"I want to be with your forever..."
The Crow series really didn't have an easy ride of it, did it? Brandon Lee lost his life while filming the iconic original, then came the all-style-no-substance sequel The Crow: City of Angels, then came the film I'll be talking about here, namely The Crow: Salvation. The less said about the fourth film (which could barely even be described as a film), The Crow: Wicked Prayer, the better. Salvation was the movie that was finally made when the 'other' third Crow movie, The Crow 2037 (which was to be directed by Rob Zombie) was aborted, and while it lacks originality, it is a much more satisfying flick that City Of Angels, and about as good a sequel as you could hope for.
Starring Eric Mabius and Kirsten Dunst, Salvation tells the story of Alex Corvis (Mabius), who is framed for the murder of his girlfriend and executed in the electric chair. The Crow resurrects him, now scarred with the trademark Crow makeup (which in this film is burned into his skin during his execution) and powers, so that he may clear his name and kill those people involved in both his girl's murder and his own death. It lacks the heady, breathtaking atmosphere of the Brandon Lee original, but it boasts a more polished production, a great lead cast and a typically brilliant soundtrack (the soundtrack albums to the first three films are absolutely fantastic and completely essential).
The script is rather lacklustre, with not really enough emphasis on Alex's return from the dead from a character standpoint. He just seems to accept it straight away. This is in contrast to the original, as you really got the feeling Eric Draven was freaked out and scared by his own new life, and thus more justification for his descent into partial madness. Eric Mabius plays the part of Alex well though, and does put across the character's determination to hunt down the bad guys very well.
Kirsten Dunst plays the sister of Alex's murdered girlfriend, and does well with what little she has to work with. The interplay between her character and the Alex character is interesting, but it could have been explored a little deeper as again, it all seems quite convenient. There are some woeful jumps in logic throughout the film, possibly down to some bad editing decisions, but as a whole it works. The ending is frustrating, in that it offers no real conclusion to the plot, but I must stress that these negative aspects don;t stop the film being an enjoyable little sequel that was less of a parody of the original than City of Angels was.
The direction and cinematography are rather pedestrian, but this can be explained by a tight budget. Director Bharat Nalluri did a great job with the resources he had. Now, if Dimension had left it alone after this one, the world would be a better place. Sadly, Wicked Prayer came along after it and completely buggered the franchise up. Mind you, the TV series didn't help much either. Stick to the original and Salvation. I guess The Crow has the opposite dilemma to the original Star Trek movies, in that the odd numbered ones are far superior to their even numbered (and somewhat deformed) brethren.
You Can purchase The Crow: Salvation on Amazon by clicking HERE!
(Unfortunately I can't find an upload of the trailer, so instead here are some clips from the movie and its soundtrack...)