US (dir. Tim Pope)
Cast: Vincent Perez, Mia Kirshner, Richard Brooks (VI), Iggy Pop, Thomas Jane, Vincent Castellanos, Shelly Desai , Ian Dury, Tracey Ellis, Alan Gelfant, Kerry Rossall, Holley Chant, Beverley Mitchell
Synopsis: Based on the popular comic books by James O’Barr, this sequel finds Vincent Perez as a man named Ashe, who is murdered along with his young son by a gang of drug-running thugs under the employ of slimy kingpin Judah Earl. Ashe is resurrected with the help of a tattoo artist named Sarah, whereupon he begins a campaign of revenge against his killers.
Review: I don’t think anyone could have made this sequel to “The Crow” any crappier than it already is. I spent most of this movie either rolling my eyes, laughing, or wishing I had watched something… anything… else but this. I didn’t think they could do much in a sequel to a movie which pretty much wrapped itself up as nicely as possible in the end, but somehow someone felt that rehashing the original film’s concept, but with a different main character this time around, was the best way to go.
Despite having little to nothing to do with the original, “The Crow: City of Angels” feels like one long music video for Iggy Pop & The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. Not that it’s a terribly bad thing that Iggy Pop is in it (believe me, it’s actually not), but it feels like they play “I Wanna Be Your Dog” far too often, particularly in scenes with Iggy Pop in them. By the time the movie was done, I really didn’t want to ever hear that song again. I guess it’s due to the fact that the director is a director of music videos, so the fast cuts and extreme closeups are all remnants of his day job. On the plus side, music by some fairly awesome ’90s artists pops up in the movie ( Korn, Filter, Bush, White Zombie, etc.) and the freakin’ Deftones (yes, you read that correctly) even appear in the movie playing one of their own soundtrack contributions live. Pretty awesome, right? Yup. Too bad that’s all that’s awesome about this flick.
Besides not being as hot as Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), the new vengeance-seeking Crow ghost guy, Ashe (Vincent Perez), just feels like a second rate replacement with a distracting accent and more of a penchant for explosions and motorcycles than his hotter predecessor. Essentially all the time Eric Draven spent helping people out in “The Crow” is equal to all the time Ashe spends popping wheelies on his bike or blowing up shit in the sequel.
The bad guys are even badder this time around, and not because they are more vicious or violent, but because they have more involvement with weird satanic rituals and promote bizarre S&M fetish nights at their club. All the wacky supernatural stuff that the bad guys were into in the first movie is amplified in the sequel, thus giving the movie a sheen of incredibility. Not that the idea of a person coming back from the dead via a crow for vengeance isn’t implausible in itself, but the first film doesn’t go as far out there as the sequel does in terms of supernatural crow superpowers and weird, eyeless psychics.
Besides a surprise appearance by the Deftones (well, it was a surprise to me!) the only thing worth watching in this movie is a particularly nasty scene where Ashe kills off one of the hooligans responsible for his murder, and the murder of his son, by bursting through a glassed-in peepshow booth. Unfortunately Ashe ruins this scene by spouting one of those countless crow-related jokes that even Eric Draven was guilty of on occasion.
It’s unfortunate that the sequel sucks as bad as it does, especially considering that “The Crow” is one of my all time favorite films. One could argue that the sequel sucks as hard as it does due to the impossibility of having Brandon Lee back in the role of Eric Draven, but I don’t think that is the case. They could have easily put together a more watchable sequel than this with a different actor. Sure, they managed to nail the music once again, but everything else feels recycled – from the storyline to the characters. In the end watching “The Crow: City of Angels” felt like watching a bad remake of “The Crow”.