Sunday, July 13, 2014
THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS (1996)
Directed By: Tim Pope
Written by: David S. Goyer
Based on the Graphic Novel by: James O’Barr
Cinematography By: Jean-Yves Escoffier
Editor: Anthony Redman & Michael N. Knue
Music By: Graeme Revell
Cast: Vincent Perez, Iggy Pop, Mia Kirshner, Richard Brooks, Thomas Jane, Thuy Trang, Beverley Mitchell
Some time ago, Ashe Corven and his son Danny were killed when they stumbled across a pack of drug dealers murdering a fellow dealer. The dealers work for Los Angeles drug kingpin Judah Earl. Local tattoo artist Sarah, who has great knowledge of the crow legend because of what happened with her late friend Eric Draven, has been having dreams about Ashe and Danny. One night when a crow leads her to the scene of the murders of Ashe and Danny, Ashe appears before her. The crow has resurrected Ashe, so Ashe can go after Judah and his right hand man Curve. With the guidance of the crow, Ashe starts killing off Judah's men one by one, on his way to Judah.
The film had a yellow tone throughout which makes everything look dirty or diseased. While staying dark. If that was the aim congratulations. If not it comes off as not only disgusting to sit through, but very distracting. Jon Bon Jovi auditioned for the lead role. \
At least has some kind of continuation to link it to other film. Which sequels lacked which is why now sequels seem to have titles instead of numbers. Which makes it seem like a continuation or new chapter rather than a sequel.
The ending is ridiculous even for a fantasy tale. It just seems too far-fetched.
The lead is miscast Played by Vincent Perez can barely speak English so he is hard to understand though tries To play role as his take on Jim Morrison, but more seems wounded or like a junkie throughout more physical then emotional. Tori Amos was considered for the role of Sarah, but refused because she did not like the character.
The film has a central theme as always of having some sort of love story. It's not much of a romance then as a flirtation. Which ends before it can even begin and pretty much severs the last connection to the original film. Originally, the main character's name was going to be "Michael Corvin"
You find yourself bored any many times as not only is the action not exciting or enticing. But the story is also less then compelling and any visuals that might be noteworthy are ruined by the tint.
As this film is simply dramatic it seems to have set the template for them Boiling down the story to it's simplest iteration. Proven itself to be monumental in it's own right.
The film tries hard to be goth as hardcore and comes off a lot tamer and misguided then the first film. --Was more interested in the casting of the film. It has a diversity that the first film only hinted at. It has an African American goth villain. The yellow power ranger at the time Thuy Trang as a henchwoman this was her first big truly post Power Ranger role. Unfortunately she passed away a few years after the film. this was her last big screen role. The fight scene between Vincent Perez's character (Ashe) and Thuy's character (Kali) was originally not in the script, but Thuy convinced the film's director, Tim Pope, to not only add the scene, but to also let Thuy do most of her own stunts. --Iggy pop is in the film as another henchman. Who seems to be perfectly cast. Only wish they gave him something to do. His presence does add some weight and coolness to the film.
The film also cast Mia Kirshner before the l word and after the film EXOTICA. Where she was still an ingénue and mysterious. Here she is darkly mysterious and beautiful. Though has very little reason to be here other then more as a symbol.
The film feels like a poseur rather than real and pure. In what it believes In. It feels like a cash into what the filmmakers think the audience for this film will want to see and tries to produce it. Though never bothering to seek what informs the spirit of the piece. Never truly trying to come up with something similar in spirit with a story of it's own.
The following were in the original version of the film, but cut from the theatrical version by Miramax in order to make The Crow: City of Angels more like The Crow: - Before Ashe runs from Sarah's apartment, he does not believe he is alive so Sarah stabs him with a kitchen knife. - When Ashe is going after Spidermonkey at the Trinity Drug Plant. Ashe takes Spidermonkey's gun and says, "Don't try this at home, kids!" and shoots himself. Then as Spidermonkey approaches, Ashe gets up, scaring Spidermonkey. - After Nemo is killed, Ashe confronts Holly Daze, the stripper he was with and tells her not to come here while tugging on her at the same time. - When Ashe builds Danny's grave, he does not burn his painting. - Kali and Curve's deaths are the other way around. - When Kali is thrown out of the window, there is a shadow of a giant crow morphing into Ashe showing that the Crow and Ashe are one - Kali is still alive, though crippled and unable to move, after being thrown out of the window. Ashe then comes out of nowhere and Kali commands him to kill her quickly because she is in pain. Ashe refuses and leaves her to die slowly as the crow symbol appears in blood around her.
• Judah tells the captured Sarah about himself nearly drowning as a child and visiting hell before he was revived, which he enjoyed, leading to him becoming the way that he is. - When the specter of Danny is at the Day of the Dead festival, he says to Ashe that it is time to go. Ashe says that he must protect Sarah and Danny disappears. Ashe looks for him in the crowd and turns a drunk guy around, believing it was Danny. - During the Judah fight scene, Danny's painting falls from Ashes coat. Judah rips it up. - In this version, Sarah and Ashe talk to each other just before Sarah dies. In which Ashe says he stayed on earth for her. - The ending is different. Because Ashe chose to go after Sarah which led to her (an innocent person) being killed, he must remain on Earth forever as part of the undead without her or Danny. - Ashe puts on Sarah's ring to remind him of her. - When Ashe brings Sarah to the church, the priest asks Ashe, "What will you do now, my son?" Ashe replies that he can't let another shadow take over Los Angeles...
The death of Brandon lee looked to be the nail in the coffin of this series of film, but the success of the graphic novel and the film kept the films almost inevitable. --It is next to the hulk one of the most disappointing series or franchises out there at least the crow original film is classic bit it's sequels and spinoff's have been horrible and worse uninspired. If someone could just come up with a worthwhile new entry it would be welcome to just preserve the legacy.