"The Crow: City of Angels" Movie Review

Starring Vincent Perez, Mia Kirshner, Richard Brooks, and Iggy Pop

It wasn't until I'd seen this movie about three times (since its theatrical release) that I made the connection (I'm a little slow sometimes). In the sequel, Sarah (the scruffy skateboarding mascot) has apparently taken Gabriel the cat and moved to LA. She's all grown up, and makes her living as a tattoo artist (when she's not busy styling her hair into little Bjork pigtails). Oddly enough, she sports the same tattoo of wings on her shoulder blades that Top Dollar's girlfriend-slash-half-sister had in the first movie... how did THAT happen? Chalk it up to coincidence, I guess.

Whereas the first movie had a very eighties goth sensibility (stark black and white color schemes, lots of rain in dark alleys), the second has a very nineties goth look (nicotine yellow fog, sepia and maroon prevailing). The dialogue is also considerably more goth, and therefore more amusing and quotable (see below for my favorite examples).

A crow leads Sarah out to the docks one night, where she greets the recently-undead Vincent Perez. Vince and his son were killed when they stumbled across a pack of drug dealers murdering one of their own. (Interesting how drug dealers have become the baddies of choice in the last ten years or so. I guess it's not very likely the drug dealers will picket a movie for unfair portrayals... although considering how moronic and obnoxious cinematic drug dealears always are, maybe they should.)

There's more of everything in this movie -- not only are the drug dealers spastic freaks; they're deliberately selling bad batches of drugs, and they're S&M fetishists, to boot! This is just one small example of the pervasive more-is-better ethic, which includes (but is not limited to) the acting. Even the damned BIRD chews (pecks?) the scenery!

Vince races around the city on his bitchin' motorcycle, tracking down the bad guys and killing them off one by one. Am I the only one who finds this revenge motif a little tiresome? (Fortunately the ever-so-tedious hunt 'em down is leavened by numerous S&M bondage scenes.)

Special Terminal recognition to Thomas "Shark Boy" Jane, who slinks around in a fluffy red wig, vinyl pants, and stacked heels, and gets Crow-inated while jacking off in a live peepshow booth. Vincent then carefully poses Thomas' body inside the booth with a cryptic message (an origami crow) tucked inside his mouth. Is this supposed to be a movie about the dead coming back to right what once went wrong, or about the Green River Killer?

Dialog awards:

"That's why they call me the Mistress of Pain." -- Sarah, in response to her customer whining that the tattoo process "stings a little."

"They call this the City of Angels, but all I see around me are victims." -- Sarah's meditative internal dialogue

"I said we all have our own pleasures. Mine is the pain of others." -- Judah, the head baddie

"Life is just a dream on the way to death." -- Vincent

Final score: 84 points

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Comments 1 comment

Lab 5 years ago

I know it's cheesy, but I LOVE this movie. COA is my favorite of the three Crow films, although I've cried like a baby at the end of the first one when Eric Draven reunites with his girlfriend.

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