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Spartan Scoop

Spartan Scoop

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Spartan Scoop


Dishonoring the dead
Karma Patey
Renditions of Brandon Lee’s Crow

The Crow is a comic published by IDW, a comic publishing company, in 1989. Only six years after the initial release of the comic a movie adaptation starring Brandon Lee the first film was very well received. While the upcoming remake doesn’t look that bad, the main issue is that Brandon Lee died due to a firearm malfunction on the set of the original film.

Toward the latter half of the film there is a massive shootout in which dozens of men shoot at Eric Draven, Brandon Lee’s character. However during this scene a firearm malfunction occurred. The lead head of a bullet stayed in the barrel from a previous scene. When Michael Masse pulled the trigger it forced the payload out, hitting and killing Brandon Lee.

Now with the announcement of the new film many fans of the original are up in arms that they should not be making this film. Even the director of the original film Alex Proyas has shown his distaste for the new film. He states that he doesn’t believe any of the crew had any ill intent but he mentions the response of the fans while making his statement. “THE CROW is not just a movie. Brandon Lee died making it, and it was finished as a testament to his lost brilliance and tragic loss. It is his legacy. That’s how it should remain.” The film is meant to honor his death, and many fans believe the remake is spitting in the face of Brandon Lee.

And somehow his preference is a meth head.

Aside from the very obvious reason for Brandon Lee’s unfortunate death, many people are upset over the appearance of Bill Skarsgard’s rendition of Eric Draven. Apart from looking absolutely nothing like the original appearance of Draven in the comics he actually even resembles a different version of the crow. The film could star any other version of the character, and there would be no issue.  There are even two other crow movies not counting the original and remake. The reason no one had any issues with these versions is that they weren’t infringing upon the character Brandon Lee gave his life portraying. These were portraying the characters who appeared in the other comics. Instead the publishing company and Director decided to use Eric Draven.

The director of the new film, Rupert Sanders, even claims he wants to honor Brandon Lee with the new film.

Not counting moral issues that arise from the film’s creation, it  changes a lot. Just from watching the trailer you can tell that the film has taken a number of “creative liberties” with the story. 

`The first one that can be blatantly seen is the heavy alteration in the appearance of Eric Draven. It’s bad. As mentioned earlier it does not look like Eric Draven in the comics. The gaudy amount of tattoos that they decided to tack on to his appearance does nothing to help the design. Instead of looking like a grim character that matches the story; the new version looks like the average white dude you would find in a trailer park. The director didn’t even keep the face makeup the same. The makeup plays an important part in the story, as it matches the masquerade mask which was in Eric’s apartment. Now the new makeup looks like it would be part of a poor parody of the original film. Even the haircut looks awful.

In fact a lot of the movie can be broken down to looking like a poor parody of the original. The only improvement that can be gleaned from the trailers are the fight scenes. The scenes are far more rooted in reality when compared to the first. This makes sense as the popular action films now are John Wick and Bloodshot. Whereas when the original was released the norm was over the top violence like The Matrix and Blade.

 While a cinematography shift over time is expected, the overtop action fits the film better. The Crow’s aren’t alive, they are nigh invulnerable zombies focused solely on revenge. With extreme strength and agility rather than fighting in a manner similar to a normal person they should take advantage of their superhuman abilities. While the way action films are created has changed, going back to the classics would create a more satisfying film, especially since the Director claims it’s supposed to honor Brandon Lee.

Now for what’s possibly the biggest change. Eric Draven revives right away. In the comic and original film Draven doesn’t come back to life for a whole year. When revived he wanders almost aimlessly until he realizes that by finding objects of his past he can remember who he was. After remembering he dons the iconic makeup and hunts down the ones who killed him and his lover. The new film has Draven come back while the assailants are still in the apartment. While this is an interesting idea to create a better connection to the character, it also removes part of what made the character work so well. The confusion. We the viewer are thrust straight into the thick of the film while Draven is trying to figure it out himself. This, arguably, works better. Having both the viewer and Draven learned what happened to him creates a better connection to the character. Which, I’m sure, is what the writer of the comic had in mind, and why Proyas kept it like that in the film.

The remake of The Crow is an insult to the original film in which Brandon Lee died making. Not only taking his character but warping it to fit the directors preferences. And somehow his preference is a meth head. Eric Draven should have remained Brandon Lee’s character.

About the Contributors
Matt Allen
Matt Allen, Reporter
Karma Patey
Karma Patey, Illustrator
the dude who draws the things who isn't the other one