The Crow: City of Angels (1996)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Fantasy


The Crow: City of Angels (1996) Poster

The spirit of the Crow resurrects another man seeking revenge for the murder of his son.


4.7/10
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  • Thuy Trang in The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
  • Mia Kirshner in The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
  • Thuy Trang in The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
  • Mia Kirshner and Vincent Perez in The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
  • Richard Brooks in The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
  • Vincent Perez and Kerry Rossall in The Crow: City of Angels (1996)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


10 June 2006 | tonymurphylee
Though Hated by Fans, This Film is a Compelling and Unique Take on the Crow Legend
The first Crow film was a brilliant and Gothic re-visioning of a graphic Novel. Eric Draven was played by Brandon Lee who notoriously died during the making of the film. But even though he died, his work as the main protagonist was very memorable and chilling, and yet sympathetic and beautiful. It would be hard to top something like his performance. This sequel to THE CROW, entitled THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS, takes place in a warped version of L.A. Death and filth litter the streets and the whole city is cast in an ugly and disturbing color of grotesque characters and dust. The lighting to this film is ugly and dark, not unlike CITY OF LOST CHILDREN or NOSFORATU, only more natural feeling. The main character of this film automatically achieves a more personal edge to why he would murder thugs because instead of his girlfriend being raped and murdered like in the first one, this time it is his son. So the loss of an innocent soul feels more justified by murder of the people who did it. Ashe is pulled out from a watery grave as a walking corpse sent to avenge his son. Unfortunitely there is indeed more to this than what seemed possible because the drug lord Judah has a connection to voodoo powers that could possibly disarm Ashe in his fight to avenge his own flesh and blood. Judah has connections to other worldly forces via a blind woman who he has used to gain power of the city. This film employs negative energy very well and the films setting feels lifeless. This way, the film allows us to feel more sorry for the people who live in it by giving us no limits of which the depravity can go. The musical score, while it is true it is not as effective as the first one, casts just the right amount of a somber spirit and hopelessness. This film is excessively gross and violent but doesn't become a distraction since the whole city is full of gross and violent tone. Fans of the Crow hated this film and I can see why. But I felt that this film's lifelessness worked well due to the constant feeling of depression and hate. Vincent Perez plays Ashe with the perfect amount of sympathy and the viewer can feel sorry for him. However, we cannot be scared of him because all of the barely human characters that surround him and much more frightening. When he kills his prey, we are delighted and happy that he got his revenge. The first film was a good combination of extremely violent content and gore mixed with morals and feeling. Nobody in this film has much emotion and feeling except for Ashe, who truly has more than enough. He is shown as a victim and continues to be a victim throughout because the city is so full of them. He cannot gain anything and he is understandably sad. When it comes right down to it, its hard to really compare the two films because the first film is so perfect and so beautiful and the second film, when compared to the first, feels so flawed and ugly. It is really all up to the viewer to decide. I thought this sequel was great and would gladly watch it again. I'd say anyone interested in the set design process of film making should definitely watch this along with the first film.

Critic Reviews



Did You Know?

Trivia

Ashe's trenchcoat was a modified priest's frock.


Quotes

Sarah: There's a reason why you've been brought back, Ashe.
Ashe Corven: To find the people who did this to us. To make them pay.


Goofs

(at around 1h 4 mins) The piece of metal from the motorcycle that pierces Curves stomach disappears in the water when the flower crow is made.


Alternate Versions

The following scenes were in the original 160 minutes long workprint version of the film, but were cut from the theatrical version by Miramax and Harvey Weinsten in order to make The Crow: City of Angels more like The Crow. Originally, it was very different film with lot darker tone and story;

