This week saw a few films being released, alongside John Carter, that weren't really marketed very well. I had seen a few trailers for The Raven but only because I had found them online. For those that hadn't been online, there is probably very little chance that you would have seen much about it. Anyway the fact we didn't fancy John Carter and that the poster for this looked pretty cool we decided to give it a go.
The film is about Edgar Allan Poe. The famous poet and writer who died sitting on a bench in a rather deluded state. This is the theory of what happened in the run up to this moment, considering no one knows what Poe did in his final days. I can assure you this film though, is not how he spent his last few days. John Cusack is Poe and he is an actor I quite like. Don't ask me why because I don't know. In most films I see him in I'm slating yet another poor performance but I will still go and see his movies. He is kind of my guilty pleasure and I have no idea why. Yet again here he is no better than average. It is like he spent more time looking the part than actually being the part. For the first half especially I just did not believe him or his character.
Me and my girlfriend were both quite torn in the involvement of Luke Evans. I wasn't convinced by him but she was. My reasons however though were the lines he was given to read. They were very cliched and the sort of line you have heard in every action film going. This is one of the problems with The Raven, but we do have our theories as to why it is like it. The dialogue is very poetic and feels very forced, when you are listening to it you will find yourself cringing, but as the film is based on a famous author can we believe he may speak in a more poetic manner? Also being from the time period the film is set in? These could be the reasons but I'm a writer and I don't talk like that. The script, dialogue mainly, was a bit of a let down.
The film is a 'who done it' murder mystery and plays out like a very old school version of this type of film. To be fair we haven't had too many of them out in a while so in that sense it does feel a little different. The only thing though is that in the opening half it didn't particularly draw me in. The 'who done it' story was uninteresting, the nice colours and moody atmosphere in the trailer was non-existent and the scene involving the swinging pendulum had no tension what so ever. The film did manage to hook me about half way but I was still never truly convinced by it. The performances were not great, nor the script, nor the direction. Notable mention must go to Alice Eve for the least realistic portrayal of a woman trapped in a coffin. She was obviously acting and no emotion shown from a woman who in that situation would be bricking it. I would have been so how she seemed unfazed is beyond me.
It isn't the worst film out there. The critics have been a little harsh on it, I think even I have, but it is not that bad. It is very typical of the type of film it is and perhaps tries to hard to be something it isn't. It has plenty of problems but by the half way point I didn't care anymore and was trying to work out who the killer was, so on that front it worked. It isn't the best but so far this year I haven't expected much. This film has a cool title, a cool trailer, John Cusack looks cool, the visuals looked cool in the trailer but sadly the film isn't that cool it is merely luke warm. See it if nothing else is on.
Pros: Takes us back to an old school style.
Cons: Could have been so much more.
6 / 10
Top 10 films of 2012 so far:
1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7 / 10
2. The Grey 7 / 10
3. The Raven 6 / 10
4. Safe House 6 / 10
5. Man On A Ledge 5 / 10
6. This Means War 5 / 10
7. J. Edgar 4.5 / 10
8. The Iron Lady 4.5 / 10
9. Shame 4 / 10
10. Chronicle 4 / 10