06 January 2012

The Crow 1994 - REVIEW

Let me say I am not a fan of comic books being made into movies, but I can make an exception for The Crow. One of the darker comics made a brilliant transfer to the big screen with Brandon Lee’s breakthrough role, and also his last. While The Crow was a success in the box office it was surrounded by controversy due to the accidental death of Brandon Lee on the set. Lee was shot in the abdomen by an object that was lodged in a gun and passed away shortly thereafter.

On the day before Halloween, also referred to in the movie as Devil’s Night is where our movie begins. Police surround an apartment building were Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas) were murdered. A gang of thugs had barged in with only Shelly at home to clear out the place for eviction. Shelly and Eric had written to the landlord, Top Dollar (Michael Wincott), petitioning the eviction and fighting it. T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly), Funboy (Michael Massee), Skank (Angel David), and Tin Tin (Laurence Mason) proceed to rape and beat Shelly. When Eric walks in he is immediately punctured with a knife thrown at him by Tin Tin. Eric’s body is picked up and flung out the window falling to his death. Shelly was clinging to life for 30 hours in the hospital and then passed away as well. The movie picks up a year later with a crow perched on top of Eric’s gravestone. The crow resurrects Eric so that he may avenge his death and the death of his bride to be Shelly. The crow leads him to a dumpster for shoes and back to his old apartment where he finds clothing and the memories he needs to fuel his revenge on the ones who murdered them and show them the same fate that he met a year ago. “It’s not a good day to be a bad guy”!

The Crow is a very dark film that depicts what happens when you are wronged and given a second chance to make things right. The acting was fantastic. This was tagged as Brandon Lee’s breakthrough role and delivered nothing short of that. Ernie Hudson also has a lead in this movie as a detective demoted to beat cop after spending countless hours trying to solve the murder of Eric and Shelly. All of the villains are veteran actors who were outstanding namely the ring leader Top Dollar. Michael’s deep raspy voice and long flowing dark hair made the creepiness of his character all that more effective.

At the time of his death during the filming of this movie Brandon Lee was my favorite actor. I was 13 years old and very in to the martial arts action movies of the 1990’s. Having heard about Brandon’s demise I was heartbroken. The only thing that could heal this was “more cowbell”. Just kidding! The one thing I needed to bring closure to my favorite actor was to see his last movie, and that I did. On opening night I was with my Dad at the movie theater with popcorn in hand, almost giddy to see The Crow. In my eyes it was nothing short of amazing watching Brandon Lee kick some fucking ass. This became my favorite movies never to be topped by another for me and finally bring closure to me the untimely and tragic death of Brandon Lee. Rest in Peace Brandon. This is one fan who will never forget the short legacy you left behind.

Reviewed by: J.R. Watkins

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