The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
I now pronounce you devil and his shorty - El Niņo
Whilst I always felt the 1994 movie "The Crow" was good I also felt that part of its popularity arose from the unfortunate death of Brandon Lee. Now having watched "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" I'm finding myself thinking maybe I was wrong, maybe "The Crow" was even better than I thought or alternatively maybe it's just that "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" is really bad. No seriously "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" is seriously bad with a case of it being style over substance and what substance there is being very messy. I won't deny that director Lance Mungia has made a very stylish looking movie which feels like it is tipping its hat to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez but beyond the style it doesn't work.
As his probation comes to an end, reformed killer Jimmy Cuervo (Edward Furlong - Terminator 2: Judgment Day) is hoping to start a new life with local girl Lily (Emmanuelle Chriqui) despite opposition from her brother Tanner (Dave Baez) and father Harold (Danny Trejo). But their opposition is the least of his issues when leaders of a small but violent group of satanists Luc Crash (David Boreanaz) and Lola Byrne (Tara Reid - Van Wilder) murder them both in part of a ritual to bring back the antichrist. Except Jimmy is brought back from the dead thanks to the legend of the Crow and he will not settle till he has got his revenge on Luc, Lola and anyone else who is part of their satanic gang.
I have to smile because admittedly if "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" had been made when I was a teenager and got to saw it I would have loved it, the whole stylized violence and over the top characters would have been enough to make me a fan. But now watching "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" was not fun nor entertaining but a complete and utter chore thanks to the incredibly messy and weak storyline.
Now the opening which gives us some sort of back story about toxic mining and Luc's lackeys Pestilence, Famine and War causing trouble is in truth irrelevant, it may allows for some stylized action but that is it. And to be honest the whole story about Jimmy being an unwelcome inhabitant of the town because he did time for murder is just as irrelevant as the fact Lily's brother Tanner hates him has such little part to play.
What this does mean is that "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" becomes about two things Jimmy being resurrected as an immortal and seeking revenge whilst Luc and Lola continue their murderous spree as they try and bring back the antichrist. That is it and so we watch as Jimmy gets shot at but doesn't die whilst Luc turns increasingly maniacal as he hunts down a virgin. This whole story is camped up so it is meant to be both full of action and comedy but it is so mind numbingly boring that you end up mentally switching off.
But truth be told I don't think that "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" was ever a movie about a story but a movie all about stylized action. And to be fair director Lance Mungia has delivered a lot of stylized action in fact every single scene from something as insignificant of Jimmy going to his fridge to a battle between him and Luc is shot in an artistic manner. The trouble is that with there being nothing else it becomes too much and you find yourself wishing for some raw action rather than something which has been over edited and scripted.
As for the acting well the less said the better because whilst "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" stars Edward Furlong, David Boreanaz, Tara Reid, Danny Trejo and Dennis Hopper none of them shine. In fact none of them really make their presence felt which is down to the fact the characters are underwritten and again the emphasis is on how stylish and over the tope they appear than on actual character depth.
What this all boils down to is that whilst not the worst movie I have ever watched "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" is poor. It is a case that it is style over substance and whilst admittedly it is packed full of style it does still become monotonous as every single scene is over crafted.
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