By Brett Mullins
Directed by Alex Proyas; Screenplay by David Schow
The Crow is a dark graphic novel adaptation that is truly unique in its film style and character interactions through its dark atmosphere and Brandon Lee’s performance.
Eric Draven is brought back to life a year following the murder of him and his fiance by a group of thugs. Following the guidance of a crow, Eric seeks revenge on those responsible for this crime.
However lacking this film is in complexity of the plot, it is more than compensated by the style of the film. The film is set in a dark, dreary Detroit, where the rain seems to never slow. Most shots are illuminated by either the moon, fires or dimly lit buildings.This gives the film a dark, yet vibrant tone; consider if Sin City was given a bit more color.
Amid this dying city are several colorful characters. Once Eric Draven begins his vigilante style rampage, he becomes an often humorous, poetic avenger that is bursting with life. The band of thugs are each unique and have depth, which is a quality that is often lacking in this variety of film.
Though Brandon Lee’s performance overshadows many other characters, Ernie Hudson and Rochelle Davis deliver spectacular performances that enable the audience to ultimately relate to the film.
It is worth noting that Brandon Lee died on the set of this film as a result of an accident. With the help of several stand-ins, the film was completed and released in his memory, much like Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. In a bit of poetic irony, it appears that Lee’s character inspired Ledger’s Joker in many regards.