THE REEL DEAL RATING SYSTEM:

* Find your Casa Video card if you ever want to see this movie

** Even a rerun of Melrose Place is better than this

*** A laugh, a cry, kiss $7 goodbye

**** Oops, I blinked, rewind

***** Better than sex

The Crow

**

The Crow is yet another example of Hollywood's gross misconception that as long as an actor is part of a famous lineage, he must be able to act.

The idea is simply ludicrous. Case in point, Sophia Coppola of the last "Godfather" movie and daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola. Or Tori Spelling of "Beverly Hills, 90210," daughter of producer Aaron Spelling. Although, on second thought she may be a great actress I mean, can someone really be that irritating on- and off-screen?

The star of "The Crow" is the late Brandon Lee, son of the late martial-arts movie king, Bruce Lee. Despite the Lee name, though, Brandon is another example of Hollywood's mindless infatuation with famous offspring.

In director Alex Proyas' workup of this gothic fantasy, Lee plays Eric Draven, who is murdered along with his fiancee, Shelly (Sofia Shinas) on the eve of their wedding day.

A year later, on Halloween Eve, Draven is resurrected from the dead to avenge Shelly's death and brutal rape. With the help of his spiritual guide, a black crow (hence the title), and Albrecht (Ernie Hudson), a warm-hearted police officer, he sets out to find Top Dollar (Michael Wincott), the powerful and ruthless crime lord who along with his followers is responsible for their deaths.

As you can see, the plot of the movie is simple, yet Proyas seems to go astray as he focuses more on the technical display of fireworks and machine guns than acting.

But on those rare occasions that the movie does focus on acting, the sight is less than pleasant. Lee is either talking in monosyllables, jumping over buildings in the pouring rain (miraculously, none his white face paint with black smudges smears must be industrial strength) or playing his electric guitar in the aforementioned soaking rain.

Amazingly, he never once got electrocuted, much to my dismay. (Had he gotten electrocuted, he would have lost his invincible magic powers and the movie would have ended an hour and a half early and I would have made it home in time to see the end of Ricki Lake's special on "Affairs with your best friend's boyfriend.")

My suggestion to filmgoers is if you are truly bored on a Sunday afternoon and have absolutely nothing else better to do with your time swimming in Sabino Canyon or checking out the latest sales at the mall I suggest you go see this movie.

If you don't want to see it for the technical fireworks, then you could at least see it in memory of Brandon Lee, who was killed in an accident on the set during filming.

The Crow, starring Brandon Lee, is playing at the Century Park 12 Theatres and the El Dorado Cinemas. Read Next Article