We hit the wayback machine to hit Baltimore and we see a murdered woman on the floor of a small apartment. The cops bust in the forth floor (with a helpful cop saying they have to go upstairs) and they can’t find a way the killer got out. A super cop shows up and is able to find out how. This seems to remind the SuperCop of a story by Poe.
John Cusack is Edgar Allen Poe, but is getting almost no respect in Baltimore, from a bar where few people know his poetry and he has a hard time paying his bar tab, to his job where his writing has a hard time making the paper and his reviews are passed over for other writers (like that hack Wadsworth) and even to his love life, where his beloved Emily is out of his reach due to her father. Poe is brought into the police station and questioned. So far, Poe has been a prick to pretty much everyone. We skip over to the Pit and the Pendulum set and watch a man killed. A quick alliance is formed with SuperCop and Poe, to attempt to find out who is doing the murders. The movie picks up when Emily is taken and a not taunts Poe to catch the killer who is basing his murders on Poe’s work.
My teenaged son enjoyed it. The beginning was a bit slow, but it picked up a good bit toward the end, and if you like the murder mystery/CSI type shows, this one could have turned out a bit worse. I’m normally a fan of John Cusack, but he is just chewing film here with gusto, I almost thought this was a passion project from him, with the fevor he attacks the role. His portrayal of Poe is a bit of fun, and but I have a bit of a problem thinking Poe acts so level-headed this late in his life.
The rest of the cast is solid, if unspectacular. The lady that plays Emily is a ton of fun and should do more horror movies. I am a huge fan of Poe, however, and there are some serious issues with how they treat Poe’s work if you know the stories.
This is a pretty hard movie to really grade. Again, if you are a huge fan of Poe certain missteps are going to grind your gears, if you are looking for a Dickens-era period piece, again, you are going to miss the mark. If you enjoy CSI, well- it’s a good build until the crash of the end. The film isn’t a mess, but I feel it could have been better in another someone’s hands- either the script the director or the cast missed something. I’ll go a 2 here. I can’t really recommend the Raven, but can’t tell you why.
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