Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Crow: Wicked Prayer

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
3 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: R

Starring:
Edward Furlong as Jimmy Cuervo/The Crow
David Boreanaz as Luc Crash/Death
Tara Reid as Lola Byrne
Dennis Hopper as El Nino
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lily
Marcus Chong as War
Tito Ortiz as Famine
Yuji Okumoto as Pestilence
Dave Ortiz as Sheriff Tanner
Macy Gray as El Nino Guard
Danny Trejo as Harold

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes

Storyboards

Making Of The Crow: Wicked Prayer

Galleries

El Pinto

Interview with Composer Jamie Christopherson

Commentaries

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 99 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film is based on The Crow spinoff novel by Norman Partridge. The following is from the DVD cover:

"Tara Reid (American Pie, My Boss's Daughter), David Boreanaz (TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), and Edward Furlong (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, American History X) star in the latest chilling chapter of The Crow: Wicked Prayer -- an epic tale of death, revenge, and redemption. Just as ex-con Jimmy Cuervo (Furlong) tries to straighten out his life, he and his girlfriend Lily are brutally murdered in a satanic ritual by a renegade biker gang. But payback is at hand when Cuervo rises from the dead -- with the power of The Crow -- to avenge Lily's death and reunite with her in the afterlife! Also starring Dennis Hopper (True Romance), Danny Trejo (From Dusk Til Dawn), and recording star Macy Gray!"

The Crow: Wicked Prayer is rated R for violence and language throughout, some sexual and drug content.

The Movie:
The Crow: Wicked Prayer has a couple of major problems. The first of them is that there's very little of what made the first film great in this sequel. There's no moody atmosphere, no jaw dropping action, and no original story. The only thing that resembles The Crow is the revenge tale and the look of the Goth superhero. If you're watching this movie because you're a fan of the first movie then you'll be very disappointed.

The second big problem is the casting. I think this is the most miscast movie I've ever seen. David Boreanaz is in no way convincing as Luc Crash/Death, the leader of a Satanic cult. He's too much of a pretty boy to pull it off and when he tries to act crazy, he just looks stupid. Tara Reid is also terrible as Lola Byrne, the witch / prostitute girlfriend of Crash. Putting her in this role is like casting Barbie as the girlfriend of the anti-Christ. It just doesn't work. Edward Furlong is also only mediocre as Jimmy Cuervo/The Crow. He looks kind of silly in the makeup and seems terribly out of place in the movie. Throw in Dennis Hopper slumming in a cameo as El Nino, the pimp / Satanist, and a totally unnoticeable cameo by Macy Gray as an El Nino Guard and you see why it doesn't quite work.

The story has its fair share of problems, too, despite the fact that it is based on a Crow novel. The whole story is basically a rehash of the revenge tale from the first movie. Guy falls for girl, girl and guy get killed, guy gets resurrected by crow and kills bad guys. The end. About the only thing new is that Jimmy Cuervo is a convicted felon and the police believe that he killed the girl. Unfortunately, the potential of this twist is never fully realized. Wicked Prayer is also set on an Indian reservation, but this does little to give a new take on the tale. Another problem is that the bad guys, who name themselves after the horsemen of the apocalypse, are totally inconsistent. In one scene Lola cuts out the eyes of a character and doesn't flinch, but in the next scene she cringes when Luc is about to kill some people. The same goes for the other horsemen. In some scenes they cringe at the violence they see, but in the next scene they gun down women and children while laughing. If these guys were bad, they should have been bad through the whole movie. The problems go on from there.

I wish I could find something good to say about this movie, but there's very little I can think of. They did film it in 28 days, so that's pretty impressive. It is also at times a good looking movie, but the lighting and atmosphere don't feel like they come from a Crow movie.

Who should see this movie? I think if you're a fan of The Crow comics, you're pretty much obligated to see it no matter what. For better or worse, it's required viewing. Fans of Furlong or Boreanaz will also probably want to see it, too, despite the weak performances. Everyone else will probably better spend their time re-watching the first Crow movie with Brandon Lee.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD:

Deleted Scenes There are only two deleted scenes. One shows the four horsemen harassing the Indians at the groundbreaking ceremony for the casino. The other deleted scene shows one of the Indians talking a little about their current situation. As you can see, they are rather unremarkable. Commentary from the director is included over the scenes.

Storyboards This feature breaks the scene in the Black Moth Club where the Crow battles on of the horseman down into storyboards. It's a standard DVD feature these days.

Making Of The Crow: Wicked Prayer This is your standard "making of" video, but it's about a half hour long (which is about 15 minutes too much). There are interviews with the cast and crew where it quickly becomes apparent that everyone was taking the story very seriously despite the quality of the final product. I also have to say that this featurette was extremely poorly edited. The video makes random cuts and the music is also frequently cut off between shots.

El Pinto In this bizarre bonus feature, a number of the crew members sit around a table talking about random things related to the making of the film. They then imply that one of the cars from the movie was stolen at one point and held for ransom. It's hard to tell if it was the truth or if they were joking.

Interview with Composer Jamie Christopherson This is a brief, candid interview with the composer at his house. He shows where he works, how he worked with the director, and how he recruited his wife to sing in the movie.

Commentaries There are four commentaries on this movie, believe it or not. That's about 3 more than were necessary. There's one with the director and Edward Furlong, one with the director and the composer, one with the director and some crew, and another with the director and some more crew. It's actually quite insane to have this many commentaries.

The Bottom Line:
With bad casting, a weak plot, and no atmosphere, The Crow: Wicked Prayer is a film only the most die hard Crow fans could love.

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