Flogging A Dead Crow??
By a customer
from Stirling, Scotland
, 07 Jul 2004
As a fan of the first Crow movie and the comics that started it all, I was interested in the sequels. Where 'The Crow: City Of Angels' offered little for anyone but fans like myself, the third film ('The Crow: Salvation') has acting talent that made it a more promising package.
The lead in the film goes to Eric Mabius ('Resident Evil') as Alex Corvis. Also of note is Kirsten Dunst ('Spider-Man', 'The Virgin Suicides') who has become one of the most recognisable actresses in Hollywood in recent times. In the supporting cast lie such names as William Atherton ('The Last Samurai'), Fred Ward ('Tremors' still his most famous role) and Jodi Lyn O'Keefe ('Another World' TV Series).
Directing the film is Bharat Nalluri who has little previous experience in the directors chair but some will recognise his name from the BBC TV series 'Spooks' and 'Hustle'.
In truth this is the main weakness of the piece. The story is somewhat restrained by the Crow legend (more on that later) and so the direction must be strong enough to create an identity for the film. This just isn't the case as the storyline becomes lost and blurred amongst the 'set-piece' revenge attacks that the series is best known for. Several scenes do carry the story through as Corvis tries to discover the truth behind the death of his girlfriend and ultimately his own demise but these feel like brief moments of clarity amongst an otherwise blurred tale.
Now for the story (spoilers ahead). At the start of the film we find Alex Corvis (Mabius) in his last moments before execution by electric chair for the murder of his girlfriend Lauren (O'Keefe). Her father (Atherton) and sister (Dunst) attend the execution while Corvis continues to protest his innocence until the bitter end. A scene that seems somehow oddly serene compared to the 'chair sequence from 'The Green Mile' (though I'm sure this is more about my own tolerance for violence than the film itself). Corvis' case for innocence was based upon a scarred arm he saw drop the murder weapon before he was knocked out and left to be charged for murder. Immediately following the execution, Corvis is brought back to life as the Crow to find those responsible for his girlfriends death and, ultimately, the man with the scarred arm.
The film retains the long list of suspects who must all be confronted (a court witness list in this case). The Crow is again helped by a friend from his previous life (this time it's the lawyer). Dunst's character plays the cliched un-believer and the inevitable 'damsel-in-distress' (TM). Once again the story requires the 'good-guy' to fall in the final encounter in order that his victory seems all the more 'surprising'. This (as always) stems from the link between Corvis' powers and the crow that ties him to the after-life. The crow is his weakness. As in the first two films the explanation for anyone knowing this is unsatisfactory - here the legend of The Crow has been read by the murderer.
While the first film carried this off, by the 3rd outing it seems that screenwriters and directors have resigned themselves to the limitations of 'The Crow' rather than exploring it's possibilities.
This film is an improvement on the 2nd but is a far cry from the giddy heights of the original. Fans of the series will no doubt look this out but for anyone else the script and acting do not improve the storyline that we have all seen many times before and many times better.
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