  • Sarah had a longer voice over in the beginning of the film.
  • There were more scenes between all the villains throughout original cut.
  • Opening scene originally showed Ashe and Danny being killed and more of gang's cruel mockery of them.
  • Scene where Sarah is in her loft and has visions of Ashe's death was longer and it showed her being more freaked out by those visions.
  • Scene where Sarah is tattooing her customer was longer and included him getting nervous and leaving to vomit in the bathroom, so she gives him some wine to calm his nerves.
  • Scene where Curve attacks Noah and Sarah and the following scene of Sarah breaking down in parking lot originally took place in this part of the film. There was also some more dialogue between Noah and Sarah.
  • Scene with Sarah and the Crow in her loft was longer.
  • As Sarah approaches the pier before Ashe's resurrection, she is attacked by a trio of vagrants who try to rape and mug her, but she is saved by the Crow which attacks the leader and pecks his eye out.
  • While he is underwater Ashe remembers reading stories to Danny.
  • All the flashbacks showing Ashe and Danny were also longer.
  • The Crow "lifts" (resurrects) Ashe out of the water.
  • After Sarah takes him to her loft and he wakes up, Ashe does not believe he is dead so Sarah takes the kitchen knife and stabs him with it. Scared Ashe than runs away as in theatrical version.
  • Ashe's last name (Corven) is clearly revealed as he runs back to his garage after his resurrection. The garage reads "Corven's Body Shop".
  • Scene where mad Ashe is trashing his garage in a fit of rage was longer, and had more dialogue between him and Sarah, including Ashe talking more about Danny.
  • Ashe originally had more of a "Poetic" dialogue, because he inherits a new personality after he is resurrected by the crow.
  • When Ashe is going after Spidermonkey at the Trinity Drug Plant, he takes Spidermonkey's gun and says, "Don't try this at home, kids!", shoots himself in the head and falls on ground. Then as Spidermonkey approaches, Ashe gets up, scaring Spidermonkey.
  • When Ashe destroys the Trinity Drug Plant, some thugs come to pick a fight with him. Ashe tells one of them that if he (the thug) has a gun he should shoot him (Ashe). The thug hesitates, and Ashe takes his gun, scaring the thugs and forcing them to flee.
  • There was a scene which showed Ashe arriving at Live Girl building before Nemo.
  • Ashe's beating of Nemo was even more brutal, and the guard uses a silent alarm to alert Judah, explaining how Curve, Kali, and The Twins knew to go there.
  • After killing Nemo, Ashe confronts Holly Daze, the stripper who was talking to Nemo at Live Girl building. Ashe grabs her and looks into her eyes, seeing all the sexual humiliation she went through her whole life. He tells her that she should value what's left of her soul and to never come back "here" again.
  • After finding Nemo's dead body and Ashe's phone call, there was a dialogue scene between Curve and Kali, and when Curve walks out he sees the Crow.
  • After he leaves phone booth Ashe is confronted by drug addicted teenage boy with a gun who tries to mug him. Ashe however makes a deal with him, if he survives a game of Russian Roulette he will go to a drug clinic to get help or he will lose and die. Ashe, just like he did in earlier deleted scene when he scared Spidermonkey, shoots himself in the head, which scares the boy and he leaves for a drug clinic.
  • During the church scene Ashe encounters a young Mexican boy who also calls him 'Santa Muerte'.
  • In original version, when Ashe builds Danny's grave he does not burn his painting.
  • Originally, there was more dialogue and love scenes between Ashe and Sarah.
  • Sarah tells Ashe about her past, about Eric and the events of the first film and how her mother Darla eventually became a junkie again and OD'd, causing Sarah to briefly fall into drugs before going clean and leaving Detroit with Gabriel. She also tells Ashe about Grace, thus explaining Ashe's run in with Grace, which originally took place after this scene. Ashe also tells her more about his own past before she finally tells him that if he refuses to leave the world of the living, he will be damned.
  • Scene between Judah, Curve, Kali, and Sybil in the tower is longer and shows more of Curve's growing fear and paranoia and tension between him and Kali.
  • The other scene in Judah's tower is also longer, and establishes how Judah figures out he needs the blood of the Crow.
  • Curve and Kali's interrogation of Noah was longer, and Curve gets angry with Kali for murdering him, but she justifies herself by saying Noah dishonored her by calling her a bitch. Curve discovers Sarah's address in some business papers, thus explaining how Kali and the Twins knew where she lived. When they leave, Curve feels his crow tattoo bleeding and flees in terror, knowing he's next.
  • In original version Kali's and Curve's deaths happened the other way around.
  • In the scene where Ashe is being shot by thugs at bar while Curve escapes, Ashe grabs the shotgun he took earlier when he killed Nemo and kills the thugs.
  • Ashe/Curve motorcycle chase scene was longer. At one point Curve almost gets hit by a delivery van.
