The Crow: City of Angels (1996) Poster

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A misunderstood film that deserves more credit
Mark Malekpour3 October 2002
Warning: Spoilers
After reading most of the comments users have written about this film I'm quite disappointed. I am an insane follower of the first Crow film and had to see the second. I knew full well it wouldn't be as good as the first, but then again, what could?

The Crow 2 is a very sad and ironic story based on the first films boundaries. Notice how Sarah in the Crow has to sacrifice herself for another version of him in the second. Crow 2 is a film of what happened to Eric Draven in the first and is simply a story of someone else.

Just like in the first film a man has his loved one(s) taken from him in a terrible way and then killed, again in a horrible way. For the second time, "A Crow" guides this tormented man back to the land of the living to claim revenge on those who killed him.

Ironically, he meets up with Sarah, a now grown woman from the first who feels for the Crow and sacrifices her life so that he can live and avenge his and his son's death.

A very sad and apocolyptic film that depicts the grimy, evil way that humans are steering towards themselves to in the future to come but also keeps the powerful love factor from the first.

If you were an obsessive Crow fan, see this film. If not, you may find it hard to understand and will not enjoy it as much...
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10/10
Underrated
countessmenula6 June 2005
Do not let anyone tell you this is a poor remake of the original. The film is absolutely beautiful, but if you're one of those closed-minded fans who only like The Crow because of Brandon Lee, you will never give this sequel a chance to prove its self that it could be just as good as the original.

The storyline is a good one. Revenging your son's death rather than your girlfriend's is a lot more deep. Sarah is gorgeous and has a dark sense of style. Vincent Perez was also a fine choice to play Ashe.

There are some very beautiful quotes in the film too.

There really is nothing wrong with this film. I don't have the slightest clue why people hate it.

9.5/10
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Not as commercial as many have thought...
Zophael97911 March 2001
Many people who claim to be crowfans say that this film isn't what the Crow is all about but they don't bother to explain why. Many of those people only like the first film and nothing else. While the first movie is my favorite film, it's sequel is certainly worthy of the Crow title and upholds the mythology set by the first film.

This movie could have been better than it was, however. 1/4 of the movie was left on the cutting room floor. Alternate dialogue. Alternate endings. The very good fight/death scene of Kali was actually a great scene beforehand. She doesn't die as soon as she is thrown out the window, but there is some additionally dialogue that expands both her character and the character of Ashe.

When a powerless Ashe falls from grace at the end of the film, rather than Danny's ghost telling his father that "if you stop now, we can never be together", Danny tells Ashe that "it's time to go" but Ashe refuses because he can't leave Sarah to die. With that, Danny turns his back on his father and we don't see him for the rest of the film. This scene solifies Ashe's internal conflict in a very tragic, heart-breaking manor.

What internal conflict you ask? Ashe was torn on whether or not he should complete his mission and join his son in the afterlife or stay with Sarah in the world of the living. You weren't aware of this in the film? It was really only hinted at in the current version. So it all ends happily right? Ashe, Sarah, and Danny are cross into the land of the dead and we have one big happy family, right? Wrong. In the original version, Ashe doesn't go back because his crow is too...well, dead to carry his soul back to the land of the dead. So he is forced to walk the earth separated from those he really loves.

COA was originally a more depressing take on the themes of the first film. There was less similarity in story. Saldy, many scenes were cut for no reason and the ending was changed to make the film more hollywood. What could have been a great film with a great story turned out to be a visually impressive film with vague bits and pieces of a story. It didn't have the deep emotional story of the first because it didn't try to. It was a rather depressing drama of a hero who succeeds and fails at the same time. A different take on the Crow.

But the complaints of the story being too similar does ring true here. Mostly because the stuff that made it different was cut. The makers were probably afraid of fan backlash. Ironic, huh? Vincent Perez was AWESOME as Ashe. I like Brandon Lee better, but Perez manages to give a good performance of a man who contemplates what exactly to do with the second chance he's been given. He also has the insanity thing going well for him. He's different from Brandon Lee/Eric Draven. Standouts from the supporting cast are Iggy Pop and Thomas Jane. Jane's strip club scene was hilarious and Iggy gives a badly written role more energy than it deserved. His scenes with Vincent were great.

There were downsides besides the ones I just mentioned. The movie lacked the good action sequences of the first film. There were a few stand outs but that's it. I was displeased that they never showed Ashe's wounds heal up. The final confrontation between Ashe and Judah should've been longer. The CGI in the movie was terrible. Judah should have been savagely picked apart when he was attacked by the crows, not disappear into nothing. The girl who played Sarah could get extremely annoying at times and the early scenes that focus on her are quite boring. It takes a bit too long for Ashe to get painted up and start on his mission. Why some of the crap scenes were left in and some of the good parts were cut out is a mystery.

Oh and for those who complain about this movie disrespecting Brandon Lee, how do you figure that? Really, I'd like to know. I've heard that this movie was done for money...all movies are done for money. Yes, even the first Crow.

All in all, COA does have serious problems and an annoying plothole or two, but it is far from one of the worst movies ever. See it if you liked the first film and you're looking for an alternative story with the same themes.

