The Crow: Salvation
Brandon Lee famously died on the set of The Crow, but the film's franchise appears invincible. Not even the paltry box-office of the first Crow sequel, City Of Angels, could kill off the series, and plans were underway for a fourth installment even as Salvation, the second Crow sequel, limped its way through a theatrical run that never exceeded a handful of theaters. Of course, the world didn't need even one Crow movie, let alone three or four. As evidence, there's the video release of The Crow: Salvation, a repugnant exercise in emptily stylish ultraviolence that plays like the longest, most expensive Rammstein video ever made. In an uncharismatic performance unlikely to make anyone forget Angels' Vincent Perez, let alone Brandon Lee, Eric Mabius stars as a wrongly executed man who wakes up after his death, feeling invincible. Looking like a cross between a hapless Goth and the sort of sad clown depicted in black-velvet paintings, Mabius sets about avenging the deaths of himself and his girlfriend by brutally murdering a ring of corrupt police officers in unimaginative but gory ways. Director Bharat Nalluri maintains the style-above-substance ethos of Salvation's predecessors, lingering over severed limbs and bullet wounds but paying little attention to the interior life of his tortured protagonist. Mabius, meanwhile, establishes himself as the George Lazenby of the Crow series, giving an atrocious, bantamweight performance matched by the blood-splattered, brain-dead nihilism of Chip Johannessen's witless script. Dour and humorless even as its over-the-top violence and awful dialogue propel it to the realm of high camp, The Crow: Salvation marks a nadir for a series that was never especially good to begin with.