Monday, September 19, 2011

The Crow [1994]

Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Sofia Shinas
Genre: Action
Rating: General
Comment: "While the acting may be B-movie material, the cinematography did more than enough to disguise the fact..."


Rock musician Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) awakens from his grave on a dark and stormy night, totally disoriented and puzzled as he makes his way back to his apartment, while being accompanied by a mysterious crow. Draven then begin to have flashbacks of what happened exactly a year earlier, reliving the rape of his fiancee and the subsequent murder of himself and her by a gang of thugs. With the crow as his guide, Draven roams the realm of the living once more with vengeance on his mind.

What to Expect
1. A haunting but beautiful cinematography
2. A soundtrack that complements the atmosphere
3. A rather straightforward action flick

What NOT to Expect
1. The acting to be as intense as its premise

Before I go any further, do understand that I am not picking on a dead guy. Bruce Lee was one of the very few people whom I would consider as my idol, so by extension his son gets some respect from me as well. No doubt, Brandon Lee possessed an admirable physical prowess, enough to earn him that status of a credible action star in his own right. All I'm saying is, it never went beyond that and his acting was okay at best.

But that in no way hampered the movie watching experience because the strength of this movie came from its haunting atmosphere, thanks to its cinematography. It had all that Gothic feel of a Tim Burton movie, minus the plain weirdness.

This movie was directed by Alex Proyas, whose name I recognised from having seen 2004's I, Robot. Remember how that movie was also visually-pleasing and how he showcased his good eye for action. But concerns might arise from thinking that I, Robot had all the benefits of film-making technology absent in the early '90s. Well, turns out that such concerns were unfounded at all because... Well, all the best action flicks were made without George Lucas-esque CGI, remember?

Immediately noticeable was the extensive use of the colours deep red and black, and while I completely despised the look on My Chemical Romance wannabes, the colours did wonders for this movie. Like I said earlier, there was only so much that Brandon Lee could do, he's not really an actor to begin with and the task got even more difficult since he had to work behind heavy make-up. Not to mention his character was also draped in shadows half the time.

But it all worked out, trust me.

Look out for this scene. It was particularly powerful...
The only reason why I put so much emphasis on the acting was because I personally think that it was the only flaw hindering it from being a complete masterpiece. It's a classic as it is, that's for sure. But a masterpiece it is not. If you saw Seven Pounds [2008] starring Will Smith, then you would know what kind of acting I was hoping The Crow had. Both main characters were in agony, but only one of them made it show, and it wasn't Eric Draven.

But all the same, this is a movie I would recommend you add into your "Must Watch" list. There's something in it for everyone; it's unpretentious, there's love, revenge, the cool factor, and a whole lot of action.


Aaron Christopher said...

This is a such a triumphant film and the book is just as amazing.

Mamü Vies said...

I'd like to try reading the book too one of these days. They say it was more intense and disturbing than the movie.

Aaron Christopher said...

The book has a bit more depth to it. It's mostly because of the time that the format allows. A special edition of the book was just released, but from my understanding, there may have been new material added to it, but a lot of what made the original great was taking out. I just ordered a new copy of it from the first printing. I would definitely check it out.

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