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The Crow: Salvation (2000)

DVD Cover (Dimension)
Movie Connections:
The Crow
> The Crow (1994)
> The Crow: City Of Angels (1996)
> The Crow: Salvation (2000)
> The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
Genres:
Action Thriller, Superhero Film, Supernatural Thriller, Thriller
Director:
Bharat Nalluri Bharat Nalluri
Starring:
Kirsten Dunst Kirsten Dunst
Eric Mabius Eric Mabius
Fred Ward Fred Ward
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
William Atherton William Atherton

4.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: October 20, 2009
It's no secret that I loved The Crow, but all I've ever heard about the sequels is that they're complete shit. So I went out of my way to avoid those movies until the second movie, City of Angels fell into my lap. I figured what the hell, threw it on and sure enough, it was nothing short of horrible, which reinforced my resolve to ignore the other two sequels. However, while channel surfing one night, I happened across the third movie on cable. It just so happens I tuned in during a particularly intense scene, and it made me believe this might actually have some potential, so I headed over to the library and checked it out. I am very glad that I did.

Like the other films, Salvation wastes no time jumping into the action. On his twenty first birthday, Alex Corvis is to be executed by electric chair for the murder of his girlfriend, Lauren, three years ago. Trouble is, Alex was framed for the murder, and the only characteristic he could describe of the actual killer, a series of strange scars on the forearm, had fallen on deaf ears. To add insult to injury, that very man watches Alex getting fried, and just before he dies, he reveals the distinctive marks on his arm. Shortly after his execution, his thoroughly crispy body is moved to the morgue, where that familiar bird brings him back. His face lined with the scars from his execution, Alex reconnects with his attorney and Erin, his girlfriend's sister, and sets out to learn the details of his mistrial, and more importantly, who is the man with the scars.

Sure, Salvation's plot has something of a whodunit twist to it, but it's solved for us pretty quickly and settles right into the action groove that defines the series. So what makes it such a successful sequel when City of Angels failed on all levels? Basically, Bharat Nalluri did everything right that Tim Pope dropped the ball on. For starters, the parts he decided to carry over from the first movie were the parts that made the first movie. For example, Alex Corvis' wisecracks are much more in-line with Eric Draven's, a bitter sarcasm that is leagues ahead of Ashe's "repeat their lines back ironically" schtick. But even though they gave him one of the best qualities of Draven, they didn't make him a carbon copy, and there are some key differences between the two. The markings on his face being scars instead of paint was one of my favorites, but perhaps the biggest is that right after he comes back, Alex actively seeks out the help of people from his life, including his attorney and his girlfriend's sister, Erin, while Draven went out of his way to avoid loved ones. And considering that Erin positively hated Alex when he was alive, it adds a new dynamic to their relationship, and the implied yearning to be accepted by Lauren's family goes a long way to cover some minor plot holes later in the film.

Eric Mabius was a great choice as the new hero, with charisma enough to go around. His delivery was awesome in scenes where he was going balls to the walls in the kill scenes, although admittedly he does falter a bit with the more emotional material. Fortunately, it's not bad enough to ruin the movie. Kirsten Dunst also handeled her role quite well, although she was a bit of a minor character despite her top billing. Our gang this go around is made up of one-dimensional characters, with nothing to differentiate themselves from each other. While this is a bit of a let-down, they were led by Fred Ward, who proved his worth very well in his relatively short screen time.

I had a few gripes throughout the movie, but fortunately most of them are pretty minor. The shoddy CGI was definitely one of the bigger ones. It looks like something straight out of the 90s, when it was just taking off. Also, the crow wasn't used as prominently as I would have liked. Even though it's always been something of a glorified sidekick, it should have been added into a bit more scenes. Perhaps my most petty complaint is Alex's trenchcoat. He spends the first half of the movie in his prison jumpsuit before stealing the coat from one of his victims. Not only did he look so much cooler in the jumpsuit, but they chose a ridiculous fur lined jacket, and until then it was another aspect differentiating itself from the previous movies that I had liked.

Even though The Crow: Salvation isn't quite as good as the original, it's definitely a worthy sequel. If any other Crow fans are worried about giving the sequels a try, I'd definitely recommend hunting this one down. 8/10, even if they did blow up a Corvette, which is a mortal sin.
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Rest Easy Soul #1: Rest Easy Soul - added 01/24/2010, 08:14 PM
It was very average but in the better half of average more towards the okay side. It's not as good as the first, but so much better than the sequel and I loved both the main actors in this one upon my first viewing. I had just got done enjoying Cruel Intentions trilogy when I watched this and it was IMO combining a great actor with a great premise.
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