USA 1994
CAST: Brandon Lee, Ernie Hudson, Jon Polito, Michael Unicott, Rochelle Davis, Bai Ling
ONE WORD: Excellent film.

I suppose this film rates along the lines of BLADE RUNNER, and films that stand out for its incredible well thought out vision and design. And it's hard not to appreciate a film like this, and the intent that was created with a production, in a story that is very plain, but a style that is just very well defined. The style, using various things from other talents, ends up creating a film that is at once original, and employs a new vision, that borders it on the spiritual, despite the sad loss of its leader, and person that made this film work so well.

It is the story of a young man whose life was taken, along with his girlfriend, by a group of thugs, whose thirst is for carnal knowledge of any kind, regardless of the outcome.

And based on a nice comic strip character, the Crow is the incarnation of that man that is coming back to life to avenge its wrongful death. With the help of a crow as a spiritual leader, the character is capable of reaching its destinations, and affect a change and appreciation in his own daughter, who has become a bit estranged, due to foster homes and the like.

The Crow affects revenge, in dramatic fashion, and eventually has to meet the leader of the group, who happens not to be just a simpleton to the martial arts. And their battle is of epic proportions, and is added to it with psychic moments, something which most martial arts films do not like to play with. There they treat it as a magical thing, that is used for control, and evil. Here, it is used as a matter of survival, and understanding.

The film has some excellent highlights, many of them illustrated by music very well used and placed, once again displaying its similarity to the likes of Blade Runner, but the parallels end there. THE CROW is an excellent film that stands on its own, despite its violent moments. There is enough tenderness and care, in between to leave you stunned. Even if a sad story, it is a monumental film in the way and style that the martial arts are used and worked with. Other than the HIGHLANDER series of films and TV shows, these arts are
respected and appreciated, and more often than not mis-used. Here they are used for the right reasons, never for the sake of showtime.

Beautifully designed and photographed, a treat for the large screen lovers. Not for the squeamish, as there is a fair amount of violence. But a great film nonetheless. And a tribute to its star, who died during the making of the film. One can only hope that if anything else, Lee and his more famous father, have left a legacy that has helped the martial arts from the level of violence to an era where it can be practiced for its rightful qualities. Those of a spiritual purpose for which they were designed.



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