Directed by: Alex Proyas
Starring: Brandon Lee, Bai Ling
"It can't rain all the time"
Man, what a flash back of a movie. Don't you just love it when a film completely takes you back?..........this movie has that type of effect on me. I remember being about 8 years old and Brandon's death and this movie being EVERYWHERE at the time. My love for this movie isn't purely nostalgia based though, i do actually love the movie as a stand alone product. In fact, the older i am and the more i see it, the more i get out of it. I guess it's a case of being a bit more mature and understanding the themes a bit more.
The Crow follows the story of a young couple in love named Eric [Brandon Lee] and Shelly, who are brutally murdered one night in their home by a gang of thugs. One year later, Eric is given the chance to return from the dead and seek REVENGE on those who killed him and his fiancee.
Eric is guided by a crow during his return, who acts as a link between the world of the living and the world of the dead. He's invincible, and pissed off, and he cuts and burns his way through the city trying to find every criminal who was involved in the death of him and his dear Shelly.
That's pretty much the basic plot. Simple enough right? a revenge tale with a supernatural twist, nice!........but the movie is a lot more layered than that.
The key to this movie really connecting with it's audience is Brandon Lee. I've never actually seen this guy in anything else, most of his other films were just B grade martial arts films, and the ONLY one i'm aware of is Rapid Fire. The Crow however was set to be a great career move for him, not only because the movie was actually good, but he finally got a chance to ACT. His portrayal was both scary and very heartfelt. The character goes between angry revenge and emotional pain very easily, and Brandon plays it perfectly. Even underneath the make up you can see still see the sadness his his eyes when he talks about his love for Shelly.
That was the key to really fleshing this guy out. They didn't just make him a super cool killing machine, they actually gave him some humanity, and even a good sense of humor. You could actually relate to the him, and you believed in his mission. A lot of that was because of Brandon.
In case some of you are unaware [where have you been for 15 years?], Brandon Lee died during the making of this movie. In a way, that actually gives the movie an even MORE believable atmosphere, because we are watching a movie about a guy who died coming back from the dead..........and essentially, that's what this movie did to Brandon in real life. He passed away, and then returned one last time as Eric to show us what he was capable of. Kinda ironic, huh?
Other than Brandon [who was pretty cute in this may i add] , the other films strong point were the visuals. It's a beautifully Gothic looking film, lots of shadows, lots of rain, and lots of Victorian architecture. There are some great camera shots in this too, Alex Proyas [the Director] does this style of movie well, he went even further with it in Dark City, another cool movie.
The final key to this movie working so well, is the soundtrack. One of the most well known soundtracks around, i remember it being MASSIVE when it was released alongside the movie. The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Thrill Kill Kult, there's a whole bunch of early 90's industrial Goth bands lending their tunes to the film. The original score written by one of my favourite movie composers, Graham Revell, is quite nice too.
There have been a few sequels over the years to The Crow, none of which you should really bother with unless you're REALLY curious about what else they did with the franchise. They all fall flat for the most part, and Brandon REALLY made this role his own, so you don't really care about seeing anyone else star in these films. Well, at least i don't, Brandon was it for me.
The Crow is one of those movies nearly everyone has seen. Brandon's death before the films release brought the crowds in droves, but it was his fantastic portrayal and the dark and imaginative world around him in the movie that made people stay. It's dark, sad, loud, violent and very entertaining. I LOVE IT!