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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Miramax just keeps beating a dead horse. The original Crow film, forever remembered as the film that would have shot star Brandon Lee to superstardom if not for his tragic death during filming, was somber in it's tone but was an excellent action film and undoubtadly one of the best comic to film adaptations of all time. Not long later, a sequel (Crow: City of Angels) was churned out based soley on the first film's success, and it was an absolute waste of film. The third film (Crow: Salvation) wasn't quite as bad, but marked the first film in the series to be released direct to video, and when watching you can see why. And now, we have the Crow: Wicked Prayer; the fourth film in the series, and the second to be released direct to video. The storyline (if you can call it that) revolves around an ex-con Jimmy (Terminator 2's Edward Furlong) and his Native American girlfriend who are murdered by a Satanic biker gang (led by David "Angel" Boreanaz and has-been in the making Tara Reid), leading to Jimmy's ressurection as the latest incarnation of the Crow. The first thing you'll notice from the film is the absolutely horrible acting from everyone involved, whether it's Furlong slumming through his role to Boreanaz hamming it up in the film's climax as a wanna-be comedian Satan. Not to mention that poor old Dennis Hopper is here as well, but for no real reason. The storyline is devoid of any emotion or conviction, and what has happened to the soundtrack? Every Crow movie, no matter how bad one could have been, would have a great soundtrack, and Wicked Prayer certainly doesn't. I wouldn't even recommend this to the most die hard fan of the series, Wicked Prayer is an abomination of film and it's license, and it should be avoided by everyone.
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I couldn't wait to give this film a chance. Being a big fan of The Crow and most of its incarnations.

I must say that after watching this film I honestly believe that any hope for another decent film based on The Crow is gone. I tried forcing my way to the end, mostly because I paid for it. Upon getting to the point where the mexican/native american (never knew for sure which) does the crow dance to heal the bird I was a goner. I had to fast forward it through the rest of the film. I can't believe that someone read this script and said "I'll give away money to make that!"

The acting wasn't overly bad, mostly just a bad story. Edward Furlongs character has absolutely no confidence as The Crow and it showed. You couldn't make out half of his lines in the movie. The romance between him and his gal was totally unbelievable. I honestly could write a chapter on why I hated this movie, but it just isn't worth anymore of my time. Buyer Beware!

PS: The soundtrack was just a waste. What happened to the always cool Crow movie soundtrack to redeem at least a few scenes?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Let me start this review by stating emphatically that this movie SUCKED. It's HORRIBLE. I beg you -- nay! -- I PLEAD with you never, ever to waste a second of your life watching it. The only wickedness here would be if you didn't heed my advice and coughed up a Ballbuster rental fee. The fact that Jay O'Barr, who penned the original "Crow" graphic novel and fought tooth and nail along with Brandon Lee to get it made into a movie the right way, has his name tacked onto the credits of this dreck is truly an insult to that tortured genius. I remember an interview from the original Crow DVD where he equated his idea to a beautiful tree that witless studio executives lined up to p*** on. Well, Jay, it looks like their bladders are still tragically full.

Painful as the subject is (excuse me while I dose myself with morphine....aaaah) I shall now discuss the movie. Basically, this fourth entry (there was a third?) in the "Crow" series finds a reformed ex-con played by Edward Furlong and his honey getting offed by a cult of Satanic-worshipping muscle-car driving baddies led by David ("Buffy/Angel/Bones") Boreanaz and Tara "Psychic Network Here I Come!" Reid, who want to....oh, to hell with it. Who cares? The plot is utter gibberish, basically an excuse to put Furlong in Brandon Lee's facepaint, a job for which this tyke is woefully inadequate, since Furlong is every bit as intimidating as Gumby.

Okay, the plot is nonsense. So what else is wrong with it, the audience asks? Well, unlike Boreanaz's "Angel", I am not immortal, so I'll just stick to the main points:

1)The writing. Dreadful, just bloody dreadful. The writing in the later sequels to the "Friday the 13th" films actually seem like masterworks in comparison.

2) The editing. The film flows like it was thrown in a wood chipper and re-assembled by an octopus.

3)The sound. I couldn't hear half of what was said. Oh, no, wait....on second thought that's a blessing.

4) The complete, utter lack of atmosphere. The original "Crow" was urban film noir at its best. What the hell happened?

