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David Boreanaz

David Boreanaz - "The Crow 4 : Wicked Prayer" Movie - Dcexaminer.com Review

By Brian Truitt

Monday 18 July 2005, by Webmaster

Furlong takes over ’The Crow’ in fourth film

Ever been compared to a talented man who was taken in the prime of his life? Well, Edward Furlong, welcome to the club.

Furlong ("Terminator 2") is the fourth actor to play an incarnation of the Crow, the popular comic-book character Brandon Lee made his own in the original 1994 "The Crow." Unfortunately, because the son of Bruce Lee died during filming and became a sort of Hollywood legend because of it, the two "Crows" that followed were put under heavy scrutiny, and they and their stars - Vincent Perez in "The Crow: City of Angels" and Eric Mabius in "The Crow: Salvation" were ultimately buried by Lee’s tragic legacy.

At least they made it to a theater - "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" (Dimension Home Video, $29.99) has its premiere on DVD, which pretty much renders it DOA in the minds of cinephiles. But, although it still doesn’t compare to the dark majesty of the first fantasy, "Wicked Prayer" turns out to be rather entertaining in a Spaghetti Western way thanks to its over-the-top villains.

Good versus evil

Ex-con Jimmy Cuervo (Furlong) is the protagonist of the movie, yet you wouldn’t know it by listening to the neighbors in his Southwestern town, including a Native American preacher (Danny Trejo) with the Raven Aztec tribe. Everybody’s pretty wary about this kid, who killed a classmate in his teen years, except for Lily (Emmanuelle Chriqui), his girlfriend (and the preacher’s daughter) who sees the good in him. She’s helping dad with the PR for a casino that’s being built by their tribe in the place of a closing toxic waste mine.

There are some townsfolk definitely against this move - and the tribe in general. Luc Crash (David Boreanaz) and his Pinto-driving Satanic cult named after the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - the burly Famine (ultimate fighter Tito Ortiz), the insane Pestilence (Yuji Okumoto) and the battle-phrase-spouting War (Tommy Chong), with Luc as Death - each have their own beef against the Indians, and aim to stop the mine closing. And with the help of his witchy moll, Lola (Tara Reid), the ambitiously evil Luc also schemes to become the living embodiment of Satan.

Best known as Angel, the vampire with a soul in Joss Whedon’s "Buffy" TV series and "Angel" spinoff, Boreanaz stretches his considerable horror muscles as the sadistic Luc and also as the megalomaniacal Satan, whom director Lance Mungia and producer John Most compare to a used car salesman in their feature commentary. He’s the best actor of the lead bunch, and the best in the whole cast, Dennis Hopper, has a devilishly amusing cameo as an urban-talking pimp. (He even sports a cane and a fur coat. Now that’s stylin’ and profilin’.)

Special features

In addition to the ubiquitous making-of documentary are an interesting featurette on composer Jamie Christopherson, a special on finding Pintos for the bad guys and two deleted scenes. Neither that or their commentary offer much insight, although they do comment on the casting of Furlong, arguing that someone who could act was better than someone who looked the part.

That being said, Furlong nicely captures the angst-ridden subtext, but as the Crow, he just seems like he’s shown up to the wrong Halloween party.

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