The Crow - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Crow Reviews

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½ April 10, 2017
Terrific film that is often overshadowed by it's notoriety over Brandon Lee's unfortunate death. Based on the cult comic by James O'Barr, this film, adapted by splatterpunk writer David J. Schow, is true to it's source material, but director Alex Proyas, in his feature film debut, unmistakably leave his mark on the film. The story has Lee and his girlfriend are murdered by gang members, but Lee is resurrected as an avenging angel, or crow, who then seeks his revenge upon those who killed him and raped and murdered his girlfriend. Lee gives a strong performance in a part that easily could have been swallowed up under all the make-up, atmosphere, and action. With this as his final film appearance, it's purely speculative, but I really do believe this would have been his breakout film and would have made him a huge star. Besides Lee the film is bolstered by a strong supporting cast that includes Michael Wincott (who was all over the place in the 90s, but seems to have since disappeared), the underused Ernie Hudson, Bai Ling, Anna Thomson, the great David Patrick Kelly, Tony Todd, and Jon Polito. Production designer Alex McDowell also gets big props for his contribution to the film's moody fell, as does cinematographer Dariusz Wolski. Graeme Revell provides a terrific score that I regularly listen to to this day, but I think one of the major heroes of this film is the soundtrack, led off by the title song by The Cure. Back in the day I played this soundtrack endlessness. Some of the tracks, particularly the grunge ones, don't hold up so well (i.e. Stone Temple Pilots or For Love Not Lisa), but others like The Cure, Rage Against The Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Rollins Band, and even My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult still hold up. It's a killer soundtrack and is once again on high rotation in my car. The soundtrack alone should earn this film another star. But overall, this is a smart, scrappy, dark fantasy, that does deserve it's cult following.
½ March 28, 2017
I've been meaning to get around to this movie for awhile, but always worried it would be hard to watch knowing what happened to Brandon Lee while filming. However I think the story is good enough to engage you early, so I never thought about it after the first few minutes. The story was written brilliantly to grip you from basically the first frames of film and make you care about the protagonist's journey.

I've seen revenge thrillers before, so there wasn't much new or special in this one. Well, aside from the fact that it's a zombie empowered by a crow that's seeking revenge. I was worried that the abilities Eric possessed were going to make things anticlimactic, because he was too powerful, but I still felt the tension in his confrontations. The simple voiceover at the beginning was all I needed to explain the origin of his powers, and I like that they didn't talk about it at all after that narration.

I was worried about Brandon Lee's performance in some of the early scenes because it seemed like he went a little over-the-top in his first few scenes. But the way he plays the more toned down moments showed me he had skill, and was just making some bold decisions to start. Ernie Hudson was a perfectly-cast costar. There's something about his delivery that makes me accept the fact that he's a cop who is good at his job despite never telling The Crow to stop killing people.

The villains were more of a struggle. I mean, I understand that a good climax needs a big bad that is more important than all the enemies that came before, but the way they got there was ridiculous. The big problem is that Michael Wincott's character (Top Dollar? Seriously?) didn't participate in the original crime and The Crow didn't care about his masterminding that crime. So in order to create an exciting climax Top Dollar had to continuously behave illogically and against his own character.