  • The final confrontation between Ashe and Curve was longer, with Ashe quoting A Rendezvous with Death poem to freak Curve out, which is effective as Curve pisses himself in fear when he screams "You think I'm afraid of you?!" before rushing at Ashe in a kamikaze move.
  • When Ashe blows up Curve's motorcycle with his shotgun, Curve is on the ground with his crotch on fire. Glimpse of this scene is still visible in theatrical version when Curve hits the ground. After the crash, Ashe tosses the shotgun away. Then he touches Curve and sees into his painful past and begins to feel sorry for him before dragging him out into the river.
  • After dragging the injured Curve into the river, Ashe takes his gun and puts it into his coat. It's hard to see in theatrical version, but once Curve starts floating away his gun disappears from his pants.
  • Scene where Kali and the Twins break into Sarah's loft was longer, with them shooting at her apartment door features, and Sarah trying to hide in the bathroom, where she hides Gabriel in a closet before Kali drags her out. Kali says that Judah has given orders for Sarah not to be harmed, but she still wants to see Sarah suffer so orders the Twins to destroy her loft and personally slashes Sarah's paintings herself.
  • When Ashe arrives, Kali tries to make a deal with him to go kill Judah and he and Sarah can leave while she takes over Judah's criminal empire, but Ashe refuses, wanting to kill her for what she did to Danny. Kali also reveals she murdered her little brother when she was fourteen and has no regrets, making Ashe want to kill her even more, as he understands she was the worst, most evil of the gang.
  • The fight scene between Ashe and Kali was much longer; Kali uses a 2x4, which Ashe dodges and breaks Kali's arm. Ashe was also 'psychotic' in this scene.
  • When Kali is thrown out of the window, a shadow of a giant crow morphing into Ashe is visible showing that the Crow and Ashe are one.
  • Kali's death is different. She is still alive, though crippled and unable to move, cause her back were broken after being thrown out of the window, and she is seen crawling along the ground. Ashe comes out of nowhere and Kali begs him to kill her because she is in pain. Ashe refuses and smiles as he stands over her, telling her that he has already sent her to Hell.
  • Sarah's scene with Judah and Sybil was much longer, and Judah reveals Noah's death to Sarah to torment her and his motivations in wanting the crow's power; he tells her how when he was a child, he had a near-death experience when fell into icy water, drowning and nearly dying and visiting Hell before he was revived. He enjoyed what he saw but came back with forbidden knowledge and compares it to what Hamlet's father said about the afterlife, leading to his obsession with the occult and becoming the way that he is, and now he wants the power to defeat death itself and uses Dante's Inferno as an example of what to do. To escape hell one must go to its center and to defeat death one must trade places with it.
  • At the Day of the Dead festival, there were two completely deleted characters called Louis and Amede.
  • When Ashe arrives at the street party he originally crashed into a horse-drawn carriage. The driver and passengers get out to help him but he's already recovered and moves into the crowd. The carriage can still be seen in the background when he arrives.
  • Judah explains what the Camera Obscura is to Sarah before showing her the misericords.
  • Ashe's climb up the tower is longer, and he fights the Twins who are following him. He shatters a huge window and uses the glass to decapitate one and impale the other through the back, and both Twins fall off the building.
  • Louis and Amede witness Ashe falling, causing the rest of the crowd to see it happen. Louis wants to see if Ashe is okay after he lands, but Amede says he's dead for sure, and after Judah drinks the blood of the Crow, Louis notices the murder of crows overhead.
  • Ashe's talk with the ghost of Danny was different. Instead of Danny saying to Ashe "If you give up now, we won't be together" Danny is pleading for his dad to come to the land of the dead, telling him if he keeps fighting they can never be together again. Ashe can't bring himself to abandon Sarah, so forces himself to refuse, cursing himself to live on earth for eternity (since he is already dead and hence can't die). But Danny warns Ashe in a dark voice, hinting at some other dark spirit involved in the Crow, before pleading with his dad one last time and saying a tearful goodbye before vanishing into the crowd. After Ashe wakes up from his vision, Louis and Amede and a few others are startled, but Louis is happy Ashe is alive and rubs it in Amede's face before asking Ashe if he's okay, only for Ashe to catch a glimpse of a small child-like figure in the crowd. Louis and Amede watch as Ashe chases after what he thinks is Danny into the crowd, only to run into a drunk dwarf who mocks Ashe, thinking he wants sex.
  • Judah bursts out of the doors of the tower with newfound raw strength, using the chains that held the door to attack Ashe instead of a rope.
