Thursday, February 23, 2017

I've Gotta Crow!

We took a long time to see The Crow (1994). Partly, the death of Brandon Lee during filming cast a pall, and not in a good way. But we've been watching some Alex Proyas, so why not?

It starts on Devil's Night, the night before Halloween, known as a festival of arson in Detroit, where I guess this is set. Brandon Lee and his girl Sofia Shinas, are just hanging out in their attic squat, when a gang of firestarters come in and kill them. One year later, a crow starts hanging around Lee's grave, and pretty soon, he crawls out. Although he's dead, he's looking for revenge. The only people who remember him are policeman Ernie Hudson (!) and a little girl with junkie mother.

Lee is inspired by a commedia mask to put on white mime makeup. Since he had been a punk guitarist in life, he also carries around an electric guitar, and spends some time jamming on the roof. Also, he is Bruce Lee's son. However, all this does not really add up to making him cool. I think the movie is a little ambiguous about this - is he kind of dorky or is he the cool undead guy? He looks kind of funny, with the big forehead and jaw, but he clearly has something.

Same with the rest of the movie. The budget was plainly skimpy, leading to the fairly silly model city-on-fire. The same type of model rooftops looked cute in Dark City, where you weren't expected to believe in it. Here, I don't know. Then, there's an actual joke, and I think, maybe I'm trying to take this too seriously.

So, I guess I had trouble with the tone. However, I did not have trouble with the over-the-top creepy mystical gang leaders, Michael Winfort and Bai Ling. I also liked a lot of the music, although it was probably more cutting edge back in 1994.

Glad we saw it. I assume none of the sequels are watchable?

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