronological fashion. Basically, Los Angeles was being ruled by the Russians and the Koreans. Russell Hatch was an Interpol agent, and back in the day, he was working with CIA (or LAPD) agent Yates to track down the head of the Korean gang. A Korean woman called Esther, whose husband had been killed under mysterious circumstances, came to Russell and asked him to protect her son. She ratted out the rest of the gang, which eventually led to her death. 

So, Russell took on the responsibility of chaperoning Esther’s son, Jayden, and transporting the donations collected by Jayden’s grandfather, Mr. Kim, to the local church. Suddenly, Russell started noticing that Mr. Kim’s shop was being attacked by Kim’s younger son, Dae Hyun, as well as the Russians. After a violent run-in with the Russians as well as the Koreans, Dae Hyun finally sat down with Russell to reveal that the Russian kingpin Lazar (this is the second character called Lazar that I’m seeing this year after Abigail) was encroaching on the areas that the Koreans operated from. Lazar wanted to take over Kim’s shop because it was a good spot to operate from. Since Dae Hyun was feeling territorial, he was trying to keep Jayden close to him, thereby ruining his future. Russell thought that if he took out Lazar, then Dae Hyun would focus on his business again instead of trying to influence Jayden. 

Was Russell Hatch working for a drug kingpin?

Russell used his drug-dealing neighbor, Chris, to get to his Flakka supplier, who turned out to be Dae Hyun, and took Jayden away from him and his minions. When Russell revealed the truth about his relationship with Esther, Jayden disappeared, and Russell was attacked by the Russians. Assuming that it was the Russians who had taken Jayden, Russell went after a guy called Alexei. He revealed that Lazar had no interest in Mr. Kim and advised Russell to focus on Dae Hyun. Since Alexei had served his purpose and was responsible for the deaths of five of Russell’s colleagues, Russell blew his brains out (it was a really good mix of practical and digital effects). Instead of paying attention to what Alexei said, Russell went after Lazar and assaulted him until his guts spilled out of his body. While taking his last breath, Lazar pointed out that Russell was unintentionally working for the drug kingpin of Los Angeles, Mr. Kim. 

The old man was using Russell’s affection for the late Esther and her son, Jayden, to get him to supply the aforementioned Flakka to the church, which was actually a front for the L.A. drug business. And now, via Dae Hyun, Kim used Russell to eliminate his number one competitor. So, after recovering from his altercation with Lazar, Russell went after Dae Hyun, who was busy forcing Jayden to pick up some bad habits. Russell told Jayden that Dae Hyun was the one who had killed his father due to some complicated internal strife, thereby prompting Jayden to kill Dae Hyun. Russell killed the rest of Dae Hyun’s men and made yet another miraculous recovery.

In Darkness of Man‘s ending, Russell wore a wire and proved that Mr. Kim was a drug lord masquerading as a meek shop owner. He gave the recording to Yates, parted ways with his girlfriend, Claire, and his neighbor, Chris, took on a new identity (Mark Hale), and drove off into the sunset with Jayden.

What Happens In The Mid-Credits Scene?

Believe it or not, Darkness of Man indeed has a mid-credits scene. It takes place one year after the events of the film in a restaurant in New Mexico, where Russell (or Hale), Jayden, and Claire are seen sharing a cup of ice cream. That’s it. I thought you should know in case you switched off the film as soon as the credits started rolling. You can say that this scene sets up a sequel where Hale, Jayden, and Claire’s hard-fought life of peace is going to be disturbed by members of the Korean gang or the Russian gang because they want revenge after the destruction of their drug nexus. But I’ll advise you not to wait with bated breath for it because Darkness of Man doesn’t seem to have the juice to attract a sequel. However, if enough JCVD fans watch it, maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see yet another wannabe noir action thriller from the crazy, visionary mind of James Cullen Bressack.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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