Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Crow (1994)

14 years after its original release, and the movie still holds up well! This inspite of watching dozens of movies that have copied or have been inspired in different ways from Alex Proyas' excellent 'dark' superhero movie.

Although the movie comes across very simple and straight forward, considering that we have seen all the movies that this pioneered, it still stands on its own for the wonderful portrayal of a back-from-dead vigilante out to avenge the destruction of his life. Brandon Lee, who died in a freak accident while this movie was shot, plays his resurrected character of Draven coming to terms with his new found powers with such fierce glee that it becomes difficult to disassociate the actor from the character. It's not that he is a good actor - it's just the physical grace he brings to his movements that makes the supernatural element of his character's presence more effective. Most of the movie plays out in the night (two nights a year apart from each other), something which Proyas had done in Dark City too before succumbing to the Hollywood machine. When these movies were released, it would be easy to be excited about the future of this then-promising director.

The movie is a let down though when it comes to the supporting characters and the villain. As much as the Crow goes about executing his oppressors over one night, there is no sense of threat to him as he finishes them off with relative ease - although in spectacular fashion.

For fans of cinema, the movie adds a lot to enjoy. It starts with a homage to Blade Runner. And references to The Crow are equally easy to find in later movies, especially in The Matrix. Or when relating Heath Ledger's Joker to Brandon Lee's Crow in a few key scenes. What a tragic coincidence that both actors died before their milestone performances were released.

My rating --> 3 of 5

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