The Crow is a good film that has a dark tone for a reason. It seems like every franchise is shooting for dark-and-gritty nowadays, but here's a movie that truly needed it to fit the story. It's a good movie, despite some flaws in the third act. I also wish they had pushed the fight choreography a little more, because I thought Brandon Lee could have delivered more. It's not really a flaw, just feels like a missed opportunity. But, considering the major tragedy that happened during filming, it's hard to know what else was planned. I'll gladly watch The Crow again anytime.
March 23, 2017
3/22/2017: I love this movie. An interesting story with some good action. Brandon Lee was great in this role.
March 20, 2017
One of my most favourite films...
March 20, 2017
Not like the comic, bad supporting cast and terrible script.
½ March 18, 2017
Despite the death of Brandon Lee hanging over this film it is still a solid dark fantasy action film which is based on a comic book and one of the main reasons it is so good is because of Lee as the main character Draven. Visually it looks great (though a few CGI parts look dated), I like the way it is edited, the rest of the cast is decent, the action is stellar and the score and the majority of the soundtrack is great. Plot and script may be somewhat on the basic side but it is functional and not awful.
March 2, 2017
A fast-paced, hyper-violent cult favorite, "The Crow" adds up to a "Death Wish"-style vigilante revenge flick with a supernatural twist, an unexpected amount of humor, and visuals that look like they're from a 90s punk rock music video.
February 12, 2017
Super cool movie and I still listen to the soundtrack.
½ January 29, 2017
Haunting, and full of aesthetic appeal and meaningful relationships. Worth watching for sure!
½ January 21, 2017
Probably would have liked it more if I watched it 7 or 8 years ago, but I definitely thought it was good.
½ January 14, 2017
The Crow is directed by Alex Proyas, and it stars Brandon Lee and Ernie Hudson in a dark fantasy action adaptation of the comic book with the same name about a rock and roll man that came out of the grave and is avenging himself and his girlfriend by going after the guys that killed him and his girlfriend. I remember this movie from my young years to now because my mom has a copy of the film that's on VHS, even though I don't have a VHS receiver anymore, and my mom has a tattoo of the logo of the film. There's a remake going on development which I don't think is a good idea because this movie made an impact with lots of people that watch this as the film that made Brandon Lee famous, while also sadly making this his last after the accident that happened. So after watching this for the first time, it's a little better than when my friend kept mentioning Rocky Horror Picture Show, and it's been more than a decade that I know about this movie. Brandon Lee gives a terrific performance that it's really sad to see that this will be the only thing that he's well-known for as he's got the talent and it would've rise up from his career. The visual effects look great as most of it is practical, and the way they tried to film the scenes by putting Brandon's stunt double in while putting CGI on his face to look like him, I seriously thought that Brandon was still in the movie, and it also gives in to his advantage that it always takes place in the dark, so you could hardly tell if that's his stunt double or Brandon Lee himself. The action scenes are fun, and I thought the writing is great, while also being fun too from the bad guys' saying. There were some criticism about the lack of plot, and while I understand about that as it's just a typical revenge story, I was still interested about what's going on, and the dark world that they made also gave the plot more of a benefit to it. The one thing that I do agree with however, is the lack of characterization. The main character has enough of it though, Ernie Hudson's character has some backstory to it, but there wasn't much to Sarah's character, and the main bad guy, I barely know what he's all about other then he's having fun going against Brandon Lee. Other then that though, The Crow is a really great movie that paid its tribute very well to Brandon Lee.
January 11, 2017
I used to watch this film pretty much on repeat as a long haired teenager but it's easy to see why, there's a lot to enjoy here. It captures the grunge-era of the early 90's perfectly and the script is snappy, funny and never particularly too serious. Brandon Lee is great and the tragedy of his on-set death obviously helped to catapult this film above mere rental sales. Wincott gets all the best lines though as the the sinister, incestuous baddie, well worth a re-watch.
½ November 27, 2016
Doesn't have a strong plot. Lots of unanswered questions.
½ November 21, 2016
Superb comic book adaptation thanks to a excellent lead performance & brilliant direction by Alex Proyas. With the years putting the distance between Brandon Lee's tragic death on set, one can now appreciate how good his performance was. While Lee had already shown his star ability in previous films (notably the action vehicle "Rapid Fire"), it was this film that truly showed his range, from drama to romance to comedy (he is surprisingly funny in this dark role). It's the kind of performance to makes his death that much more tragic (similar to Heath Ledger after "The Dark Knight") as you were seeing a truly talented actor come into his own with his abilities. Lee does great support from the rest of the cast, with the always reliable Ernie Hudson as the cop helping him while Michael Wincott is sinister as the main villain (add in Tony Todd as his henchman & Bat Ling as his creepy sister/lover/advisor, and you have a pretty formidable enemy). Behind the camera, Alex Proyas adapts James O'Barr's comic superbly, keeping with the style though changing some plot elements (O'Barr reportedly loved it). He mainly keeps the nihilistic atmosphere of the comic, as Eric Draven's mission is purely revenge, even if you could argue killing these criminals would leave the world a better place. The vision of Detroit is strangely gorgeous as well (though probably nicer than Detroit today) and an almost apocalyptic atmosphere to the movie. Overall, one of the best comic adaptations to date, and since it takes place during Halloween, a perfect addition to any October/Halloween rotation.
November 19, 2016
One of the best movies I've ever seen! Loved Brandon Lee in this one.
November 14, 2016
This is a great movie, their talking about rebooting it. I really hope they don't, it will probably be horrible.
November 11, 2016
It's probably the darkest movie I've ever seen, both in theme and tone. The Crow is a film that is stylish, yet somber. However, Brandon Lee's performance is what makes it the classic it's become.
October 31, 2016
Stunning to watch, even after all these years.
October 29, 2016
It's an annual viewing of The Crow, a low-budget film based on a graphic novel by Jay O'Barr ("graphc novel" is what we used to call "comics" back in the day). Starring Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee... it was supposed to be an early film for a young actor who was still learning, and sadly the low-budget included a laxity in safety precautions. Brandon Lee didn't live to see this film, he died from an accident with a prop gun that had enough in the barrel to sever an artery in his abdomen (the scene is NOT in the movie, it was edited out). For those of us of a certain age who had the soundtrack permanently cemented into our car cassette players, this movie is a sentimental journey as well as a great story. Brandon Lee is very good as a very dead Eric Draven, killed the night before his wedding by a bunch of henchmen for one of the most entertainingly evil bosses thought up in a long while (Michael Wincott is as always fantastic). Eric climbs out of his grave a year later, seeking revenge for his murder as well as that of his fiancée, Shelly. He finds he's indestructible, and also manages to reconnect (as much as a dead guy can) with a teen he and Shelly were looking after, a street urchin on a skateboard. Eric also seems to have a large raven who can "see" for him, and is his spirit animal, his connection to the living world as he attempts to get revenge. Guys, if your partner wants you to go as The Crow for Halloween, you're getting laid. Brandon Lee was every Goth girl's dream man (whether we'd admit it or not); he's handsome, and definitely was on his way to a comfortable career as his acting skills, comedic timing, physical dexterity, and commitment to his character are all evident. In a few small parts, he gets to let his mask down and his scenes with Ernie Hudson are really touching. He would've been big as an action star probably, but could've expanded to other things with that face. The soundtrack fits very well with the dark atmosphere and time period this film represents. This is NOT a kiddie flick, it's violent and there is some really disgusting drug use and details that can make adults cringe... This one is for devil's Night, or Halloween for moody teens. At the end of the film is a dedication "To Brandon and Eliza"... Lee and his fiancée in real life were planning their wedding after the movie wrapped. It's still a great movie for its genre... it holds up. The sequels all blow, so avoid them, even if you're an Iggy Pop fan (he must've needed the money !).
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