[EN: This review was written by guest journalist, Aaron Nicewonger (email@example.com).]
Title: The Crow: Salvation
Director: Bharat Nalluri
Writer: Chip Johannessen
Distributed By: Dimension Films
Starring: Eric Mabius, Kirsten Dunst, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, William Atherton, Fred Ward
Release Date: January 23, 2000
MPAA: Rated R
Our hero for this installment, Alex Corvis (Eric Mabius) is framed for the murder of his girlfriend Lauren Randall (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe). After spending a few years in prison, he’s executed via the electric chair. After his execution, Alex is resurrected by a mystical crow so he can clear his name and avenge Lauren’s death. Alex remembers that one of the real killers (who framed him) had a distinct scar on his arm, and goes on a quest to kill the man with the scar, all the while hunting down those involved in Lauren’s murder (this plot point will come up again later, which is why it’s worth mentioning). Click here to watch the movie trailer.
Well…what can I say about The Crow: Salvation? It’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen. And as far as sequels go, it’s certainly not the worst sequel I’ve ever seen, either. And as far as films based (somewhat) on comics, it’s certainly not as terrible as garbage like Frank Miller’s The Spirit. But that’s not saying much.
The film does do a cool/unique/original job of explaining Alex’s “Crow” face. When Alex was put in the electric chair, a mask/helmet was used to conceal his contorted face. When the resurrected Alex pries the mask off, the burns around his eyes and mouth and his ashen grey pale dead skin sort of work together to form the “Crow” look.
The movie itself has a unique plot, with The Crow being framed as a villain, and trying to prove his innocence (a plot line not explored by the previous films and therefore offering another level of uniqueness to this one). Whereas the first films were strictly a revenge plot, this goes along more like a murder mystery…that slowly gives way to the typical revenge plot.
Furthermore, remember that scar I mentioned?
There’s a really bad sub-plot with Alex looking to kill the man that framed him (the man with the scar). He supposedly kills that man, which makes him mortal, and apparently brings his quest to an end. But then it’s revealed that it was a fake scar done with make-up, which leads to Alex dying and being resurrected yet again to finish the job.
This brings up three really stupid points:
1) Why would the bad guys decide to give one of the henchmen a fake scar? Did they anticipate revenge from beyond the grave?
2) How did prosthetic make-up fool MAGIC?! How did killing the wrong man convince the magical powers-that-be that his quest was done?
3) Which leads to: Hold up! I thought Alex’s quest was to kill the MEN responsible for Lauren’s death. Not kill the one guy who framed him. This movie forgot its own main plot.
At any rate, aside from the murder mystery/scar sub-plot, the rest of this movie is almost a kill for kill rehash of the first two films. It brings nothing new to the revenge plot. We get the “kills a guy for his coat” scene; the “fast car” death scene; the “fire in the shape of a Crow” scene; the “dramatic irony kills” scenes; blah blah blah.
However, the surprisingly good acting from the main cast lifts this film above the level of lame it could have been.
Is it great? NO. Is it terrible? That’s debatable, but I say NO. It’s mediocre. Not as good as The Crow: City of Angels, a little better than The Crow: Wicked Prayer (which I’ll be reviewing next week), but nowhere near as amazing as the original The Crow.
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