5) The acting. No actor could possibly choke out dialogue this bad and look good. Tara Reid looks like she got hit over the head with a shovel --probably shock from realizing her career is now offically a trivia question on Jeopardy. And David Boreanaz never comes close to the brilliant nastiness he produced playing Angelus on "Buffy" and "Angel." Why? See #1.

I could go on to points 6 - 600 but why bother? This flick is a classic example of Hollywood kicking a once-proud idea to death in the hopes of knocking a few last few coins out of the corpse. Those responsible for making it should be fined, all copies of it destroyed, and everyone who saw it entitled to free hypno-therapy.
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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2005
Format: DVD
So you know how between Terminator 2 and 3, John Conner is supposed to turn into a loser? Well, this movie could explain it all.

Yeah. Eddie Furlong is the Worst Goth Ever. Robert Smith could kick this Crow's @$s.

David Boreanaz is the Worst Villian Ever. Robert Smith could kick his @$s, too.

Tara Reid has the Worst Hairdo Ever. Robert Smith's hair could...you get the idea.

This movie has exactly one redeeming factor - it gave Chozen ("Karate Kid Pt. 2") and Tank ("The Matrix") enough money to make rent before having to go back to work at the Taco Shack.

A surefire way of making this movie better: cast Christopher Walken in either lead role.

A surefire way of getting this movie an Oscar: cast Christopher Walken in BOTH lead roles.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2005
Format: DVD
First off, for all of you posting reviews and not having seen the film, what are you doing? Ever heard of actually seeing something before you review it?

This review is based soley off the film itself, not the DVD, which is not due out for another month and a half. I recently SAW the movie (unlike the other reviewers here) and here is my review of just the film. I originally rated this film 4 crows out of 5 on my site. But given the fact that so many have seen fit to pre-judge this film and rate it a one without seeing it, I have raised my rating here at Amazon to a 5 star so as to balance things out somewhat.

Finally, after what seems like a lifetime, THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER had its official premiere at the AMC Pacific Place Theatre in Seattle Washington, on Friday, June 3rd. It will play at the AMC Pacific Place for a week, then it will have a direct to video release on Tuesday, July 19th. This review is purposely low in spoilers and scene specific information. It is not my intent to spoil the movie for you, but to give you my overall opinion.

THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER is inspired by the same-name novel by Norman Partridge. The story keeps the desert setting and satanic gang element from the novel, but changes up pretty much everything else. Luc Crash and Lola Byrne (David Boreanaz and Tara Reid respectively) lead a gang called the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (Marcus Chong, Tito Ortiz & Yuji Okumato round out the gang). They have been individually wronged and together, they seek justice. To realize this justice, they must take the blue eyes of a girl with a Native American heritage and the heart of a killer. Enter Lily Ignites the Dawn and Jimmy Cuervo (Emmanuelle Chrique and Eddie Furlong). Jimmy is about to be free from the shackles that have kept him in town. His plan is to marry Lily and leave town, taking Lily with him. Unfortunately, this is not to be as Lily and Jimmy fall victim to the Four Horesman's plans. Jimmy comes back, empowered by the crow, to take his revenge and stop the gang from completing their satanic ritual. The irony of the story is Jimmy's revenge will mean he saves the town that despises him.

LOOK

THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER marks a return to a stylized form of film making. Each scene, especially early on, is like a framed poetic piece of art work. That word "poetic" was used by quite a few folks when describing various scenes. The film/story is set in the desert Southwest. Everything has dust/sand on it. There is a natural haze that seemingly lifts once night fall comes. Gone is the urban decay of previous stories. This dusty/dirty atmosphere helps to establish the film as a modern western tale.

STORY / ACTION

This film presents a lot of social issues and those are played out nicely during the film. The local community is odds over the mine in their town being closed to allow for a casino to be built. The one thing that the town can agree on is nobody likes Jimmy Cuervo (Eddie Furlong). This conflict pits the Native American community against the rest of the community. This conflict, in part, lends to some of the reasons why the Four Horseman gang featured in the film are seeking revenge. The gang believes THEY are righting wrongs. This clash of missions with Jimmy's will make for some interesting discussion by fans. Also, the dislike of Jimmy sets his character up to be a truer representation of the anti-hero created by James O'Barr in his original story. This is the one element that really captured my interest in the script and it is played out beautifully through the film.