Current Version-6 If the original footage was left intact-8.5 or 9
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Though Hated by Fans, This Film is a Compelling and Unique Take on the Crow Legend
tonymurphylee10 June 2006
The first Crow film was a brilliant and Gothic re-visioning of a graphic Novel. Eric Draven was played by Brandon Lee who notoriously died during the making of the film. But even though he died, his work as the main protagonist was very memorable and chilling, and yet sympathetic and beautiful. It would be hard to top something like his performance. This sequel to THE CROW, entitled THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS, takes place in a warped version of L.A. Death and filth litter the streets and the whole city is cast in an ugly and disturbing color of grotesque characters and dust. The lighting to this film is ugly and dark, not unlike CITY OF LOST CHILDREN or NOSFORATU, only more natural feeling. The main character of this film automatically achieves a more personal edge to why he would murder thugs because instead of his girlfriend being raped and murdered like in the first one, this time it is his son. So the loss of an innocent soul feels more justified by murder of the people who did it. Ashe is pulled out from a watery grave as a walking corpse sent to avenge his son. Unfortunitely there is indeed more to this than what seemed possible because the drug lord Judah has a connection to voodoo powers that could possibly disarm Ashe in his fight to avenge his own flesh and blood. Judah has connections to other worldly forces via a blind woman who he has used to gain power of the city. This film employs negative energy very well and the films setting feels lifeless. This way, the film allows us to feel more sorry for the people who live in it by giving us no limits of which the depravity can go. The musical score, while it is true it is not as effective as the first one, casts just the right amount of a somber spirit and hopelessness. This film is excessively gross and violent but doesn't become a distraction since the whole city is full of gross and violent tone. Fans of the Crow hated this film and I can see why. But I felt that this film's lifelessness worked well due to the constant feeling of depression and hate. Vincent Perez plays Ashe with the perfect amount of sympathy and the viewer can feel sorry for him. However, we cannot be scared of him because all of the barely human characters that surround him and much more frightening. When he kills his prey, we are delighted and happy that he got his revenge. The first film was a good combination of extremely violent content and gore mixed with morals and feeling. Nobody in this film has much emotion and feeling except for Ashe, who truly has more than enough. He is shown as a victim and continues to be a victim throughout because the city is so full of them. He cannot gain anything and he is understandably sad. When it comes right down to it, its hard to really compare the two films because the first film is so perfect and so beautiful and the second film, when compared to the first, feels so flawed and ugly. It is really all up to the viewer to decide. I thought this sequel was great and would gladly watch it again. I'd say anyone interested in the set design process of film making should definitely watch this along with the first film.
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9/10
Very Good! I Really Enjoyed It
terminator69031 December 2004
Stop criticising this movie! Surly it's no match for the first Crow movie, but in the long run it's a totally different movie to the first. The Characters are different, The actors are different, the villains are different and technically the story is different, for in the first movie, It's Eric Draven's Fiancée that gets murdered and the "sequel", It's Ashe's SON that get's murdered.

O.K. maybe i'm wrong, it more likely is a sequel. But it's not a sequel to the first crow film, it does not follow the same story, it's about a completely different person.

The message I'm trying to get through to you is: "Stop thinking of it as a sequel. Think of it as it's own movie, THEN you'll enjoy it better." Walk down to a video store near you, and rent it out. Just give the damn movie a chance.
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7/10
The evidence is right in front of you....
Akuma-513 December 2002
I could go on a more-than-1000-word rant on the underrated good elemtsn of this movie versus the horrible ones....what misfired, and what should've been brought to light...and I was about to a few minutes ago. However, it was in the middle of this rant that i decided to check out the alternate versions section of this movie's info....And apparently, we've all seen a raped movie.

The scenes detailed there are PRECISELY what this movie required to make it work the way it should have. Of particular interest is the alternate ending, in which Ashe eventually chooses to stay on earth with Sarah than return to the afterlife, and is apparently punished forhis sentiments with eternity on earth. Even though I am one of the few who believes the ending is actually one of the film's strong points(except for the barrage of crows thing...unexplained in the film, but, according to the alternate versions section, has an explanation), this ending is a much more suitable one to The Crow's universe....so, the question raised is "Why?"

A biggert question raised is "Where can I see this?"

