This film could have been titled “There Will Be Beef.”
"The Crow" is, of course, the movie Brandon Lee was making when he was accidentally shot dead during the filming of a scene. It is not without irony that the story involves a hero who returns from the dead - just as, in a sense, Lee has with the release of this film. It is a stunning work of visual style - the best version of a comic book universe I've seen - and Brandon Lee clearly demonstrates in it that he might have become an action star, had he lived.
The story begins with a resurrection from the dead. A rock star named Eric Draven (Lee) is murdered, along with his fiancee, on the eve of their wedding. His soul is escorted to the next world (according to the narration) by a crow; but when a spirit is unhappy there because of unsettled business on earth, sometimes the crow will bring him back again. And so a year later, on Halloween Eve, Eric reappears on earth, vowing vengeance on those who committed the murders - and the evil kingpin who ordered them.
That's about all there is to the story. Flashbacks recreate the original murder, and then Eric, led by the crow, tracks the mean, rainy, midnight streets on his lonely quest. He has fashioned for himself some death's-head makeup, and since he is already dead, of course bullets cannot harm him (except sometimes - which is always the catch in comic book stories).
The story exists as an excuse for the production values of the film, which are superb. The director, Alex Proyas, and his technical team have created a world that will remind you of the forlorn urban wasteland in "Blade Runner" and of the Gothic extravagances in "Batman," yet this world is grungier and more forbidding than either. It's not often that movies can use miniatures and special effects and sets and visual tricks to create a convincing place, rather than just a series of obvious sets. But "The Crow" does.