Monday, November 24, 2014

The Crow

Movie Name: The Crow
Year of Release: 1994
Director: Alex Proyas
Stars: Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Bai Ling, Anna Thomson, David Patrick Kelly, Angel David, Laurence Mason, Michael Massee, Tony Todd, Jon Polito
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Alex Proyas' "The Crow" premiered in 1994 surrounded by a tragic aura, due to the untimely death of the lead actor Brandon Lee, while shooting the film. The Australian director had made a name for himself directing music videos and shorts, but "The Crow" was his introduction to the Hollywood factory. The film is an adaptation of James O'Barr's comic book, and follows the story of Eric Draven, a young musician, who alongside his fiancee, gets brutally murdered (around Halloween). He is supernaturally brought back to life by a crow, and what follows is his quest to exact revenge upon everyone who killed him and his loved one. His bloodthirsty quest takes him to the local crime lord, who wants to stop him at any cost.
Unlike most comic book adaptations from the early 90s, "The Crow" deliberately went for a darker look and tone, creating a sense of tragic and impending doom in most of the characters that populate the story. Alex Proyas' aesthetic which he further developed in "Dark City" was perfectly suited for this story, where the city feels almost post-apocalyptic (we never know which city it is) - the cinematography also adds to the look of that despair and ultimate hopelessness. "The Crow" successfully manages to be an exciting comic book adaptation, while retaining a sense of identity, and a sense of urgency, something that most comic book adaptations haven't really touched (so far). The film also benefits from a perfect casting - Brandon Lee is charismatic and his character has touches of longing, despair, rage and determination, and the soundtrack is fantastic (it features songs from Nine Inch Nails, Jane Siberry and The Cure, to name but a few). A great film always worth revisiting!