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.