R, 102 min.
Director: Alex Proyas
Writers: David J. Schow, John Shirley, James O’Barr (comic book)
Starring: Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Bai Ling, Sofia Shinas, Anna Thompson, David Patrick Kelly, Angel David, Laurence Mason, Michael Massee, Tony Todd, Jon Polito
It’s more than sad that the most significant thing about the movie “The Crow” is that it was the final screen appearance of Brandon Lee due to a freak accident on set that saw the actor and son of screen legend Bruce Lee killed by a gun shot during shooting. His first headlining role was in 1992’s “Rapid Fire” and with “The Crow” he was poised to become a new action star. Alas, it was not to be so.
I don’t think the fact that “The Crow” is a less than stellar movie would’ve slowed Lee down. It was a time when martial arts-based action movies were being spewed by Hollywood non-stop and surely another project helmed by one of the up and coming directors, like say John Woo, would’ve offered Lee an even bigger canvas on which to launch his super stardom. From what I could see, he wasn’t the best of actors, but the roles he would’ve been called to perform in his early career wouldn’t have required much. Surely, he could’ve returned for one of sequels to this egg.
“The Crow” was part of another movement by Hollywood at the time, a desperate attempt to recreate the success of 1989’s “Batman”. Many of the big name comic book properties were mired down in legal battles and pre-production hell, so many of the smaller studios were buying up lesser known comic book properties like they were liquid gold and spewing them out at a record pace in hopes of hitting the next big thing. Anybody remember “Tank Girl”? At least “The Crow” wasn’t that bad.