Plot: What’s it about?
“The Crow: City Of Angels” was made to cash in on the success of the first Crow but seemed like a move in bad taste by many people due to Brandon Lee’s death. I wasn’t to keen on seeing it in theaters but I waited until video to see it. when I saw it I thought it was O.K. and I don’t think I watched it again until now for this review. I still feel pretty much the same way now. It’s an all right movie but it is better than “The Crow: Salvation.” I think that when I was watching it I just kept thinking that only Brandon Lee is associated with The Crow, no one else (Even though this is a new character & story.) However I think the film looks visually stunning like the first Crow with the dark gothic atmosphere and looks much better than “Crow:Salvation.” Vincent Perez was better than Eric Mabius and the villains where better than in Salvation. I thought Iggy Pop stood out as the best villain in the film and the others did fine as well but still not up to quality of Brandon Lee and “The Crow.”
“The Crow: City Of Angels” deals with another victim brought back from the dead for vengeance. Ashe (Vincent Perez of “I Dreamed Of Africa” & “Indochine”) and his son are murdered and dumped in the bottom of a pier after witnessing a murder. Sarah, (Mia Kirshner of “Mad City” & “Exotica”) the little girl from the first Crow is older and having dreams about the murder of Ashe and his son. The Crow appears in her window and guides her to the site of the murder in which Ashe rises from the water. She tells him of her dreams of the murder and Ashe is reminded of what led to their deaths through the touching of objects at his repair shop where he and his son where the night of the murder. Ashe Don’s the painted face and leather duds and is after the gang that murdered him and his son. Others in the movie include Richard Brooks (“The Substitute” & “The Hidden”) Punk Rocker Iggy Pop (“Hardware” and “Dead Man”) and Thomas Jane (“Deep Blue Sea” and “Boogie Nights”).
In City Of Angels Ashe rides a motorcycle versus “The Crow” where Eric Draven prefers rooftops and mysteriously disappearing. The setting is in a fictionalized version of Los Angeles instead of an unnamed city in the first one. Ashe ends up needing a little more help from the crow then Draven needed in the first one. Some other things that were interesting where that we see Sarah beyond the first film (including Gabriel the white cat) and that she is attracted to Ashe whom she is only supposed to guide on his quest for vengeance. There is no rain this time around but smog and broken glass all over the streets. The ending was different from the first and third Crow but I felt it worked even thought I thought that 1 & 3 had the better endings. City Of Angels had the least amount of action of the three films. However, the action was better choreographed in Angels than Salvation. I’ve heard that Salvation had the higher budged but Angels looks more expensive.
While I liked some of the things about “The Crow: City Of Angels” I still can’t get over watching this and not thinking that Brandon Lee is the only Crow. However I recommend that you give City Of Angels a rent because the story and performances are good and the movie looks good visually and is well directed by Tim Pope.
Video: How does it look?
“Crow: City Of Angels” is presented in its widescreen (1.85.1) ratio and is enhanced for 16×9 TV’s. The picture looks sharp and color levels look good and aren’t bleeding. Black levels look good as well. There is a yellowish tint to the picture which was intended and looks very good and adds to the atmosphere of the movie. There was no pixillation but there was a little edge enhancement but nothing distracting. Great job!
Audio: How does it sound?
There is a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Track and a DTS 5.1 Surround Track. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track and was pleased with what I heard. The levels between the dialogue and special effects/music were well balanced. There was some good action out of the rear speakers with music, gunplay, motorcycles and other bits. It was an aggressive mix. Well Done.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There was decent bonus material here. A tad better than “Crow: Salvation” in terms of the quality. Here there is an audio commentary track with Producer Jeff Most, Composer Graeme Revell, Actor Richard Brooks, Production Designer Alex McDowell and Costume Designer Kirsten Everberg. There are some interesting tidbits here and there but I would have preferred if everyone was together and there could have been two tracks split amongst the group instead of being recorded separately. There is a nice 20 Minute Behind The Scenes Featurette with some behind the scenes coverage and interviews with cast and crew members. (including Director Tim Pope, Screenwriter David Goyer, James O’Barr, Vincent Perez, Iggy Pop, Mia Kirshner and others). There is praise of Brandon Lee’s performance in the first film and all seem proud of “City Of Angels.” There is also a Production & Costume Design Featurette that’s around 22 Minutes with Alex McDowell & Kirsten Everberg commentary over it along with music while showing storyboards and drawings. There are also Production Design Stills and Original Poster Design Concepts which are nice as well. Finally a DVD-Rom link to Production Art Gallery, Screenplay viewer and Weblinks. Some nice stuff here but not as good as the first Crows bonus stuff.