31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Very stylish and enjoyable goth/graphic novel adaptation,
This review is from: The Crow (Miramax/Dimension Collector's Series) (DVD)I never saw this originally in '94 because I dismissed it as A. a martial arts film (and I hate those) and B. adapted from a comic (and I just can't get into those) and C. aimed at a teen/goth/punk audience (and I am way too old for that). What a mistake! Finally almost ten years on, a friend heard me say I really liked Alex Proyas' DARK CITY -- a neat sci fi film with a very different story but the same kind of dark fantasy look -- and couldn't believe I had never seen THE CROW and made me watch it.
I have to say that I really think this is a fine, well made movie and none of my preconceptions were remotely correct. The art direction is brilliant, with a wonderful and creepy gothic fantasy look, almost but not quite black-and-white, set in a mysteriously surreal "Detroit" that is in some kind of alternate universe from the real Motown. Brandon Lee is really charismatic and haunting in the role of Eric Draven, and not merely because of the tragic incident surrounding the film. He was real star material and just totally inhabits this part.
After seeing the film, I did read the O'Barr comic, which is very sincere and heartfelt, but I think the filmakers -- in what is a pretty rare event -- IMPROVED the plot and characters while keeping all of the angst and atmosphere. They totally honored the character of Eric and the basic idea of the avenger, the memories of his beautiful girlfriend, and sense of overwhelming grief that inhabits the graphic novel. Where they impoved the storyline in cinematic terms is in the treatment of the minor characters and villians. They really fleshed them out, and it enriches the movie and balances the storyline well.
Bookending the film with quotes from Sarah (Rochelle Davis), the little girl who narrates and observes much of the story is an example of a good idea that doesn't really exist in the comic, where the little girl is called Sherri and only appears briefly. Even more so is the expansion of the character of Top Dollar, who again is a minor episode in the comic and more of a grubby hell's angel/drug dealer -- in the film he has been transformed into a complex and compelling crimelord. Michael Wincott is simply amazing in this part, playing Top Dollar as a kind of depraved, satanic, renaissance prince, and clearly having a great deal of fun with this role, especially some wonderful and very clever dialogue. The very, very sick but quite sincere love story between Top Dollar and his psychic half-sister is the reversed-mirror image of the pure and innocent love of Eric and his fiance, a clever idea.
Wonderful music, great visuals, terrific acting...The Crow should NOT be missed.
NOTE: I bought the "Collector's DVD". Don't bother. There is NOTHING worth looking at on the second DVD, some production sketches and posters, nothing special. The director's commentary (on the first disk) is interesting to listen to ONCE, but you can get that on the single disk DVD. There is a smattering of extra footage, but nothing you will miss. Save some bucks and just get the one disk wide screen version.