Friday, October 12, 2012

The Crow: Wicked Prayer

When will the brass at Dimension Films realize that The Crow franchise is as dead as disco? They've drained it of all the creative juices this series ever had, but they continue to pump out brain dead sequel after brain dead sequel hoping that one day they'll have one decent enough to release in theaters. I don't see that happening anytime soon because these films are pure DTV fodder.

The story is exactly the same as all the other films in the series: Ex-con Jimmy Cuervo (Edward Furlong) is about to propose to his girlfriend Lilly (Emmanuelle Chriqui), but they are killed before she can say "I do" by the sadistic Luc Crash (David Boreanaz), his lover Lola (Tara Reid) and his gang of Satanists: War (Marcus Chong), Famine (Tito Ortiz) and Pestilence (Yuji Okumoto). They are to be part of a ritual sacrifice that will allow Satan himself to be reborn into Luc's body. Once dead, Jimmy comes back to life to avenge his and Lilly's death through the powers of the Crow.
Sound familiar? You guessed correctly that this film is not original in the slightest. It takes every idea from all the other films in the series, shuffles them and deals them in random order, only the character's names have been changed.

Writer/Director Lance Mungia (Six String Samurai), according to the documentary on the DVD, said he wanted to do something different with this film. By writing Cuervo as an ex-con that was in prison for murder he thought he had a character that was "edgy" and "rough around the edges". Ummm, did he ever see the last film in the series, The Crow: Salvation? Eric Mabius' "Crow" character was executed for murder in the first degree in the opening scene. LAME!

The acting is atrocious. Edward Furlong isn't the greatest thespian in the world, but he manages to pull off decent work once in a while (American History X). Here he is either asleep at the wheel or in a drug induced manic state. It's really baffling watching him change moods on a whim. I don't think his character was written that way, it was the coke doing all the acting. David Boreanaz is the same way. The guy can act (just check out some of the better Angel episodes), but here he totally overdoes it (especially when he's possessed by Satan). I never thought the unholy one was an Elvis impersonator. Virtually everyone here is awful, except for...

Tara Reid.
She's the only one who seems to be having fun and she looks like she's actually trying to add something to the character other than crazed pratfalls and drooling when speaking (because we all know that evil people ALWAYS drool when they speak). It's sad when she's the best actor of the bunch.

Dennis Hopper is even in this hunk-o-shite as a pimp, and she out-performs him! Maybe it was because this desperate, over-the-hill has-been was trying to act all "ghetto" by ebonicizing all his dialogue. It's truly a hysterical sight to hear this once great actor saying "Well, all wicked-ass props to you Mr. O.G. and thanks for representing all the homeys", or when he calls his whores "shorties". I had tears in my eyes. 

The whole Satanist angle is silly and is played for cheap laughs. The film looks like it was made with $36 and some change. The cinematography is crappy and not moody at all. The sets all look like sets in a high school gymnasium. I'm not going to go into this in great detail. Take my word that this movie flat out sucks in every respect, from direction to FX. It’s lazy, lazy film making just to make a quick buck.
Each film in this once promising series has gotten worse and worse. The original film was awesome. It was dark, moody and violent, something you just never saw in a comic book movie from the early 90s. The next installment, The Crow: City of Angels was severely cut down for time by Dimension films and the end product was a nonsensical blunder, although it had its moments. When that flick bombed the follow-up, The Crow: Salvation, despite starring Kirsten Dunst in a lead role, went straight to video and sat there gathering dust. It was boring, dumb and interested only in showing off crazy camera moves. And now we get this. It's a sad day for genre fans.

Why do they continue making these films, which are basically a remake or a remake of a remake? Because stupid idiots like me rent each one that comes out.

0.5 out of 5

*written 7/19/05

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