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The Crow (1994)

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8.2
 / 10
72 votes
Movie Connections:
The Crow
> The Crow (1994)
> The Crow: City Of Angels (1996)
> The Crow: Salvation (2000)
> The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
Genres / Traits:
Action, Action Thriller, Fantasy, Superhero Film, Tech Noir, Holiday: Halloween
Director:
Alex Proyas Alex Proyas
Starring:
Brandon Lee Brandon Lee
Rochelle Davis Rochelle Davis
Ernie Hudson Ernie Hudson
Michael Wincott Michael Wincott
Bai Ling Bai Ling
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Review by Crispy
Added: February 02, 2008
A man and woman are in love, one or both of them are murdered, and then later rise from the dead to avenge the grisly act so they can finally rest in peace. Now, I'm sure you'd run out of fingers before you finished counting off the number of times a variant of this plot has been used; but even so, through its dark and gritty execution,The Crow has been able to secure a rock solid cult favorite status that continues to grow to this day. Now, a lot of people argue that this status is solely due to the untimely death of actor Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee's son) during filming; and while I'm sure that has entered into it, The Crow was more than strong enough to stand on its own merits.

The plot here is pretty straight forward. In an unnamed city, the night before Halloween has taken on the deadly tradition of Devil's Night, where the cases of arson number in the hundreds every year. As we survey the damage, a voice-over tells the legend of The Crow. Basically, when a person dies, a crow carries their soul to the afterlife, but sometimes the crow will bring the soul back to avenge its memory and finally have peace. Meanwhile, Eric Draven is living happily with his fiancť, Shelly Webster, in a loft apartment. After they receive an eviction notice, Shelly gets a petition started to fight it. The owner of the building deals with the petition by sending four thugs to the apartment to deal with the problem. Eric walks in to the sight of Shelly getting raped, and in his attempt to stop them he finds himself stabbed, shot repeatedly, and thrown out of a six story window. Shelly died the day after, after thirty hours in intensive care. The case was never solved, and on the anniversary of the murders, a crow lands on Eric's tombstone and two minutes later, his body crawls out of the grave and wanders back to his old apartment in a daze. Once there, he is assaulted by flashbacks and memories of his life with Shelly, finally culminating in reliving the murders. Now fueled by rage, he sets out with the crow to find the gang that destroyed his life.

Again, it's the execution, not the plot, that carries this movie. The movie has a very dark tone to it, and director Alex Proyas takes full advantage of that. His shots of Eric running across the rooftops or stalking his victims from the fire escapes are excellently done, they really emphasize the rage driving his quest for vengeance. This deadly focus wouldn't be fully appreciated without the stark contrast of his more emotional scenes. When he was alive, he and Shelly had befriended a young girl named Sarah, and his reunion with her as well as the conversations with Albrecht, the officer who handled his case, was amazingly efficient at keeping the character human. Instead of just enjoying the ride as we watch this guy systematically take out this gang, we've seen what happened to him, shared his pain as he lost everything, and it feels pretty damned good when we get to see him strike back.

For the most part, the acting here was pretty damned good across the board. In his final role, Lee was awesome, jumping back and forth from the sadistic glee he took in taking out the thugs, to the heartbreaking depression he was in while reflecting over his lost life, and even in the flashbacks, where we could see just how truly happy he was. It's a shame that he died during shooting here, as this surely would have kick-started his career into high gear. As Officer Albrecht, Ernie Hudson was just as good. While he didn't run the emotional gauntlet that Lee did, he still did a great job. Rounding out the trifecta here was Michael Wincott as the crime lord that runs the gangs in the city. He's usually typecast as the villain, which has left him well practiced in the role, and he was at the same par. Sofia Shinas was Sarah, and while her delivery was kind of stiff, her character was written as very stoic, which sidestepped the problem nicely. The four gang members also garnered no complaints from me; the most famous of which was David Patrick Kelly, who's piercing voice will forever be known for the line "Warriors, come out to play."

