April 9, 2013

Movie Review: The Crow - Salvation

Here is an interesting movie. It is one that you have to question its existence, at least from a studio suit standpoint. If you look at The Crow: City of Angels and is paltry $17 million take at the box office and is disappearing after just stow weeks, or have to wonder why anyone would want to bother making another one. You would have to think it would be a losing situation. Still, someone thought it was worth exploring, the end result being The Crow: Salvation, which was released straight to video after poor test screenings. Sounds like a winner right?

An interesting thing to note is that this third Crow film was originally slated to be written and directed by Rob Zombie, this following his debut effort House of 1000 Corpses (shot on 1999/2000, but not released until 2003). Unfortunately, he left following differences with the producers. I would love to have seen what Zombie could have done with a Crow tale. The directing duties fell to Bharat Nalluri, following his 1998 effort Killing Time (an assassin film I recall liking but do not remember). Writing duties were handled by Chip Johannessen, who has had a successful career as a television writer.

The Crow: Salvation is not a particularly good film, a fact you probably could have guessed. What you may not know is that it is far from worthless, granted, that am be my soft spot for the franchise talking, but I honestly think the movie has some redeeming demonstrative value. So, if you are curious or like the franchise, do not overlook this outing.

This film centers on Michael Corvis (Eric Mabius), a young man accused of murdering his girlfriend, Lauren (Jody Lynn O'Keefe), by stabbing her a horrific 53 times. As we are introduced to him, he is on his way to the electric chair for electrocution. Throughout it all he has maintained his innocence, using a defense right out of The Fugitive, the man with the scarred arm did it. His execution is witnessed Lauren's sister, Erin (the top billed Kirsten Dunst), her father (William Atherton), and the police captain (Fred Ward).

As you can probably guess, Michael survives the execution, or rather he is brought back to have his vengeance upon those who did him and his girlfriend wrong. In this regard, it follows the formula set forth by the first two films. The hero is brought back, goes from person to person, killing his way up the food chain of bad guys before the ultimate showdown with the head villain. Along the way we will see our hero is indestructible but his power can be taken away before the ultimate victory for good.

What is it about this movie that makes it worthwhile of your time? Well, it diverges in approach from the first films. It is still pretty stylized, but it has a much more real world feel with corruption, cover ups, and wrong place wrong time elements injected. Instead of a bunch of comic book style thugs working for drug dealers or whatnot, we have cops involved in a coverup of corrupt business practices. It feels different. There is more of an investigation element on the part of our hero, to the point that he as to involve the living.

I also liked how they did the makeup this time out. Rather than actually being makeup, the facial marks are a result of the execution process, literally burned into his face. They keep some of the Crow markings around the victims, and it is still distinctly a Crow story, but they change he way it looks and how they go about their business. It is a fresh departure from the style of the first two films and shows that there are possibilities and ways to tell stories in the franchise in a different fashion.

Of course, it is not all good. The movie looks cheap, it does not feel like a big screen move. Some of the writing sounds lazy, such as a character explains a lot the about the crow saying he has researched it before. As for the execution of the story, I never felt fully invested in the characters loss or his quest as I did in the other films. So, while I think there is some good stuff here, it is not a very good film.

In the end, The Crow: Salvation is worth a peek, but is not something you will ever really love. I enjoy it enough, I like seeing the possibilities put on display. I also wish that it all could have been just a nit more interesting and involving.

Mildly Recommended.

Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment