The Crow: Salvation (June 6/01)
After that horrible first sequel, it seemed as though the Crow franchise was all but dead. Apparently not.
Eric Mabius takes over the role that Brandon Lee made famous. This time, Mabius becomes the Crow after a botched electrocution (I was half expecting him to turn into Shocker, but no such luck). See, he was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, a crime which he did not commit. Now that he's the Crow, though, he has a chance to do two things: Convince the family of his dead girlfriend that he's innocent and kick some serious ass amongst those who were behind the murder.
While Salvation certainly isn't as bad as that first sequel, it still doesn't come near the sheer coolness of the first one. Part of the problem is Mabius himself. This kid is a good actor - I've seen him in bit parts in various other movies - but that's just the thing; he's a kid. Mabius doesn't look as though he's a day over 20 and that's completely wrong for this role. The crow should be somebody that exudes cool - like Brandon Lee did - but in the hands of Mabius, Salvation almost winds up another teen flick (sort of like The Crow: Prom Night or something). Mabius is adequate (he seems to relish the fact that he's playing someone that's pretty much invincible), but let's face it, the Crow can only be played by one man and he's dead.
Other than that, there's not much else to say about Salvation. The violence is (expectedly) toned down and that's unfortunate. Much of what made the first Crow movie so enjoyable was the rampant over-the-top violence, but now - in this PC age - such savagery is unacceptable. In fact, for at least the first half, the crow doesn't even kill anyone! I was seriously starting to get worried, but then around 45 minutes in, he starts (non-gruesomely) murdering people.
Salvation hopefully marks the end of the Crow franchise, because let's face it; without Brandon Lee, The Crow should have remained a one-shot wonder.