Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Raven

Like most people James Earl Jones introduced me to Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem – The RavenI have read a few of his short stories so I do not feel the need to proffer forth my usual disclaimer of knowing nothing about the source material.

PLOT:  Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) is a drunken, penniless poet who spends his time getting into bar fights.  After two young women are found murdered in homage to Poe’s short story Murders in the Rue Morgue Inspector Fields (Luke Evans) seeks Poe’s help in solving the crime but it appears they have serial killer on their hands.  Things take a turn for the worse when Poe’s fiancée Emily (Alice Eve) is kidnapped by the killer.  Who is the killer?  I guessed correctly about 3seconds before it was revealed.  END PLOT.

The plot of The Raven is absolutely fine, granted it is not exactly a ground breaker, but it has enough twists, turns and unexpected moments of gore to keep this particular viewer fully engrossed.

There is one weak link which almost ruined the entire film and that weak link is named John Cusack.

Cusack wasn’t just awful; he appeared to become possessed by the spirit of Nicolas Cage.  Cusack embodied Cage’s wide eyed overacting to unintentionally hilarious perfection.  If demand ever rises for Nicolas Cage: The Biopic, John Cusack must be the only contender to play him. 

Nothing about the character fitted the tone of film – Cusack’s performance, his black clothes and even his perfectly crafted goatee all looked out of place.  

 It was like watching the bastard love child of Severus Snape and Nicolas Cage.  On crack.

Speaking of bastard love children, Luke Evans, the undoubted product of a dalliance between Matt Bomer and Antonio Banderas, is absolutely fine as Fields and indeed whenever he was not on screen the film gravely suffered.

pretty man + pretty man = pretty pretty man

The Raven would have worked so much better if it was a detective story based on Poe without Poe being involved – don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the film but it was an “empty screen no one can hear my piss taking” kind of enjoyment.  The Raven should have been so much better but I still give it a 7/10.

PS - This blog is the result of someone high on half a child's pain killer.  Bed going now am I.


  1. I've been mostly dismissive of this film, still not sure if I'll see it because I'm a pretty big fan of Poe's work.

    I thought Cusack’s casting was pretty silly to be honest, from the sounds of it, he didn't work out.

    1. Cusack did not work at all - I have no idea who he managed to be cast in this role but it was a big mistake.

      It really ruined the film which is a shame as it did have some good dark moments.

      Wasted opportunity.

      K :-(

  2. I usually like John Cusack movies. I've seen enough Poe stuff in one lifetime anyway.

    1. If you are a Cusack and a Poe fan you might enjoy it but I just couldn't recommend it to you!