Movie history boasts of many family dynasties in which a celebrated actor’s offspring develops a similarly successful career. Yesterday, this column reviewed “Enter the Dragon,” an action film starring the late Bruce Lee. Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, was also a respected action star who died young. One unfortunate common denominator between the two was their early deaths. As his career was poised to to ascend even higher, the younger Lee died in an on-set accident while filming the comic book movie “The Crow,” which came out in 1994.
Based in a crime-ridden Detroit, “The Crow,” focuses on Eric Draven (played by Lee) a rock guitarist who is murdered along with his girlfriend, Shelly, by vicious street gangsters. Near the anniversary of their deaths, Eric is brought back from the dead and is guided by a crow. His mission is to get revenge. Back on Detroit’s mean streets, he is reunited with his friend Sarah (played by Rochelle Davis), a little girl whose mother is more interested in drugs than parenting. He also finds Albrecht (played by Ernie Hudson), a washed up cop who was at the crime scene where our hero died a year earlier. As the reincarnated hipster hunts down the criminals, he dresses in a tight, black leather outfit and wears white makeup on his face.
“The Crow” has a fairly standard revenge story, but it is still worth watching since it is well directed by Alex Proyas, who makes the film visually compelling. The look and feel of the movie is very gothic. Most of the film is overcast.
The late Brandon Lee is excellent in the lead role. He brings a lot of charisma to his character. Michael Wincott is also strong as Top Dollar, the crime boss who is at the top of Eric’s hit list. Rochelle Davis is quite good as Sarah, Eric’s young friend who is happy to see him again. His attentiveness to her unfortunate circumstances signals to the audience that in spite of his murder spree, he does have a good heart.
“The Crow” is a great choice for fans of revenge films.