← Back to Reviews
In keeping with the past few action movies, I've decided to review an infamous movie and a favourite of mine... sadly, I'm relying on memory and synopsis' from movie websites for this one... been a while since I saw it and my DVD was pinched by a so called mate...

Review #139: The Crow

Eric Draven, a rock musician is hopelessly in love with his wife to be, Shelly. Their life is pretty good considering the scummy city they live in.
During the Devil's Night celebrations, a group of men break into their apartmenty while Eric is out and they brutally rape and beat Shelly within an inch of her life... when Eric returns home and stumbles on the scene, he is brutally murdered... and Shelly is left for dead. She later dies in Hospital from her injuries.

A friend of Shelly's, a young girl called Sarah, witnesses the aftermath of the attack.
One year later, Sarah is visiting the graves of Eric and Shelly and a large Crow appears and lands on Eric's headstone. Sarah overlooks this and carries on with her day...

... afterward though, Eric's body emerges from the grave, not knowing who he is or what has happened. But as Eric's memories begin to return he finds an inner super strength that's connected to The Crow, and he vows to use his powers to send the scum of the city to hell and gain closure on a situation that the Cops are powerless to fix.

Awesome awesome film based on James O'Barr's comic of the same name.
The Crow holds no boundaries when showing the ugly side of the story. It's hard hitting, violent, dark, brooding and hits the nail right on the head when it comes to the softer and more emotional side of the story, particularly Eric's relationship with Sarah and with his love for his murdered fiance Shelly.

The screenplay is also great, the viewer gets a look at a story that has a few subtle levels of playfulness and is relatively simple in plot too, but the overall finished product (though at times uncomfortable to watch with the subject matter) manages to encapsulate the viewer's imagination wonderfully.

The action is absolutely top notch too when it gets going. With the extremely well concieved characters throughout that have a great connection to the audience, the action really comes into it's own.
Even the scenes of Eric torturing and killing his enemies slowly is strangely satisfying.
It's a shame that there's not more of it though, it feels a bit lacking in actual quantity.

Michael Wincott as main antagonist Top Dollar is brilliantly cast. He's cool, calm, calculating and has a genuine menace about him. His costume is also great.
Rochelle Davis as Sarah is a bit hit and miss but she does an apt job.
Ernie Hudson also makes a nice appearance as a Cop who was investigating Eric and Shelly's murder. Eventually becoming a stalwart pal of Eric after Eric returns from the grave.
David Patrick Kelley makes a fantastic appearance as T-Bird, a vicious killer and gang leader.

Now... Brandon Lee as Eric Draven, what the big thing is, is that Brandon was tragically killed performing a stunt for the movie.
One of the blank firing guns used in a particular scene had been used in a test fire, or a practice shot if you will... and a chunk of the Dummy Round had lodged into the barrel. With the crew under time and money constraints, they forgot to check the weapon before reloading it.
Then, during another firing of the gun, the chunk of Blank Bullet dislodged and hit Brandon... he later died in Hospital from the injury.

But looking at Lee in the movie... Lee wasn't known for his acting prowess before The Crow, but his role in the movie made him a superstar in the minds of the populous. His take on the character is fantastic, he's dark, brooding, athletic and certainly believeable as Eric Draven... the scenes of heartbreak and sorrow are also wonderful, Lee's emotions really work well with the story.
It's definitley Lee's best performance, it's just a shame it was his last.

All in all, not a perfect movie and it won't appeal to everyone, especially with the subject matter and the way the movie has been shot style wise...

... but definitely worthy of a watch by anyone who's into their revenge and action movies. The comicbook feel has translated from book to film wonderfully and Brandon Lee, sadly or gladly depending on how you look at it, made his name with this film.
My rating 88%