Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Crow (1994, Alex Proyas)

I was in middle school when The Crow came out.  I remember all of my friends loved it.  I remember Brandon Lee's tragic death while filming it.  I remember Stone Temple Pilots performing Big Empty on MTV Unplugged.  I wanted to see it so bad but my mother wouldn't let me see R rated movies.  Ho hum.  I did eventually see it shortly after it came out on video and I thought it was OK but it didn't live up to my expectations.

The Crow is the story of Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), a musician who was murdered along with his fiance by a group of thugs.  One year later, Eric is brought back to life by a mysterious crow to get revenge on the killers, led by Top Dollar (Michael Wincott).  Police Officer Albrecht (Ernie Hudson) and a young girl (Rochelle Davis) befriend Eric in his quest to settle the score.

I'm not really sure what I didn't like about The Crow the first time I saw it.  I think maybe I was actually too young.  This film is really dark and gritty, which serves the material perfectly.  I read the graphic novel shortly after watching it again and other than a few minor details, the film was fairly true to the source.  Alex Proyas does a magnificent job on the bleakness of the film's cityscape setting.  I haven't seen his film Dark City yet, but I've heard it is also very dark.  Though Brandon Lee can't really act, there is something about him that works with the title character.  I think mainly it's his look and background in action because he does very well in the fight sequences.  Also of note are David Patrick Kelly as T-Bird, one of the thugs.  He shows that he has lost none of the creepiness that made him the stand out of such favorites as The Warriors and Dreamscape.  Michael Wincott, who I liked from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Three Musketeers and Alien: Resurrection, also does a great job as the head crime boss (with a terrible hairdo).

RATING:  8/10

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