I'd continue, but i dont think any more should be said until someone sees this print in motion.
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5/10
A Crow With Broken Wings.
CROW – CITY OF ANGELS is the inevitable follow up to the classic 1994 gothic thriller THE CROW. The laws that state all sequels must be inferior to their predecessors are faithfully obeyed here and the result is a rather mundane and disappointing motion picture that flat lines the whole franchise. Here Vincent Perez (badly miscast) gives a weak performance as the doting single father returning from his watery grave to wreak bloody vengeance upon the gang who killed him and his son. He is aided, in his quest by Sarah; a doe-eyed tattoo artist who fans of the series will note is actually the little girl who was befriended by the central character in the original movie. The film manages to be watchable; the apocalyptic cityscapes work quite well, however a maker of music videos directs CROW – CITY OF ANGELS and it shows in every frame. The film totally lacks the edge of raw emotion and inner pain that made the original movie so effective. All you are left with in the end is a gothic re-working of the DEATH WISH movies with nothing to redeem it once you get tired of the garish purple, yellow and green colour schemes. The main merit of this poor film is the raw performance of legendary rocker Iggy Pop as a cocaine-snorting villain. My rating – 5 out of 10.
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4/10
"Wrong place, at the wrong time"
mylimbo4 May 2008
I adore the original film that starred Brandon Lee as the avenging angel brought back from the dead. Now a sequel was probably inevitable, and I remember being largely disappointed by it with its wearily cut-up story, dour performances and diluted action. Well nothing has changed the second time around. Again I can't knock that killer hard-rock / industrial sounding soundtrack, haunting score and the dark, Gothic embellishment creating an atmospherically catastrophe post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. It's dirty, smoggy and jarringly bleak. Jean Yves Escoffier's cinematography lenses it with the right free-spirited. However there's nothing overly memorable, or even powerfully gripping to draw any real emotion and interest form the suffocatingly drab and unimaginative narrative. By following the same patterns of the original's tragedy, it doesn't lay any new groundwork. It was a tediously repetitive mess that seemed more fantasy-based and conjures up a script that's weakly penned. Vincent Perez's avenging soul is unconvincingly void in a tortured performance, which doesn't create much heart-ache or grace. There's no imprint, or witty charisma that Lee evoked. Honestly I didn't feel anything. Richard Brooks flimsily strolls by with no impressionable stance as the head villain. Mia Kirshner gives a sound performance and Iggy Pop delightfully chews up the scenery to spit it out. Director Tim Pope can formulate some flourishing visuals and lasting poses, but when it came to setting everything in motion. Flat and unexciting comes to mind. His action set-pieces lacked zest and seemed to plod like they're sliced up music video clips. Never did it infuse any real sense of energy, thrills and urgency. In the end it feels just like a cheap, quick and empty rehash.
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10/10
i had reservations--and was pleasantly surprised! what a follow-up!
angarahad24 May 2003
i was really skeptical about how this movie would turn out in comparison to the GREAT original Crow--who could possibly compare to Brandon??? but Vincent Perez totally blew me away--his acting lent such intense emotion to the physicality of his role as the "avenging spirit". i've seen some of his other work (indochine, bride of the wind, queen of the damned) and that is one thing he always beings to every role--very evocative displays of emotion that really bring you into the film. and Mia was a perfect choice for Sarah! what a great little gothgirl she was! i think the "special effects" weren't over the top--and the whole "lighting and smog/fog" effects worked --for me anyway. the only shortcoming was the soundtrack--the first Crow had a perfect selection of songs--especially the Cure's "burn", Nine Inch Nail's "dead souls" and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult's "after the flesh". on City of Angel's soundtrack, the only song that stood out for me was White Zombie's "i'm your boogieman". so here's one positive vote in favor of The Crow: City of Angels....
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10/10
underrated on all fronts
droogiedim7730 May 2002
this is a surprisingly great movie. in fact, i'd say the crow trilogy is one of the best in the horror/dark action/supernatural genre. all the films are different enough to establish their own personality, but still similar enough in that they follow the exploits of a wronged man trying seeking vengeance. this film does what a sequel should do. while you can't continue the exploits of the eric draven, it brings back sarah from the first movie and continues the story of the crow granting a victim a chance to make things right. the only problem is it suffered from having to follow the legacy of the 1st crow movie. i thoroughly enjoyed the first crow movie, but i must say this is better in just about every aspect. it is shot so much better. in the first one, they try to make the film dark by washing out all the colors. this one achieves to be more twisted and sinister just by using darker hues and washing out most of the bright colors. it also has a deeper sense of foreboding and impending doom, and makes it villains darker and more mysterious by adding a slight touch of mysticism and perversion. vincent perez is fantastic as the crow, playing a more vulnerable ashe to lee's draven. he provides a more frustrated and frantic feel to his vengeance. he also adds more desperation, remembering his final moments when dispatching his enemies. mia kirshner is excellent as sarah and plays the role with just enough emotion to purvey her pain suffering but also an understanding of the crow mythos. the script is better written, making the film darker without resorting to stripping the film of color. the villains are made more sadistic and the crime to spark the crow more tragic. there is also a tighter feel between the characters by having it take place in what appears to be a pretty empty city except for during the climax. i dont want to ruin it, but the setting within the setting helps the story move along so much better to. tim pope does a superb job directing, adding an extra bit of flair to all the visuals from scene to scene while still the more gothic, medieval feel of the film. the soundtrack is also so much better. it isn't as all over the place as the first and maintains the intended feel of the movie with all of its tracks. it is also masterfully peppered throughout the movie, picking just the right song at just the right moment to add the little extra bit of feeling that help completes the scene. this film has just about all the ingredients of an underrated classic. my advice to you is to go out and rent this movie, but when you watch it forget about the legacy surrounding the crow and just try to enjoy it.
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