The Crow II: City of Angels

Post-apocalyptic Los Angeles: isn't that redundant? Anyway, it's the setting for this latest portion of the gothic, urban anthology of "The Crow". Slightly more "hi-tech" and "down and dirty" than we're all used to anno 1997, maybe that's the difference; pre-millennium is not quite post-apocalyptic. The PR notes read: "A decayed Los Angeles has become a netherworld of crime - where once great structures stood, now only a shell remains. A state of perpetual darkness looms over the metropolis where anarchy prevails and humanity is scarce. What's left of the city is run by drug lords and bands of thugs." Can anyone out there tell the difference between now and the time to come? In any case, Mr. Pope is keepin' it lookin' good and entertaining, with a score to match.

The Crow II: City of Angels
© RCV Film Distribution

Yes, folks, that man with the wild make-up is back, having suffered urban violence, and he's unexpectedly returned with his eyes aimed at personal justice (read revenge). This time, however, he no longer appears in the persona of Eric Draven, but of Ashe, a man with a new set of circumstances. Unfortunately, during the annual Day of the Dead celebrations, father Ashe and son accidentally witness a murder and are immediately joined with the dear departed by killers operating under crime-lord Judah Earl (Richard Brooks). Ashe (Vincent Perez), arises from the dead as the Crow in order to avenge his son's death. Ashe isn't completely aware that he's dead and must, with the help of Sarah (Mia Kirshner), make a spiritual transition in order to pursue his destination.

The "Crow" first appeared as James O'Barr's comic book character in the early 80's and was originally his personal response to the violent death of a close friend. As a form of therapy, he conceived the dark hero who has ultimately captured many imaginations.

British director Tim Pope's work is well-known to MTV audiences, most especially for his clips featuring The Cure throughout the years. A more than appropriate choice to visualize this tale, Pope proves himself extremely capable in rendering a captivating tale of the delicious post-apocalyptic years. Must be good stuff.

Superb points for director Pope as well as cinematographer Jean Yves Escoffier, editor Anthony Redman, and costume designer Kirsten Everberg. Iggy Pop's appearance as Curve, one of Judah's lieutenants, is a definite plus; don't miss the wonderful moment when he says, "a house in the country." (He's included on the track with a live version of "I wanna be your dog".)

Check out the CD, too. White Zombie, Bush, Seven Mary Three, Toadies, Hole, and PJ Harvey are only a few of the names here. The music not only takes you on the trip through the film, but is filled with hours of listening pleasure for whatever, at home or wherever; just set your player for "repeat". Come again?

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett