The Crow Reviews
The Crow is a moody, action-packed revenge flick that's also well shot and boasts a killer soundtrack.
Former rock guitarist Eric Draven is killed alongside his fiancee by a gritty assassin gang. A year later, on the night before Halloween, he returns donning black and white makeup and an invincibility powered by a crow. Appropriately calling himself The Crow, Draven goes after his fiancee's killers one by one and catching up with old friends and enemies.
The Crow is amazing. Suggested to me by a friend who considers this one of his favorite films, The Crow opens up so many doors for a triumphant trilogy that is plagued by the sudden death of main actor Brandon Lee and some horrible sequels in later years. The Crow is not a superhero film, despite superpowers - it is a gritty, ultra dark action film with a badass main character, and it perfects what it achieves. The Crow as a character isn't the same old vigilante story or an old superhero story - what makes The Crow so great is that he is practically unstoppable and could work perfectly as a hero or a villain, showing Joker-like charms here and there but also a Batman-like vengeance. Lee's performance as The Crow is so spot on and I would have loved to see more of his work. The world of The Crow is like that of Sin City mixed with a little bit of Gotham City - ultra dark, plagued by crime and inefficient police forces but with a dependable yet flawed vigilante hero to save the day. The Crow lays the foundations for coolness - it's gritty, it goes beyond boundaries, it's grungy - it's perfect. But what about those sequels...maybe I should review them, too...
1994 was an interesting year, and the film is in many ways a product of its time. The special effects leave something to be desired, but the movie is still slick, and looks great, particularly the explosions, fire scenes, and grotesque presumptuously justified serial-killer-like acts of vengeance that Brandon Lee inflicts on a group of Detroit scum bags. Another sign of the times is that there is a lot of cigarette smoking in the film, but an effort is made to let the audience know that smoking is bad. It's as if big tobacco was holding on to their influence but just about to lose grip.
The Crow works because it takes a lot of the rebirth/revenge material that worked great in Robocop and makes it new. Specifically, there is a great structure of villains in this movie. The mid-range villains did the dirty deed, but by the end of the movie, the evil is exposed up to the top, and each level of villain is well cast and dies an appropriate death.
Another note, The Crow features two of my favorite character actors, Tony Todd (Candyman) and John Polito (Miller's Crossing). They are both usually worth watching, and this film is no exception.
20 years later, this movie is still fresh, and has a lot to offer. Brandon Lee had a real stage presence, and used unlimited-round-filled-double-pistols as well as anyone this side of JCVD. It's a damn shame that we couldn't have seen more of his films. In case you're looking for something else of his to watch, go for Rapid Fire or Showdown in Little Tokyo - don't even bother with Laser Mission...seriously.
There is a story that the soul is taken to heaven by crows, but sometimes, when something awful happened to the soul before it dies, the crow can let the soul return to Earth. When a couple in love are raped and murdered the soul of the man is brought back to life to obtain revenge on the men responsible for his death.
"Sometimes the crow can bring that soul back to make the wrong things right."
Alex Proyas, director of Dark City; I, Robot; Knowing; Garage Days; and the upcoming Gods of Egypt, delivers The Crow. The storyline for this picture presents some unique elements for the genre. The action scenes are well done and the acting is entertaining. The cast includes Brandon Lee, Ernie Hudson, Tony Todd, Anna Levine, Michael Wincott, and Bai Ling.
"Is that gasoline I smell?"
These were all recently added to Netflix so I added the series. I always enjoyed the first film in this series that has some added quality due to the Brandon Lee nostalgia tied to it (likely his best film). This isn't perfect, but fun in a Punisher or Spawn kind of way. I recommend giving this a viewing for fans of action pictures.
"I feel like a little worm on a big hook."