Crow, The (1994) Review

"The Crow" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"The Crow" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Director: Alex Proyas
Writer: James O’Barr, David J. Schow, John Shirley
Producer: Edward R. Pressman
Cast: Brandon Lee, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, David Patrick Kelly, Angel David, Rochelle Davis, Bai Ling, Laurence Mason, Michael Massee, Bill Raymond, Marco Rodríguez, Sofia Shinas, Anna Levine, Tony Todd, Jon Polito
Running Time: 100 min.

By Numskull

The Crow is a movie full of rare things.

It’s rare for a person to get killed during production, especially the lead actor. But, as I’m sure you’re aware, Brandon Lee died of a gunshot wound before filming was complete.

It’s rare for a movie to enjoy mainstream success when it deals rape, drugs, incest, and people having their eyes removed in various ways. But Shelley Winters gets gang-banged, half the characters abuse controlled substances, Michael Wincott makes it perfectly clear that he bones his sister, and people do indeed have their eyes removed in various ways.

It’s rare for a child actor or actress to actually have talent. But, the girl who plays Sarah (I can’t read her name on the credits because they’re so damn blurry, but I think her first name is Angel) succeeds admirably in her role instead of just being a female Macauly Culkin. You might complain that she’s too dead-eyed and automatonlike, but consider this: when was the last time you saw a kid that age get excited about anything without the word “Pokemon” on it?

It’s rare for a movie to have a strong supporting cast of small names. But here we’ve got a very memorable crew of bad guys (especially Skank, the speed freak who feels like a little worm on a big fuckin’ hook) led by the criminally unknown Michael Wincott (also in Strange Days, a personal favorite of mine). Also there’s Ernie Hudson, who is a hell of a lot better as a beat cop than he was as a Ghostbuster.

Sadly, The Crow is also a movie full of common things.

It’s common for a movie to have some crappy actors mixed in with the good ones Alas, there’s the bartender, there’s MIchael Wincott’s bodyguard guy, and there’s the cop who says “I hate this. They can’t even call it ‘cream’ legally.”

It’s common for a movie to have a soundtrack loaded with over-rated, under-talented MTV sweethearts. Alas, you’ll be subjected to agonizing garbage by the likes of Nine Inch Nails (led by Trent Reznor, the man who loves nothing more than to fiddle with a sound mixer and scream about his penis), Stone Temple Pilots (led by Scott Weiland, the man whose shoe size equals the number of times he’s been busted for heroin), and Rage Against The Machine (led by…well, I don’t know any of the members’ names, but they’ve got that “rap with electric guitars” thing going on and I really, really hate that shit).

It’s common for a movie (or a person, for that matter) to misuse the word “anarchy”. Alas, the line “Disorder…chaos…anarchy…now that’s FUN!” was pulled out of someone’s ass The true meaning of anarchy has about as much to do with “disorder” and “chaos” as Marilyn Manson (and thank God HE’S not on the soundtrack) has to do with “wisdom” and “integrity”.

It’s common for a movie to spawn a really bad sequel. Alas, The Crow: City of Angels came into existence and, well…the less said, the better.

Happily, the pros here outweigh the cons.

Mr. Bona doesn’t seem to be too impressed with Brandon Lee’s acting skills. After watching Rapid Fire I would agree, but I really think his performance in The Crow is solid. Unfortunately, computer images were used to fill in for him after he died, so for certain parts, the techies must share in the credit.

That reminds me. How come there wasn’t more of an uproar about HOW Brandon Lee died instead of the simple fact that he DID? I personally don’t think that “tragedy” and “accident” are valid explanations for a real bullet being placed in a gun that was only supposed to be loaded with blanks. Is anyone with me or did I miss something?

Mr. Bona also doesn’t seem to be too impressed with the special effects during the “Look at my hand and watch the bullet hole magically vanish” scene. That, I cannot dispute.

Surely I’m not the only one who read the graphic novel upon which this movie is based. Does anyone else wish they had included the part where Eric Draven uses Funboy’s blood to write “I KNOW WHY JESUS WEPT, MOTHERFUCKER” on the wall?

A pity.

Oh well.

I like this movie.

My mom liked it, too.

Some of her favorite movies are Home Alone, Sister Act, and Beauty and the Beast (the Disney one).

In spite of that, you should see The Crow if you haven’t done so already. Just don’t go joining any little merchandise-clad subculture, OK?

Numskull’s Rating: 8/10

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