ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Crow 2: City of Angels (1996)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Tim Pope

Starring:
Vincent Perez/Ash
Mia Kirshner/Sarah
Richard Brooks/Judas
Iggy Pop/Curve
PLOT-CRUNCH
There is another. Ash (Perez) comes back from the dead to avenge the murder of his son and himself. Helped by a grown up, yummy Sarah (Kirshner) and a big black bird he locates and dispatches of the incredibly stupid thugs. Did death prepare him for Iggy Pop??? Let's find out.
THE LOWDOWN
I really wanted to love this flick, being a huge fan of the first one, I expected the moon. What did I get? Basically a weaker copy of the original. I guess the screen writer watched the first one a lot cause he slapped in some of the same things but with less filling. The thugs are mostly all one dimensional stinkers (or is it the actors), The Crow once again inspires someone to quit drugs, The Crow still leaves his mark but this time it’s ALL THE TIME in very silly ways (would an undead avenger take the time to make a little paper crow? I think not) and the main villain is once again dispatched in a supernatural way (what ever happened to an old fashion bullet in the head?).

The movie passes over too many opportunities: like the love story between Sarah and Ash, why hint at it so hard and not go into it? What a let down! (I smell edit). Another cop out is the shootout scene in the sex club. Ash gets shot and…that's it! There was a perfect chance to give us a great action piece (the bang bang scene in the first one was kickarse) but it doesn’t happen. I mean if you’re gonna copy a film, copy the best scenes! The film is missing the heart and the focus of the original and having the movie take place in an SnM world feels out of place and gratuitous. Don't get me wrong, tits, lesbians, whippings are all good with me, but in a Crow film…it don’t work, keep that shite for the Michael Douglas movies. And to make it worse, the sets look cheap (looks like a junkyard with extras), the characters are mostly uninvolving and the ending is very silly.

On the positive side the film has great style, manages to lightly pull the heartstrings (mainly because of Graeme Revel’s somber score), Sarah (Kirshner) is way babeliscious, we get a visually interesting "day of the dead" parade sequence, they toss in some religious undertones (The Crow a Christ like figure…why not?) and Perez looks great in the Crow makeup. I know this sequel had huge shoes to fill but they could’ve done so much better. I wonder if the budget was smaller for this one, cause it looks pretty cheap compared to the original. Can the crow still fly with one broken wing?
GORE
A little bit of blood here and there nothing to write home about. The goriest scene is the eyes poked out bit. I should also mention that the film has many computer effects and they look very lousy.
ACTING
I will start by saying that I’m a huge Vincent Perez fan. I know him mainly from his French work (Cyrano, La Reine Margot). He’s usually a very competent thespian but here he’s lost. His performance is too theatrical and he has lots of trouble with the levels the character goes through. Sadness, insanity, anger…all those emotions are played very big, I think Vincent forgot he was doing a movie. This ain't the stage bud, tone it down. But I will admit that he looks fantastic in the makeup and that he gives his own spin to the character of The Crow (no Brandon Lee imitation here)…I still love you Vincent. Mia Kirshner (Sarah) doesn’t have much to do but look gorgeous and have watery eyes…she excels at doing both.

The part needed more meat. Iggy Pop (Curve) overacts big time and even sings his lines at one point (tunnel scene). In my book he just didn’t work but the man still does great music. Vincent Castellanos (Spider Monkey) sucked the big one, he can’t even play one dimensional right. Talk about bad acting…Thomas Jane (Nemo) is the only thug that’s interesting, he brings humor to the role and is very credible, he also looks great in a wig. Richard Brooks (Judah) bored me to death as the main bad guy and lets his cut chest do most of the acting. He’s pretty goofy. I will admit that the part is very badly written and Brooks doesn’t have much to play with. Brooks is a competent actor I just think he was miscast.
T & A
A stripper shows us some breast action, lesbians kissing, dude getting whipped, gay’s fondling. It’s like my place around Christmas time. Ho Ho Ho.
DIRECTING
Pope does the video clip thang. Some nice angles, a lot of close ups (he loves Kirshner’s eyes and lips) and some stylish moments. He uses two filters for the movie: blue and orange. I was a bit sick of orange by the end of the flick. I personally loved the scene where Ash gets the Crow makeup painted on him by Sarah (quite emotional) and then preps up for action (nicely directed). And thank god Pope kept in the quick flashbacks, they worked in the original and they work here too. One big mistake: He should’ve directed Perez a bit…remind him it wasn’t Shakespeare.
SOUNDTRACK
Awesome again. Hole, White Zombie, Filter, Bush, Iggy Pop, Korn and Graeme Revell’s haunting score.
BOTTOM LINE
This movie is far off from the original. On its, own it’s an average actioner, with poor effects, so so acting and a bad ending. It does have a great score and two good looking main leads but you need more than that to make an excellent Crow film. I know it could have been worse (like that putrid Crow TV show), at least this film stays true to the core of the Crow comic and still has grief, sadness, revenge and anger as its themes, I just wished they handled it all a bit better. The Arrow has high hopes for the next film in the series "Crow Salvation", The Crow has to get back on top. I mean this series is not that hard to nail down, it’s a fairly simple formula, all they need is to put the heart back into it. The Crow can still fly…I know it can…
BULL'S EYE
Rob Zombie (use to be the singer of White Zombie) was once slated to star, write and direct the third Crow film. It fell through…too bad, his script was set in the future.

The Crow TV show really sucked and was filmed in BC Vancouver.

Vincent Perez did all his stunts for the finale. Yes, he’s the one falling off a five story building, he’s the one getting hanged on the lamp post and he’s the one getting whipped…u go boy!
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