The seemingly never ending Hollywood practice of adapting every somewhat recognizable comic book or graphic novel into a big screen adaptation in order to cash in has finally lead to a deal to remake (or shall we say reboot) the iconic 1994 film, starring the late Brandon Lee, The Crow.
With twenty years of technological advancement in their pocket, major studios are pretty sure they’ll be able to pull it off and possibly deliver another franchise-oriented blockbuster. But, the question remains the same ever since the first rumors appeared in the press about the remake. Does the world need another flawed and unfaithful remake, which seems to be another trend in Hollywood when it comes to rebooting films? Recent remakes of such films as Robocop and Dracula Untold were not favorites of critics, and despite the fact that both films brought in some cash, it’s not going to change the fact that many fans were disappointed because neither film was able to live up to moviegoers’ expectations.
Why do we need a remake? Is there something wrong with the original film? Does the lack of advanced visual effects take away the meaning and depth of the original? It can’t be the acting, can it? There is no denying the acting in the first one either. It was superb!
For the duration of its running time of 102 minutes, which is sufficiently less than any other comic book adaptation nowadays, The Crow manages to completely change the viewer’s perception of such eternal concepts as love and hate. Brutally honest and extremely dark, the film, however, leaves the audience speechless, elevated, and, surprisingly, hopeful. It also leaves a profound mark on viewers and reassures the fans that the purest human feelings can never be altered. This was conveyed with the famous quote Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.
Every single detail of The Crow makes sense and is absolutely necessary. There are no empty scenes, dialogue, or filler. Every second of it delivers a heart-racing and memorable experience, which has been proven by two decades of dedicated fan worship and dissection.
Yet, to speak about The Crow and not mention the painful topic of Brandon Lee’s tragic death is practically impossible. Not because it made The Crow iconic, but because the world lost an amazingly brilliant actor whose talent was only just surfacing right before he landed the role of Eric Draven, which ironically was going to be a turning point in his career. Finally coming out from the shadow of his legendary father, Bruce Lee, Brandon had the perfect opportunity to shine as a dramatic actor and prove to the world that he was capable of more than just being another typical martial arts hero.
The role of Eric Draven, a rock musician killed the night before Halloween who returns to avenge the death of his fiancée, is naturally a very complicated role because Eric doesn’t quite fit your standard super-hero profile. This savagely murdered man is back from the dead not to protect the innocent, but to pursue only one purpose – to kill! Brandon Lee truly shines as Eric Draven. Coincidentally, the circumstances surrounding his death and the death of the fictional character he plays are strikingly similar. In fact, both Brandon Lee and Eric Draven died right before their wedding.
Devastation and grief after Brandon’s death on the set of The Crow from a gunshot wound caused the studio to put a hold on the production, but eventually the film was finished and hit screens in May 1994.
For many of those who caught The Crow that year in the theaters, it was a turning point just like it was for Brandon Lee himself. To this day the film keeps on shaping many people’s lives and keeps on reminding us how lucky we were to witness the brilliance and honestly of Brandon’s performance. For some, it’s a tradition to watch The Crow on Halloween night, perhaps because this is one of not many gems that so genuinely delivers the spirit of the season.
So what happened with the 20th anniversary theater screenings in May? Why weren’t there any? Is The Crow getting a limited theater release this Halloween to somehow commemorate the date?
Many of those who love the film know that the Halloween season is the time when The Crow has its limited run in selected theaters, but it’s been fairly quiet this year. It’s hard to say whether it’s just because the theaters don’t make money on showing the classics, or because the studios are getting ready to work on the reboot and no longer want the audience to watch an original which surely will be difficult to outdo.
Another facet of The Crow that’s absolutely necessary to mention is the astounding soundtrack that features such notable rock bands as Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cure, and Pantera. Bringing together the best in alternative and industrial rock at that time, The Crow leaves a long-lasting and impressive mark as a film featuring arguably one of the most iconic, honest, and influential soundtracks of all time.
It’s safe to argue that, perhaps, this film doesn’t need a reboot. Everything in this picture is an artistic reflection of a certain period in the history of film-making that can never be changed. So why do we need to recreate a moment in time hoping to recapture the exact same feeling we did when we first saw The Crow?