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The Crow: City Of Angels Review

Image for The Crow: City Of Angels

Ashe rises from a watery grave after disentangling himself from the corpse of his son, to which he had been sadistically roped by an evil drug gang who then filled them both with lead and chucked them in the river. He teams up with Sarah (Kirshner), the young girl from the first movie now all grown up, who paints his face, procures him a leather coat and plonks him on a motorbike to emark on a vengeful rampage.

★★★★

The 1994 first outing for The Crow was most infamous for the tragic death of Brandon Lee (killed by a piece of blank bullet casing when a gun accidentally discharged), but in among the macabre fun to be had trying to spot at which point the crew began to carry on regardless of their star's demise was a pleasurably dark parable with enjoyable rock Goth visuals.

City Of Angels finds new character Ashe (Perez stepping into Lee's shoes) rising from a watery grave after disentangling himself from the corpse of his son, to which he had been sadistically roped by an evil drug gang who then filled them both with lead and chucked them in the river. Post-resurrection, the mysterious crow makes an appearance, swooping seemingly endlessly over the corrupt city, and Ashe teams up with Sarah (Kirshner), the young girl from the first movie now all grown up, who paints his face, procures him a leather coat and plonks him on a motorbike so that he can embark on a vengeful rampage.

First-time British director Tim Pope describes the movie as smelling of "water and mist". Unfortunately it reeks of something a tad more rural than that, with the anorexic storyline bolstered by MTV visuals which are at first uninspired before becoming repetitive and finally annoying - surprising from Pope with his background in rock promos and Coke adverts. The script steals from The Dark Half for its conclusion, Perez lifts liberally from Jack Nicholson's Joker, while the only other performance worth noting is Iggy Pop having manic fun as the drug-addled gangster, Curve.

But what really stymies this sequel is the lack of the melancholic air of loss and mourning that bolstered the cartoon histrionics of the original, a mood which emerged from author James O'Barr's experience of, and reaction to, the death of someone close to him. It's an absence which leaves City Of Angels strictly for the birds.

This sequel has a skinny story and lacks the personal melancholy that made the original cartoons so poignant.

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