The story is spiritual in nature. Native American mythos are added to the ever growing mythology of this franchise. The satanic themes presented may or may not appeal to everyone. Some who saw the film with me were a bit bothered by the satanic imagery and themes. It didn't bother me because there is a balance of this super natural element a long with the Native American spirituality and social themes. In my opinion, the satanic element highlights the despair the whole gang is in and represents a reaching out to the easiest way for them to deal with their pain. These people are not entirely evil, which is evidenced through some very well done moments in the story where the gang isn't so sure of themselves. This humanizes these characters that have in previous Crow films been nothing more than cartoon characters lined up for the slaughter. Jimmy could easily have fallen into this gang. Were it not for the love of Lily, he may well have. It is this tip toeing of the line between who is good and evil that makes the story fascinating.

Action is straight on, not a lot of martial arts. Wires are used from time to time, but other than that, the action is raw and emotional. There are no car chases, no exaggerated fighting styles. This is bare knuckle action and it fits the setting and story perfectly. I really liked that the action was not over the top.

ACTING / DIALOGUE

By far, Eddie Furlong (Jimmy Cuervo/The Crow) gives the best performance in the film; and well he should. This is his film to either make work or not and he brings forth an emotional and tragic performance. He has some great lines and he delivers all of them dead on. Having read the script numerous times, I was anxious to hear/see his delivery of some of my favorite lines. He flat nailed them and in a few cases, really surprised me with a delivery I did not expect.

Emmanuelle Chriqui (Lily) who plays Eddie's love interest and catalyst for his return is fantastic. She conveys the beauty, strength and love that the role called for.More so than any previous film in the franchise, Emmanuelle (Lily) has a lot more to do in the story than just being the damsel in distress.

David Boreanaz (Luc Crash/Death) does a good job as Luc, though his later scenes channeling Satan are a bit too animated in my opinion. Luckily, he is not Satan for long enough to derail the film, but I would have liked a more reigned in performance when he finally channeled Satan. He does such a good job as Luc, it is a shame he ends the film hamming it up.

Tara Reid (Lola Byrne) gives a really subdued and tragic performance, she does a great job. I know she takes a lot of flack for playing the same character over and over, but she does bring an element of tragedy to Lola Byrne.

As for the rest of the gang, Marcus Chong (War) is the anchor of the gang and does a great job delivering, in many cases, poetic verses in the midst of chaos. Yuji Okumato (Pestilence) steals practically every scene he is in. He does a great send up of a wannabe cowboy and his "western" accent is a hoot. Some may remember him as the villain opposite Ralph Machio in Karate Kid 2. The biggest surprise was Tito Ortiz (Famine). I half expected him to be totally out of place amongst the "real" actors, but he holds his own and is a steady presence.

David Ortiz (Sheriff Tanner) is really good. His scenes with Eddie are some of my favorites from an acting/dialogue aspect. Danny Trejo (Harold) is always good and he delivers once again in a supporting role. Rounding out the cast is Rena Owen (Mary), who gives a short, but emotional performance. Richard Cumba (Moses), like Rena, has a short role but makes the most of it. He plays a preacher who has a past with Luc. His confrontation with Luc (Boreanaz) is one of David's best scenes. Daymond John (Proud Foot Joe) is OK, definitely not an actor, though he doesn't have a lot of scenes that require him to "act". He does have one of the movie's funniest moments when he comes upon a newly resurrected Jimmy Cuervo.

Dennis Hopper (El Nino) is good, albeit he is saddled with some of the worst lines in the movie. I never liked the gansta' lingo his character uses when I read the script and as feared, it sounds as out of place as it reads. Hopper makes what is basically a cameo, so his dialogue is not around long enough to do any real harm. The last performance to speak of is Macy Gray (Cara Mae, bodyguard for Hopper's Nino character). She is.....well, she is Macy Gray. Not even close to being an acting talent, Gray basically is a presence and thankfully, her "presence" is short-lived.