So yeah, I really can't recommend this movie enough. While it's definitely sad that Lee died while making this, at least there's some small condolence that his magnum opus was damned near perfect. 9.5/10.
Recommended Movies
The Crow: City Of Angels The Crow: Salvation The Amazing Spider-Man 2 The Crow: Wicked Prayer Underworld Deadpool Captain America: Civil War TMNT Doctor Strange Spider-Man 3 Blade Last Action Hero Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Captain America: The First Avenger
Big D #1: Big D - added 08/21/2004, 06:36 PM
HA HA HA!!! The Crow rules!!!
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 10/11/2004, 02:03 PM
Hands down my favorite movie of all time.
wikkidpiggykilla #3: wikkidpiggykilla - added 12/05/2004, 07:34 PM
1 of the best movies ever
Deadwired2 #4: Deadwired2 - added 07/03/2005, 06:27 AM
One of the coolest movies ever.
Ginose #5: Ginose - added 09/09/2005, 05:40 PM
Anyone else fell like they've heard this story before... what was it... oh yeah! Spawn! This is a very cool movie, but it lacks originality... and atleast Spawn was a much more involved series.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added 10/18/2005, 09:50 PM
I have always thought this film to be a little overrated. The art direction is nice, and the late Brandon Lee does give a nice performance, but the only thing that made this film so popular is the fact that Lee happened to have died while filming it. 3/10.
Crispy #7: Crispy - added 02/05/2006, 11:17 AM
Granted, I hardly speak for the masses but I walked away from this movie going "God damned that was one of the best movies I've ever seen." I didn't know he died until quite a few viewings later.
Alex P #8: Alex P - added 09/26/2006, 05:45 AM
"Anyone else fell like they've heard this story before... what was it... oh yeah! Spawn! This is a very cool movie, but it lacks originality... and atleast Spawn was a much more involved series."

its too bad the Crow was published in 1989 and Spawn first appeared in 1992. gg though.

and even if that werent the case, to try and claim spawn is the first 'come back from death for love' themed thing in history is downright ricoculous.

id give this movie a 9/10 at the least. love this movie.
Crispy #9: Crispy - added 01/25/2007, 11:10 AM
haha I still like the guy on IMDB saying that Ghost Rider (debuted in 72) was a ripoff of Spawn (debuted in 92)
Kain #10: Kain - added 06/03/2007, 09:40 PM
Ah this one... One of the first comic-to-movie movies I had seen at the time and the first comic-to-movie movie that I actually liked. Whereas I agree MvMMDI that the acting was pretty clean (if a bit hoakey, but hey, it is a comic book flik, isn't that kinda the point?), but admittedly, Ling Bai (the asian with the eye fetish) was irritatingly fake, and I didn't overly enjoy her part. Stylistically, this reminds me a bit of a Burton film, and hell, who doesn't like that. As is typical with this sort of films, it carries that 'following' that those of us who are capable of thinking for ourselves loathe, but no reason to let that spoil our fun. I will, however, argue that this film carries it's fans on the shoulders of Brandon Lee's death. As far as comic movies go, it truly is excellent, and as macabre as they come. I know that I, for one, was unaware that Lee had even perished until years after my initial viewing of this particular slice of cinema. Crazy, thank you for catching the "Spawn" comment...no one but the ignorant could argue this as a wholly original story, but Spawn?? Really?

Technically speaking, it probably warrants something like a 7 or 8, but in my ever so...unbiased...opinion, I offer it a 9 or 10. Little need be changed for me, as I enjoyed the Chimps Testicles out of it.

-KAIN
Ginose #11: Ginose - added 01/21/2008, 10:30 AM
Oh, well kick my ass and call me Tammy Mae. Ah well, I never did read "The Crow", the movie just drug on far too much for me to be interested enough to look it up. Either way, the "Come back to life for love" story was done before "The Crow", too. "Spawn" was just the first one that came to mind because they have such similar feels to them.

..."Spawn" still had a much more involved story... and I'm talking that shitty movie, too.
M√∂rderwolf777 #12: Mörderwolf777 - added 02/08/2008, 09:30 PM
horribly cheesey cant stand it
Mr. Mistoffelees #13: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 02/14/2008, 03:39 PM
I really felt like this movie had a much more good vs. evil thing going than Spawn, which was anti-hero drama at its finest. I think the mere fact that he was able to come back and avenge his girlfriend's humiliation makes me feel much more strongly for the character. 8/10 from me, I'd kick their asses just as hard as he did.
johannesfaust #14: johannesfaust - added 02/27/2009, 07:52 PM
yeah, maybe today it isn´t as interesting as when I was 15, but it´s still a good movie: dark and a bit sick...
missbexxie #15: missbexxie - added 09/05/2009, 02:19 PM
Ah, the score, the soundtrack... worth a 10/10 for that alone. :)

This is one of my all-time favourite movies, I just love everything about it. 10/10.
Rest Easy Soul #16: Rest Easy Soul - added 12/22/2009, 03:20 PM
This was my favorite movie for the longest time. The story, the atmosphere, the music, the characters.. All so very brilliant. While it isn't my all time favorite it's still in my top 10.
Lucid Dreams #17: Lucid Dreams - added 06/01/2010, 03:13 PM
It was a bit overrated, but the movie still kicked some ass. 8/10
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