Monday, August 9, 2010

Crow, The - 4.5/5

"Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is" - T-Bird

"The Crow" is a film that defines what was the best cult material that came out of the early 90s. Based on the underground graphic novel, this film plays out in an over the top revenge flick that flows like the early 90s rock, grunge, and metal that graces its soundtrack. Its dark, violent, and often humored look at the gang culture and red tape surrounding justice just deepen the supernatural based and heart filled tale that has left its mark on cinema. This is one of the best films of the 90s hands down and one of my personal favorites of all time.

Eric Draven (Lee) has a bone to pick with a few gang members in Detroit. One year ago on the night before Halloween, deemed Devil's Night, he watched his fiance raped and beaten to death before he was thrown from a six story window. With the help of a crow that was supposed to carry his soul to the afterlife, he has returned with a few new powers, to avenge his life and the life of his beloved. Draven is going to make this Devil's Night one to remember...and never forget.

There is something about "The Crow" that makes the film a riveting and action packed watch, but also insanely haunting. I'm not only talking about Brandon Lee's stellar performance as Eric Draven (which is haunting also in the sense knowing that he died making this role), but the general atmosphere and viscerally visual style of the film. This movie just seethes with Gothic thick tension. Maybe its the rain washed out streets of Detroit at night. Maybe its the clever comic book like shots. Maybe its the odd use of color (mostly reds and blues for the intense flashbacks) and its dreary use of blacks, whites, and grays for reality. Maybe its simply the heart heavy story of revenge and the supernatural in an anarchic world that tries so hard to set things right. All of these things build together to make this atmosphere that is so heavy and so hopeful that to pull yourself out you have to finish the movie. This atmosphere could single handily make this film work.

On top of its snazzy directing and visual tour de force look, "The Crow" carries great energy for such a heavy movie and dialogue that keeps one glued to the screen with anticipation. It also has some great quotable moments without trying at all ("Victims; aren't we all") and the way that the film plays out feels very quick paced despite a slew of secondary characters. "The Crow" just rocks and rolls like leather clad and theatrical anti-hero it follows and the insanely fitting soundtrack that it plays.

"The Crow" is honestly one of the best comic book movies ever crafted. Its dark and its atmospheric, but at the same time remains quickly paced and littered with great action moments. The dialogue rocks, the soundtrack never feels forced, and Brandon Lee will forever be frozen in his career at his highlight as Eric Draven. If there is one film that defines the best of the early 90s in cult cinema, its "The Crow". 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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