When the first The Crow-film was released it was extremely hyped, mostly as a result of the death of actor Brandon Lee during filming, something which surrounded the film with a powerful mystery, especially the creation of James O'Barr's tragic super hero. What's more, the film stands out as one of the most successful attempts at transferring the stylized and violent city scenery - with its pitch black, undefined metropolis with gloomy contours and coarsely hewn characters from comic-strip action series - to the screen. It may even be a cinematic equivalent to Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, with its sombre depiction of schizophrenia and obsession, rather than the Batman films themselves. Furthermore, it succeeded in manifesting one of the 90s most perfect of super heroes with its ''the Crow'', a mixture of rock star and angel of death. When you see the sequel, with its subtitle City of Angels, the atmosphere is, if it's possible, even gloomier with a more evident doomsday-feeling. We meet Sarah, the girl from the first film, who has now grown up and works as a tattoo artist in the most dystopic of city blocks. A veritable inferno where the gloomy and depraved tenements hide an abundance of drugs and violence; where corruption and profiteering seem to have removed from humanity its real values in life. A single word echoes across the streets: death! In this nightmarish milieu the violence is even rawer and more sadistic than in the previous film, the religious and mythological subtext even more ominous and this is where another restless soul is forced to rise from the dead to shoulder ''the Crow's'' cloak of revenge. On the whole, the film feels more incisive and action packed than its predecessor. The visual vocabulary is especially explosive with slow-motion, effectively framed by an environment which seems to be a bizarre cross between the Middle Ages and futurism. Through a series of obscure dream sequences it also has the air of a surrealistic, sadomasochistic murder story. Vincent Perez appears as the reckless revenger, though most entertaining is Iggy Pop as a provocative and half crazy hooligan. TB

The Crow: City of Angels
Tim Pope
116 min
Twilight Zone
Vincent Perez, Mia Kirshner, Iggy Pop
Edward R. Pressman & Jeff Most
David S. Goyers, based on the comic book series and comic strip by James O. Barr
Graeme Revell

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