16 February 2013 | gavin6942
Beautiful, Brilliant, But Miscast
When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack), a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) joins forces with Poe to stop him from making his stories a reality.
The idea of setting a murder mystery in Baltimore at the time of Poe, with Poe as a character and with his stories as the inspiration seems genius on the face of it. Indeed, he is a great character in a great time and his stories are a great inspiration for murder (as we have seen in the many film adaptations that were inspired by his work). It does seem a bit weird to put a real man in a fictional story, but if we can have "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", I guess it is okay.
If you have an issue with it, I understand your sense of accuracy and need for historical continuity. It might have made more sense to put the story after the time of Poe (say, the 1850s) and had the killer be inspired, with a detective who knows the tales well. Or have Poe trying to solve another murder, perhaps one that even happened. You know, like Mary Cecilia Rogers, the "beautiful cigar girl".
Some people had an issue with John Cusack's Edgar Allen Poe. I feel their pain. Although I loved Cusack's delivery of the lines, I never felt like he looked the part. He looked too much like himself. Ideally, they should have cast Jeffrey Combs. Combs not only looked spot on as Poe in "Black Cat", he did a one-man stage show. Combs eats, sleeps and breathes Poe. And, as an added bonus, he probably costs less than Cusack.
Luke Evans was great and stole the show with his incessant intensity. Every line was dramatic, and it worked. Evans kept the film alive for me, as did the beautiful scenery and cinematography. Whatever was lost with Cusack was gained with the coloration and lighting. Great, great work. I could have used less CGI blood, though.