Occasionally, a movie comes along that revitalizes my faith in mankind. Usually these movies have everything. A great script, wonderful acting, and a haunting direction that refuses to allow the viewer to turn away from its glory. These movies are sometimes box office gold, but more often then not manage to cut themselves into the hearts and minds of the viewer, obtaining a loyal fan base and a cult following. Set in the burrows of an unnamed Midwestern city, the Crow contained a mixture of quick paced dialogue and the endearing visage of Brandon Lee in his final performance. Then they made a sequel. Oh boy, did they make a sequel. It is as if every bad idea imaginable somehow congealed and, with help from the proper lining of the stars, created this movie.
It begins with a man named Ash who manages, along with his son, to come across a drug killing. The killers, all with the cutest names possible, do away with the father and son and go play Scrabble. This is where it gets a little weird. Sometimes when a person dies, their spirit is unable to rest. Therefore, a crow descends from the heavens, giving the restless soul one last chance at redemption. Or something like that. In the end, the bad guys die, the good guys die and a little girl gets a white cat. The major difference between City of Angels and the original Crow is the insane love connection between Sarah and Ash. Rule of thumb, you can love the dead, but forming a relationship with the dead is just plain wrong.
Vincent Perez is a good actor. Of course I'm lying. It's really not his fault, I mean he looks the part, with his homage leather clad biker priests. Unfortunately, his accent is so strong that it manages to ruin any of the attempted quips that are sprinkled gently through the movie. Mia Kirshner is a tangy mixture of gothic cuteness, and plays a believable, if not two-dimensional, version of Sarah from the first movie. She almost saves this piece, almost. In the end, the acting is a tad too dramatic and, through the seriousness of the plot, we're left wondering what might have been rather than allowing our subconscious to accept a new crow.
The perfect excuse for never making a sequel to a good movie, City of Angels is a mash of what worked in the past combined with the effortless attempt to make something new. It borders on the line of "offensive" and "tragedy" as it tries in vain to extend the popularity of the Crow, failing to obtain even a glimmer of the previous movie. James O' Barr wanted nothing to do with this movie. Hell, they couldn't even get Ernie Hudson, but still they went on. Sometimes greed is the ultimate justification for crap.
Things you should look out for:
Your moment of insanity:
You think I'm afraid of you? You fucking freak, you think I'm afraid. You think I'm afraid... (Sometimes it is not what is said, but how. Try to vomit and scream the lines at the same time. It is like that.)
Some food for thought:
Did you know Vincent Perez stared in the movie I Dreamed of Africa? Better yet, have you ever even heard of, let alone seen, I Dreamed of Africa? You have? Okay, shoot yourself in the head.
Pop some corn and watch a good movie:
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