Thursday, November 8, 2012

"The Raven (2012)" Review

Quoth the Raven...
Forget it. This movie sucks.
    Edgar Allan Poe was a great author. And yet for some reason most of the fictional stories involving him, then to be less than great. In fact, most don't even tend to make it to the screen. And yet, some how, The Raven snuck by. The film, of course, follows Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack), the famed writer who plans to marry his beloved Emily (Alice Eve), despite her father's (Brendan Gleeson) hatred of Poe. But when a crazed fan kidnaps Emily and starts killings based off of Poe's works, Poe must team up with Emily's father and a police captain (Luke Evans) to save Emily and catch the deranged killer.
    And anything remotely interesting about this film stops right there.  Seriously, the only thing I actually got out of The Raven was 2 hours older. And the start of this dull failure of a thriller is at the actual idea of the film itself. In the last days of Poe, he was probably not running around catching a killer, it was probably much less interesting and more depressing than that. The film was obviously written by two Poe mega-fans wanting a more heroic end to the more mysterious end than Poe actually got.
    The peremise doesn't even make much sense storywise. Suspension of disbelief is thrown out the window due to the absurdity of trying to make a huge, overblown murder mystery the lead-up to the mysterious end of Edgar Allan Poe. Public kidnappings, gruesome murders, countless witnesses and even a story written by Poe himself and yet somehow the whole thing is a mystery as to how Poe actually died. And the lengths the story goes to to make Poe an action star is laughable and best and contrived at the worst. He's a cool cat who watches his own house burn and then he's the knight-in-shining-armor running to save his princess. Because, why not?
    Other than that, The Raven is about as basically boring as it gets. Cusack is woefully miscast is a role better suited for a character actor of even someone used to doing period piece. Cusack is best in roles where he can play John Cusack-like characters and fails to bring the level of depth needed to play a person like Poe. The mystery itself is obvious and if you don't actually guess who the killer is, you will be so close anyway that it still isn't any fun to guess along. Even the directing is flat. The visuals should be nice, but instead their the same gothic visuals you've seen in countless other films better than this.
Ghost Rider, confusing The Raven's
set with his.
    Ultimately, there just isn't much else worth saying about The Raven. Cusack is miscast, the story and visuals are generic, the premise is ludicrous and the film is just a massive waste of time, effort and money. Skip it. The Raven (2012) gets 2 stars out of 6.

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