Friday, April 22, 2011

The Crow: Wicked Prayer

If you're familiar with the Crow mythology, you won't find much new here, but maybe that’s the point. The films are all essentially the same: a young fellow and his girl are killed by Very Bad Men. But the Crow, an emissary between the land of the living and the land of the dead, brings the murdered man back so he can have his revenge.

The only real difference in these films is the locale and the cast of characters. In this case, the film is set on an Indian reservation in Utah, and our hero is named Jimmy Cuervo (cuervo being Spanish for crow, by the way). There is unrest on the reservation as the tribal leaders attempt to shut down the local mine and replace it with a casino.

Right into the middle of this steps Luc Crash (David Boreanaz), an escaped convict and satanic cult leader who is attempting to rile up the Indians, or the miners, or both, for some unknown reason. This will, eventually, help him become the Antichrist, or Satan, depending on the scene. Along with him are his henchmen War, Famine, and Pestilence, the latter being a Japanese cowboy with a Texas drawl (fun with stereotypes!)

After murdering Cuervo (Edward Furlong) and his girl, a ritual that involves the removal of her eyes and his heart, the henchmen and their moll scamper around the town causing trouble. It's all part of their intricate plan for revenge, and will somehow lead to Luc morphing into Satan. I'm not sure how one becomes Satan, and what becomes of the other Satan when that happens, but it doesn't much matter. The Crow has brought Cuervo back from the dead, and it's up to him to pick off the henchmen one by one, foiling their grand scheme.

As I said, there is nothing really new here that wasn't already covered in the first film (never mind its two sequels). The one exception being the idea of the Crow as spirit guide for the undead is presented as a bit of Native American lore. Some of the elements recycled from the first film aren't properly explained, and anyone not already familiar with the Crow mythos might be a tad confused by them. On the other hand, what appeal does a film like this have to a non-fan of the series? Probably very little.

David Boreanaz's performance adds up to little more than a reprise of the badboy persona of Angel from Buffy, though he doesn't seem to be having quite as much fun with it here. Edward Furlong proves once again he’s a fairly mediocre actor, and his career will likely continue on its downward trajectory.

Even to fans of the series, there is little to recommend about this one. To be fair, it's better than the previous two movies, but that isn't really saying much.

Directed by Lance Mungia • R • 2005 • 99 minutes

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