The Crow: Salvation

The Crow: Salvation (2000)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Eric Mabius, Kirsten Dunst
Extras: Commentary Track, Production Design, Raven Profile, Featurette, Make-up Design

When discussing the newly released ’The Crow: Salvation’, the question isn’t ’Is it as good as the first film?’ (because there’s no way that it could be), but rather, ’Is it as bad as the second one?’ The answer is that while ’The Crow: Salvation’ isn’t the rotting carcass of depravity that ’The Crow: City of Angels’ was, it does turn out to be another bastard cousin of the great film which started the series. ’The Crow: Salvation’ stars Eric Mabius as Alex Corvis, a young man who has been wrongly imprisoned, and more importantly, executed for the murder of his girlfriend Lauren (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe). Following the execution, Alex rises from the slab to avenge Lauren’s death, and find ’the man with the scar on his arm’, who Alex feels is the real killer. One by one, Alex stalks the corrupt policemen who helped to falsely convict him, while stopping by every now and then to chat with Erin (Kirsten Dunst), Lauren’s sister.

’The Crow: Salvation’ plays as an odd mixture of ’The Crow’ and ’The Fugitive’, but it ultimately fails on all counts. Eric Mabius has been a good actor in other films, but he doesn’t have the physical presence to be ’The Crow’. And the fact that he runs around in a prison jumpsuit doesn’t help. And I won’t even comment on how silly his ’Crow’ makeup is. There’s also a ’Clark Kent’ effect in the film, as no one recognizes Alex for who he is, except for his lawyer (!), who spots him right away. Director Bharat Nalluri wisely avoids mimicking the trademark style created by Alex Proyas in ’The Crow’, but in doing so, he fails to give ’The Crow: Salvation’ any style whatsoever. The only cool shot comes at the 1:17:00 mark, so go ahead and fast-forward to that. ’The Crow: Salvation’ is a boring and ultimately unneccesary sequel which surprisingly has an all-star cast. What’s Kirsten Dunst doing in trash like this?

’The Crow: Salvation’ comes to home video as a ’Collector’s Series’ DVD from Buena Vista Home Video. The movie is presented in an anamorphic widescreen and is letterboxed at 1.85:1. The image is incredibly clear and sharp, showing no defects from the source print, nor any significant grain. The framing appears to be proportional and the colors are realistic and true. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track offers clear and audible dialogue, but is a bit lacking in the surround sound department. And while the DTS 5.1 track has a somewhat better soundfield, it too is unremakable.

The DVD offers several unsatisfying extras. We start with an audio commentary featuring director Bharat Nalluri, star Eric Mabius, producer Jeff Most, composer Marco Beltrami, and production designer Maria Javan. While this is a servicable commentary, it appears that some of the talks were recorded separately, so there is little spontaneity. Also, this is one of those commentaries where they speak as if they made a fantastic film. There is an eight-minute Behind-the-scenes featurette which actually offers behind-the-scenes footage (what a shock!) and some cast & crew interviews. There are two other brief featurettes, one focusing on Alex Corivs’ makeup, and the other being a still gallery of production design drawings. Of actual interest is ’Who’s that Bird?’, an eight-minute segment featuring the raven Magic (the star of all three ’Crow’ films) and his trainer Larry Payne, who demonstrates how Magic does his tricks. Instead of performing tricks, Magic should get a new agent and steer clear of any future ’Crow’ films.