WHAT KILLED (what I liked the best)

The opening sequence, with its tip of the 10 gallon hat to THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY intro of the gang is great and sets the tone perfectly. Jimmy and Lily's intros are great. It was a nice to actually see both lovers alive at the beginning, where we can see them relate to each other rather than relying on flashbacks to establish their relationship. This adds strength to our empathy/sympathy for Jimmy later on. Jimmy's resurrection is done perfectly, a lot of emotion.

The music is absolutely fantastic. Jamie Christopherson's score is THE best, in my opinion, to date. It uses guitars, harmonicas, brass, all the elements that you would expect from a western setting.This is the first Crow film without the benefit of a rock soundtrack. In my opinion having a score-only soundtrack works perfectly given the desert setting.

As I mentioned before, Eddie Furlong's performance is spot on. He has the crux of responsibility in this film and he handles it beautifully. His character is very different from previous Crow films. He is torn when he comes back. He doesn't want to be there, he wants to be with Lily. Eddie does a great job conveying this pain. Eventually he accepts that this is the only way to be with Lily again. Emmanuelle is a dream, you can feel her love for Jimmy and the strength she has.

The villains overall are a much improved element over previous sequels. The beauty of this film is for the first time, we see the villains as humans. They have back stories that we are given glimpses into through their introductions and flashback sequences.

As I mentioned, Lance's style is great to watch. The camera angles and shots are beautiful. The editing is near flawless with some very nice transition scenes that go from real-time to flashback back to real-time with beautiful results. I would have to say that for the first time in the sequels, we have a very technically sound film here. There was great care and work put into this film during post-production and it shows.

Finally, the ending is one of the best since the first film from an emotional level. It is beautifully shot and executed; you will be moved by it. Again, the word "poetic" comes up time and again when I look for a way to describe the look and feel of this film.

WHAT DIED (stuff I didn't like)

My only complaint with the film is the first half of the 3rd act. This is when Luc has channeled Satan and he and Lola are married to further consummate the union. The wedding itself is fine, but as I mentioned before, David Boreanaz, in my opinion, is too far over the top. The dialogue David has during this part of the film is sprinkled with a tongue-n-cheek tone, but his delivery works against the intent, in my opinion. There are a few exceptions, such as when he and Reid are leaving the church he nails a line that is one of his funniest in the film and really got a great reaction. He obviously tries to take a page from Jack Nicholson's slant on the Joker from the first BATMAN film, but goes two pages instead.

Hopper's dialogue is cringe worthy in the first half of the 3rd act. I had hoped perhaps the delivery of the lines would improve them from the last script I had read. But as feared, the gangsta' lingo sounds out of place and I wish it would have been changed. Thankfully the 2nd half of the 3rd act gets things back on the right track with a fitting end.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Well, after much waiting and build up, the film delivered the goods for me. The film for me has been like a road trip. Since my site has covered the pre-production, production and post-production extensively, I feel like we have been a long for the ride. It was a road trip that has seen a lot of detours, missed exits, closed sections of highway and delays. But in the end, through all the miles of traveling and adventures in between, the final destination is worth it. My only regret about the film is that it will not see a much deserved full fledged theatrical release. It is high quality work and it is a shame that a film like this is not given its just due, especially in light of the films that have been given a theatrical release of late that absolutely tanked at the box office.

LLcruize / Co-webmaster of A Boy & His Bird
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2005
Format: DVD
I got online and read the reviews of this movie and there are actually some people who thought it was on track with the original. What is wrong with you people this movie was bad and when i say bad i mean it really sucked., I felt like 90 minutes of my life were stolen away from me. Edward Furlong was the complaining the whole movie the crow is supposed to be a badass and he was like some little kid. David Boreanaz who i think is a decent actor really was not very believable as the villian and Tara Reid possible took the title away from Elizabeth Berkley in "showgirls" as worse actress in a movie ever. Do not buy only rent if you you are at the video store and your choice is this movie or bridges of madison county because at least you will laugh at the crappiness of this one!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Wow, where do I start? I expected this film to be bad, but still had to see it. OUCH! This was the mother of all bad movies- it sucked way further than I even expected!

I have a right to this opinion because a. I always give sequels a chance (Cruel Intentions 3 kicked ass) and b. I'm a die hard Crow fan.

But i hafta echo the guy that put "I want my 90 minutes back" in his review. This film absolutly sucked. The storyline and actors lacked talent, intensity, passion.

