Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Crow Challenge Day Four: A Final Wicked Prayer

And here I am, at the end of my challenge to watch all of The Crow films. It's had its ups and downs, what with part 2 (City of Angels) almost zapping my will to live. Strangely, yesterdays The Crow: Salvation wasn't nearly as bad as expected (though still bad, don't get me wrong). Today, I hit the final installment; The Crow: Wicked Prayer.

Let's weigh up the pros and cons I knew going in to it. Pros: David Boreanaz is in it, and I always like him. Edward 'Kid John Connor from T2' Furlong plays The Crow, which should be good for a laugh. Dennis FUCKING Hopper is here. Machete plays a priest. I'm not sure if this is a recipe for a good film, but possibly a so bad it's good experience. That is, until you reach the cons, namely the fact it is another direct-to-video release, and it stars Tara 'worst thing in Uwe Boll's abysmal Alone In The Dark' Reid. I have to say, the Reid factor is enough of a nail in the coffin.


What did I think of the film? Strangely, it is probably the best installment since the original, but let me qualify that by saying it's still pretty excruciating, just not as much so as the last two.

The film makes a bold move by moving the action to a more desolate desert setting, like Arizona, and relies heavily on Native American mysticism. A group of Satanists, lead by my boy Boreanaz, go on a murder spree, seeking to resurrect Lucifer and reign Hell on Earth. In due course, they rip out the eyes of Edward Furlong's Native American girlfriend, giving evil Tara Reid precognition, then dispatch Furlong himself. From here, it is the typical deal of Furlong coming back from the dead and seeking vengeance. You know the score.

Crazy eyes!

The film doesn't really get brownie points for story, since it is the same tired plot in a desert, and all the while, the film feels like it wants to be Natural Born Killers, but just isn't brave enough. In spite of this, it wasn't the most boring to watch. Sure, you know exactly how it will all play out beginning to end, but it looks decent, and there are some very fun (not good, but fun) performances on show here.

'I'm gonna take my shirt off'.

Borenanaz pretty much plays Evil Angel again, and we all know he does that with relish. Danny 'Machete' Trejo appears as a priest in a glorious piece of stunt casting that is fantastically grindhouse. Dennis Hopper appears in the final act as a pimp/Satanist kind of person, but plays it exactly like his hippy druggy photographer character from Apocalypse Now. There is so much ham on screen, it can't help but be delicious.

I was really expecting Furlong and Reid to let the film down, but Furlong easily holds his own, seemingly the only person taking the film serious. Tara Reid is a bad actress, but unlike Alone in the Dark, she isn't the black hole of the film and gets a pass from me too.

Let me stress this though, all these positives mean the film is watchable, not good. It is based on a Crow spin-off novel, and it completely feels like fan-fiction. Everyone's favourite moments happen beat by beat, including forcing a stupid reason for Furlong to wear the Goth make up, giving the film the same tired feeling the other sequels had. It feels like a TV film in places, though a very well executed one, and though it has some gruesome set pieces, it never lets go and is truly violent. There is a lot of hookyness and silliness here, and it is impossible to ignore.

But all in all, it is a step up, and worth a peep if it pops up on TV at 2am and you have nothing else to do.

Well, that is all the films watched (I'm not watching the series) and in conclusion, I am glad I finally got to see the full Crow legacy. It's a shame it is all nonsense. I should have stuck with the first film and imagined the rest were some hardcore cult pieces that were too cool for the mainstream. It's much better than the reality that the Hollywood machine chews up a good idea and spat back out inferior knock-offs. There is a remake of The Crow on the way (eventually, inevitably) and it could go either way. It will either be like Batman and go full grit, or it will simply be another boring rehash. Frankly, each of the sequels is a remake as it is, which may be the reason an actual remake has been so slow coming together, since actual fans know just how tits up this can all go.

We can only hope it will get better because, you know, it can't rain all the time.

(Fuck yeah, recycling bad jokes)

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