Crow: City of Angels [1996]

Because of his tragic death on the set of The Crow, we'll never know if Brandon Lee would have turned one successful film into a popular series. But one look at this tepid sequel suggests that not even the charismatic Lee could have rescued The Crow movies from the burden of a lackluster screenplay. Based on the popular comic books by James O'Barr, this sequel finds Vincent PĂ©rez as a man named Ashe, who is murdered along with his young son by a gang of drug-running thugs under the employ of slimy kingpin Judah Earl (Richard Brooks). Ashe is resurrected with the help of a tattoo artist named Sarah (Mia Kirschner), whereupon he begins a campaign of revenge against his killers. More a rehash than a sequel, the film repeats the grungy, dark look of urban decay from The Crow, but its combination of violence, heavy-handed symbolism, and tacky sentiment make this a film strictly for nihilistic teens. Then again, no movie in which veteran punkster Iggy Pop plays a sleazeball can be considered a total loss. --Jeff Shannon

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