Did they even see the original "Crow" film? This seemed to take the p***.

The line "Quote the raven mother f*****!" made me cringe internally and externally.

Crow 3 at least tried a different spin and different method of getting the face. Crow 4 Wicked Prayer had no originality at all.

Trust me, don't waste your time. They should leave "The Crow" to rest in peace now, after this sequal so badly abuses it. Crow 2 and 3 where good attempts.

The worst thing is, internet rumours are spreading whispers of a Crow 5 with the Crow being female (been there done that very well in the series).

The Original is the best- the next best thing being The Crow - Stairway to Heaven TV series because it stays extremely faithful to the first movie, using Eric Draven and his story, extending it with fantastic content. Now that is worth a watch if you can get your hands on it!

I hope Brandon didn't see.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I had no real desire to watch this movie. I saw the original Crow movie years ago and, although it was a darn good movie with a great soundtrack, I have never gotten around to watching any of the sequels. Then I saw all the comments about how awful this film is, and I just had to go ahead and watch it. Just the fact that Tara Reid is in it is pretty much the kiss of death, and - to no one's surprise - Tara proves once again that she can't act a lick. The real mystery here, though, is why on earth David Boreanaz signed on to this film. It's not like his career is teetering on the edge; this must have come along before the offer to star in TV's Bones, or maybe he just got drunk one night and signed the deal without knowing what he was doing. I suspect, though, he just wanted the chance to play an unambiguously evil character. For awhile, it looked like he might come out of this relatively unscathed, then he made a complete fool of himself in the movie's final scenes, taking atrocious dialogue and actually making it worse than it already was. Dennis Hopper's appearance, I can understand. He seems to jump at any chance for a cameo, especially if the character is a spaced-out loony. Ah, but what of The Crow himself? Edward Furlong? I'm sorry, but old Eddie makes for the least intimidating Crow of all time. He looks like a Culture Club reject who could be blown away at any time from a stray puff of wind.

We all know the story. A guy gets murdered, and the proverbial crow, rather than taking his soul on to wherever, restores him to life (or unlife) long enough for him to exact revenge on those who killed him (and, more importantly, killed his woman). Jimmy Cuervo (Furlong) made the mistake of falling in love with an Indian girl, and that doesn't go over well on the reservation. In fact, it leads to a necktie party for two arranged by an escaped con and his gang of Satanic cult tag-alongs. Luc Crash (Boreanaz) isn't just an evil guy; he has designs on the role of AntiChrist. He also has the ultimate trashy girlfriend in Lola Byrne (Tara Reid). Anyway, he and his gang of Four Horsemen go around committing mass murder without the cops even noticing, while Eddie (now The Crow) slithers around and gets his butt kicked on a routine basis. Then we get into some increasingly silly business with devil worshipping, spell-casting, virgin-sacrificing, Satanic mumbo jumbo which gives us - who else - but Satan himself. And, wouldn't you know it, Satan fancies himself quite a standup comedian. (Why do they always portray Satan in such a ridiculous way?) Trite, trite, trite - and silly. Maybe a halfway impressive Crow could have salvaged something from this movie, but I doubt it. I just don't see Crow enthusiasts (or anyone else, for that matter) getting anything out of this movie at all. The Crow: Wicked Prayer is just like Tara Reid - hopelessly confused and increasingly unappealing.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2005
Format: DVD
When the first Crow came out, it blew the audience away. People loved it. They wanted more. What we got was some crappy-@$$ movies based on themes from the original Crow. This is the third sequel to a movie loved by comic fans. This is the third time we've been let down. And this is the third time Brandon Lee has rolled over in his grave to take a sh*t on the people who made these crappy movies. If you want a decent Crow movie (like me) lets have the Wachowski brothers pull a little Matrix magic out of their bags and restart a franchise that could have been big, but instead went quickly down the crapper.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you have seen the first Crow, then you have seen the rest. If you have also seen the third installment in addition to the first one, then you have seen the fourth one. There is nothing new here. There is nothing good here. It's the exact same images, elements, story, and climax of the previous movies, but with one-dimensional actors that should never have been allowed to have characters in this movie. It's a disgrace to the original. I hated, literally, every minute of this movie. I feel like a worse human being for watching it.
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