  • Ashe and Judah's fight was much longer and more personal, with more dialogue between them during the fight before Ashe pulls out Curve's gun which he took from him earlier and unloads it into Judah's chest, who withstands it and then begins to lay a brutal beat down on Ashe, while Louis, Amede, and the rest of the crowd think it's just a show that Judah is putting on for them in celebration of Day of the Dead. Ashe tries to punch Judah, but Judah crushes his hand.
  • Sybil explains herself to Sarah after freeing her, saying that the Judah she once loved is gone and could take over the world with his newfound invincibility if he's not stopped. As Sarah gets into an elevator and heads for the street, Sybil begs God to forgive her for her part in Judah's evil.
  • Judah and Ashe's fight continues, Ashe getting the shit beaten out of him, and when he is hung up by Judah, Amede assures Louis that it's simply a trick and his grandparents saw street performers in Paris do similar things. Danny's drawing then falls out of Ashe's pocket and Judah rips it up, mocking Ashe and Danny as he does so.
  • When Sarah arrives she begs people in the crowd to help Ashe, but Louis assures her it's just a show, despite her claim it's real.
  • After Sarah is stabbed by Judah, the whole crowd becomes silent, with Louis and Amede realizing it is real.
  • When the Crows fly down to Ashe, he feels the pain of others like him, seeing faces of past Crows, including Eric, who heal Ashe's wounds.
  • Judah was originally violently ripped and torn apart by the crows, his flesh torn from his body before his still living and screaming skeleton is taken away by the murder of crows.
  • After the crows have taken Judah, Ashe looks down at his hands. His wounds close up and the blood is gone from his mouth. By passing through him, they have "cleaned" his body. This explains the goof in the theatrical version where the blood on Ashe's mouth is suddenly gone in the next shot when he lays down by Sarah on the ground.
  • In original version, Sarah's death was longer, with Ashe crying the whole time. Ashe says he stayed on earth for her. Sarah gives Ashe her ring and tells him that "If two people really love each other, nothing can keep them apart.. nothing." Ashe cries. Sarah tells him that she'll wait for him, "Forever if i have to." Because Ashe chose Sarah on Earth over Danny in Heaven which led to her (an innocent person) being killed, Ashe must stay on Earth forever as part of the undead without her or Danny.
  • As Ashe leaves with Sarah's body, Louis says he is sorry to Ashe, who does not react and simply goes on. Louis and Amede wonder if they could have done something to stop Judah and save Sarah. Amede, feeling guilty, wonders if that means they're all awful people, but Louis says they can try to be better before musing that the city of angels is full of ghosts and devils, but Ashe and Sarah might have been the real angels, even if they were dark ones before leaving the streets to go home. Sybil watches from the Camera Obscura before setting the tied up Stag Beetle free, and then following it into the shadows.
  • Ashe takes Sarah's journal before destroying her apartment so that he does not remember her anymore and won't be tortured by the memory of failing to save her.
  • Ending was very different than the one which was re-shot for theatrical version. Scene where Ashe carries dead Sarah to the church was longer. Trailers for the film show parts of the original ending, like Ashe kissing Sarah when he puts her on altar. This ending also featured Ashe wearing Sarah's ring like Brandon Lee's character Eric did in the first movie. When he sits down, he is looking at Sarah's ring (also shown in trailers). The word "Forever" is inscribed inside of it. The priest from earlier in the film enters the church and, knowing that Ashe is walking dead, asks why he is "still here". Ashe replies that he has no where to go. Priest then asks Ashe, "What will you do now, my son", slightly angered Ashe replies (since he is cursed to walk the earth for eternity) "This city is full of shadows, one more won't make it any darker." He leaves the church to find the sun rising, and clutches the ring to his chest before the scene where he sees Grace and talks to her.
However, there was an implication at the very end that Sarah's love for Ashe would somehow allow her to return as the newest avatar of the crow and reunite with Ashe, and since some promotional stills and behind the scenes pictures show Sarah sitting at the altar, it's possible that the version of the scene where she resurrects was filmed.


Soundtracks

Paper Dress
Performed by
The Toadies
Produced by Paul Leary
Music by V. Todd Lewis & Darrel Herbert
Lyrics by V. Todd Lewis
Published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)/Interscope Pearl Music, Inc. (BM), Todd Lewis (BMI) & Darrel Herbert (BMI)
All rights administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
Recorded at Arlyn Studios (Austin, Texas)
Remixed by Wolfgang Amadeus and Paul Leary at Mad Hatter
Toadies appear courtesy of Interscope Records

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Crime | Fantasy | Thriller

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,785,111 2 September 1996

Gross USA:

$17,917,287

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,917,287

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