The Crow: City Of Angels (1996)

DVD Cover (Echo Bridge Entertainment)
Movie Connections:
The Crow
> The Crow (1994)
> The Crow: City Of Angels (1996)
> The Crow: Salvation (2000)
> The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
Action, Action Thriller, Fantasy, Superhero Film
Tim Pope Tim Pope
Vincent Perez Vincent Perez
Mia Kirshner Mia Kirshner
Richard Brooks Richard Brooks
Iggy Pop Iggy Pop
Thomas Jane Thomas Jane

4.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: May 10, 2009
So, The Crow has always been one of my favorite movies and knowing full well what kind of reputation the sequels have, I made sure to steer clear. However, the first sequel just happened to fall into my lap, so I said 'what the hell' and threw it on. We all make mistakes.

So, Sarah (Mia Kirshner) is now all grown up and has relocated to LA where she lives alone and works as a tattoo artist. Like the last city she called home, it's run down with crime and drugs and she's just trying to stay under the radar and out of trouble. It's too bad Ashe (Vincent Perez) and his son, Danny, weren't able to do the same. While playing in Ashe's shop, Danny hears gunshots outside. Not knowing what the noise is, he goes outside to investigate despite his father's yells and the two of them walk in on a gang murdering a man. Obviously, this doesn't sit well and the gang ties the two together, shoots them both, and kicks them off of a dock. That familiar crow comes to give Ashe his chance for retribution and being that Sarah has seen it all before, it enlists her help to serve as his guide. Ashe wakes up underwater, still tied to his dead son and she meets him as he crawls onto the dock. Realizing the opportunity he's been giving, he changes into more suitable attire, Sarah paints his face like her old friend, and Ashe takes to the streets to find the gang that murdered his son and destroyed his life.

Before we do anything, let's get the obligatory comparisons out of the way. The Crow has its fair share of critics, but it also boasts an extremely strong cult following. Obviously trying to appeal to these fans, they tried to copy a lot of little nuances from that film. Naturally, they failed miserably. Everything they tried to copy, they fucked up. For example, the soundtrack was still mostly grungy, industrial rock songs, but they just threw them in haphazardly and none of them really fit the mood of their scenes, something the first soundtrack excelled at. Then they added a child character, Grace. I guess this was supposed to be like Sarah from the last movie, but they never did anything with her. Her few scenes could have been left on the editing room floor and it wouldn't have made a single bit of difference to the plot. The crow's vision, formerly just black and white, has been revamped into a strange, distorted special effect that's impossible to make out and just serves to give you a headache. By far, the worst offense was the goth thing. Tim Pope noticed that The Crow was a popular movie among the high school goth scene, so he decided to run with it. Just like everything else, he went completely overboard. Ashe's trench coat has much more of a vampire feel to it and Sarah is living in this big gothic mansion and dresses like she just stumbled off one of Tim Burton's sets. I'm sure the thirteen year olds in eye liner ate it up, but the rest of us will get a migraine from so much eye rolling.

Unfortunately, the aspects unique to this sequel are just as bad, so the movie really has no feet to stand on. For some reason, LA is filled with a yellow fog, which not only annoyed the hell out of me and made the action hard as hell to see, but it could not be healthy for its inhabitants. Also, they added a subplot about Ashe considering abandoning his quest for revenge and staying among the living. It was incredibly underused, but perhaps that was best, since it kind of undermined the entire plot of the movie. His doubts stemmed from an apparent romantic angle between him and Sarah, which were likewise barely addressed and just seemed too shallow to take seriously.

Speaking of our hero, Vincent Perez's character was really weird. For starters, he's decked out in a leather vest with his midriff hanging out. So, combined with the aforementioned Dracula jacket, we're rooting for what appears to be a homosexual, gothic cowboy. Fair enough, but he just acts so strange while he's fighting the villains. His Swedish accent is too thick to know what he's saying half the time, and he bounces around like the Joker on speed. Plus, he's got this really annoying habit of repeating the killer's last words back to them ironically before he takes them out. It's a gimmick that got old really fast. With that said, I will give him credit for the line "Do you know what they call a gathering of crows? A murder. A murder of crows." He, along with the rest of the movie, also falls victim to the failed attempts at copying the preceding movie. Like last time, he wanders through his old home, assaulted by memories. The problem is that this is just one long flashback, instead of a bunch of really short ones that Eric Draven experienced. That method was a lot more effective, since it was able to show so much more interaction between Eric and Shelly.

The villains were mind-numbingly awful this go around. They're all a bunch of androgynous drug dealers dressed up like they're at a Marilyn Manson concert. Led by the likes of Iggy Pop and an ex-Power Ranger, every one of them annoyed the shit out of me. The head guy (Richard Brooks) was the worst. An S&M loving drug dealer with a God complex, he turned shitty overacting to an art form. After Michael Wincott and David Patrick Kelly nailed it out of the park, these hacks just don't cut it.

If I tried, I could find a few positives. For starters, the idea of the man avenging his son instead of a lost lover was a good one. It at least saved the film from feeling like a total rehash. Also, Mia Kirshner is kind of hot. And I guess that's about it.

So yeah, the best way to describe this film is fucking pointless. It's a horrible sequel, a horrible movie, and a horrible waste of time. 2/10.
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The Crow Blade The Crow: Salvation The Crow: Wicked Prayer Barb Wire
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BuryMeAlive #1: BuryMeAlive - added 05/10/2009, 06:06 PM
Far from being as good as the original indeed, the worst thing about it is that they pretty much just used the same storyboard as they had from the first one. Ashe is a clone of Eric Draven (they look the same, dress the same and so on) and even the villains are the same, you have a gang of crazy thugs (and a asian woman) and a main crime boss. And the relationship between Ashe and his son Danny is not as strong as the one between Eric and Shelly. But it's not all bad... Still I liked "The Crow: Salvation" better (as far as the sequels go) even if it stars Kirsten Dunst (who can't act at all).

Oh, and where did you get that Vincent Perez has a SWEDISH accent from?
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 05/11/2009, 12:25 AM
Well for starters, he's Swedish. Secondly, he was born in Sweden. Thirdly, he grew up in Sweden.
BuryMeAlive #3: BuryMeAlive - added 05/11/2009, 05:31 AM
End to end it all, he is not Swedish, secondly, he was not born in Sweden and thirdly there is no record of him growing up in Sweden.

Vincent Perez @ iMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001641/
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 05/11/2009, 07:56 AM
Sweden, Switzerland. I wrote this review half drunk at 3 in the morning, it doesn't fucking matter. What is important is that you couldn't understand a fucking word he said, and nobody gives a shit cause this movie sucks.
Rest Easy Soul #5: Rest Easy Soul - added 01/24/2010, 08:13 PM
This movie was very boring and a terrible follow up to one of my favorite movies all time. It was unoriginal, inspired too much by the first one, and seriously.. Why did they have to bring Shelley back?!
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