05th Jul2024

‘The Crow: Salvation’ Blu-ray Review

by George P Thomas

Stars: Eric Mabius, Kirsten Dunst, Fred Ward, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Debbie Fan, William Atherton, David Jean Thomas, Grant Shaud, Dale Midkiff, Walton Goggins | Written by Chip Johannessen | Directed by Bharat Nalluri

The Crow: Salvation is the third instalment in the franchise that began with the iconic 1994 film The Crow, recently released on 4K UHD, starring Brandon Lee. Directed by Bharat Nalluri, The Crow: Salvation attempts to recapture the dark, gothic allure that made the original a cult classic but falls short in several areas when compared to its predecessors.

The film follows Alex Corvis (Eric Mabius), who is wrongly executed for the murder of his girlfriend, Lauren (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe). After being resurrected by the mystical crow, Alex seeks to uncover the conspiracy behind Lauren’s death and his own wrongful conviction. Unlike the vengeful rock musician Eric Draven from the original film, Alex is a more subdued character. Mabius delivers a competent performance, but his portrayal lacks the charismatic intensity that Brandon Lee brought to the role of Eric Draven.

The supporting cast, including Kirsten Dunst as Lauren’s sister Erin, adds some depth to the narrative. Dunst’s performance is heartfelt, bringing a sense of vulnerability and determination to her character. However, the villains, led by corrupt police officer The Captain (Fred Ward), are somewhat clichéd and lack the menacing presence of Michael Wincott’s Top Dollar from the original.

Visually, The Crow: Salvation maintains the franchise’s signature dark and gothic aesthetic, though it feels more polished and less gritty than the original. The use of shadows and rain-drenched cityscapes continues to evoke a moody atmosphere, but the film’s visual impact is less striking and memorable. The CGI effects, particularly in depicting the crow and some of the supernatural elements, are serviceable but do not significantly enhance the film.

One of the standout features of the original The Crow was its iconic soundtrack, featuring artists like The Cure and Nine Inch Nails. The Crow: Salvation attempts to emulate this with a mix of rock and alternative tracks, but the music doesn’t quite capture the same raw energy or emotional resonance. While the soundtrack is decent, it fails to leave a lasting impression or become an integral part of the film’s identity.

Thematically, The Crow: Salvation explores familiar territory with its focus on love, loss, and revenge. However, the film’s execution feels more formulaic and less impactful than the original. The screenplay lacks the poetic and poignant moments that made the first film’s exploration of grief and redemption so powerful. Instead, the narrative progresses in a more straightforward manner, with fewer surprises and emotional highs.

When compared to the rest of the franchise, The Crow: Salvation sits somewhere in the middle. It is a step up from the widely panned The Crow: City of Angels (1996), which suffered from a disjointed plot and lacklustre performances. However, it doesn’t reach the heights of the original film, which remains a benchmark for its unique blend of gothic romance and visceral action.

Ultimately, The Crow: Salvation is a competent but ultimately unremarkable entry in the franchise. While it retains some of the visual and thematic elements that fans of the series expect, it lacks the emotional depth, memorable performances, and striking visuals that made the original a standout. For those who are devoted followers of The Crow saga, The Crow: Salvation offers a glimpse back into the world of the undead avenger, but it may not leave a lasting impression.

Special Features (TBC):

  • Audio Commentary With Director Bharat Nalluri, Actor Eric Mabius, Producer Jeff Most, Composer Marco Beltrami, And Production Designer Maia Javan
  • Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
  • Behind-The-Makeup Featurette
  • Production Design Featurette
  • “Who’s That Bird?”
  • Image Gallery
  • Trailer

**½  2.5/5

The Crow: Salvation will be released on Blu-ray in the UK on July 8th, courtesy of Icon Film Distribution.

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