Film / The Crow: City of Angels
"If two people really love each other, nothing can keep them apart."

A 1996 film, the sequel to the The Crow, written by David S. Goyer and directed by Tim Pope.

Instead of Eric Draven the indie rock guitarist and his fiancee Shelly who are murdered after Shelly protests tenant eviction in the wrong neighborhood, we have Ashe Corven the motorcycle mechanic and his son Danny, who are murdered after Danny accidentally causes them to witness a gangland killing in the wrong neighborhood. Instead of Devil's Night in Detroit we have All Saint's Day in Los Angeles. Instead of a gang of interestingly named and dressed street thugs called Tin-Tin, Fun Boy, Skank and Top Dollar, we have a gang of interestingly named and drssed street thugs called Spider Monkey, Nemo, Kali and Curve. Instead of archvillain crime lord Top Dollar and consort-with-mystic-knowledge Myca, we have archvillain crime lord Judah and consort-with-mystic-knowledge Sibyl. Instead of... oh, never mind. Sarah from the first film is in this one though, as an adult, now played by Mia Kirshner.

This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Nemo's death scene takes place at a peepshow parlor.
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Judah Earl specifically pushes drugs that are manufactured to kill the user. When his more business-minded underling objects to this, Judah orders him killed.
  • Alternate Ending: Two endings exist for the film, and they are wildly different.
    • The first is the director-intended Downer Ending, has a pause during the final battle, after the crow has been killed, which greatly weakens Ashe. Danny appears to him in a vision, and tells him if he doesn't die now, he will never be able to again. Ashe refuses and returns to life to save Sarah. However, Sarah is then sadly killed by Judah. As she is dying, she gives Ashe Eric's wedding ring, and they declare their love for each other. Eric then receives a Heroic Second Wind and uses a murder of crows to devour Judah. The film then ends with Ashe as an immortal wandering the earth, unable to die and reunite in the afterlife with Danny and Sarah.
    • The second ending (created by Harvey Weinstein) is somewhat more optimistic. The crow still dies, but Ashe does not receive a vision from Danny. Sarah also dies the same way, and after Ashe is able to defeat Judah, he his able to peacefully cross over in the afterlife with Sarah and Danny.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Ashe and Curve's shirts show off a couple inches of skin.
  • Badass Longcoat: One of the design conventions of the first film that the sequel followed. To help differentiate, Ashe's coat was designed to evoke the image of a priest's cassock.
  • Big Bad: Judah Earl.
  • Blind Seer: Sybil became so tormented by her visions that she gouged her own eyes out. It didn't help.
  • Broken Bird: The adult Sarah, which is sad given that the first film ended on a hopeful note for her character.
  • Continuity Nod: Numerous ones to the first film. Sarah still owns Gabriel the cat, has Eric's old Fool mask, and wears Shelley's wedding ring. She also picks up a stray girl off the streets and gets her some food, just as Officer Albrecht did for her when she was young.
  • Cool Old Guy: Sarah's boss, Noah, played by Ian Drury.
  • Crapsack World: Word of God states that the film is set in a deliberately much shittier version of Los Angeles.
  • Crucified Bird Shot: Ashe's crow spread on its back and its wings impaled with daggers. While it's still alive.
  • Death of a Child: Ashe's son Danny is killed by the villains while Ashe is forced to watch.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Sarah.
  • Downer Ending: Ashe avenges his son's murder and defeats the bad guys, but Sarah's dead too.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Sarah has dreams about Ashe and his son being murdered long after they are already dead.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: Judah Earl is convinced that he has visited Hell in the past and liked what he saw. He takes control of Los Angeles and tries to recreate his vision on the entire city, flooding it with dangerous drugs and forcing the people to live in a rundown place filled with vices and in fear of him. He kills one of his dealers for objecting that the amount of addicts who die is hurting their profits, suggesting that he prefers further corruption over money.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Sarah, as played by Mia Kirshner.
  • Eye Scream: The baddies attack Noah at his workplace and try to torture him into revealing where Sarah is, using what implements they find lying around. Noah works in a tattoo parlor. Nemo also gets this with Ashe pushing his eyes in.
  • Fantastic Drug: Trinity.
  • The Ferryman: Invoked by Ashe when he informs the mortally wounded Curve that people used to place coins in the mouths of corpses so they could pay the ferryman who took them across the Styx. He enacts the ritual on Curve.
  • Hell Seeker: Judah Earl, the cultist drug dealer villain, is convinced that he witnessed Hell during a Near-Death Experience and loved it. Since he can't go back there again without dying, he decides the next best thing is to shape the world in Hell's image.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Judah ritualistically kills Ashe's crow by holding it down on its back and driving two daggers through its wings and one through its heart. No Animals Were Harmed but it's excruciating to watch.
    • Judah himself, courtesy of an enraged Ashe. It doesn't take.
  • Motorcycle Fu.
  • Meaningful Name: Quite a few. Sibyl means a seer or psychic, and Kali, Judah's bloodthirsty Dragon, shares her name with a Hindu death goddess.
  • Parental Abandonment: Danny's drug-addicted mother left the scene shortly after he was born. It is implied that Darla either died from drug use or abandoned Sarah sometime after the first film.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: One of Judah's underlings destroyed a large batch of Judah's drugs because it was killing off the people who used it. However, the guy spun the bad drugs as being bad for business, rather than being morally repugnant. Judah kills him with the bad drugs for his trouble.
  • Public Execution: After gaining the Crow's powers, Judah tries his attempt at a public execution on Ashe by hanging him from a street light in front of the whole town.
  • Refusal of the Call: Ashe is much more hesitant than Eric to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Sarah has to help talk him into it.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Sarah is drawn to Ashe because he reminds her so much of Eric.
  • Sadist: Judah Earl admits point blank to one of his goons he executes (because the guy objected that the bad quality of their drugs was cutting into their profits since it killed too many customers) that hurting people is his only enjoyment.
    Judah: Weren't you listening before, Basset? I said we all have our pleasures. Mine is the pain of others.
  • Scary Black Man: Judah.
  • Shower of Angst: Sarah takes one at the start of the film, after waking up from a nightmare. It combines Fanservice (naked Mia Kirshner) with plot information (Sarah has self-harming scars and several large tattoos, suggesting that things haven't gone well for her since the end of the first film).
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Sarah from the first film is killed off.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Word of God states that this is the film's setting. It is reflected in the fact that an adult Sarah is a character in the film and, when you look closely, in the production and costume design.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Pleasingly averted. In earlier drafts of the script Ashe was a teenager and Danny was his kid brother. It was ultimately decided that fans of The Crow were, after all, emotionally mature enough to empathise with an adult losing a child, and that the presumed target demographic of the film (ie teenage boys) did not need a protagonist to be just like them in order to relate.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: There are many, many close-ups of both Ashe's and Sarah's eyes throughout the film. In Sarah's case, it's Foreshadowing of her death.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kali (Rare Female Example), The Dragon to Judah Earl, kills Ashe's very young son without batting a lash.
  • You Have Failed Me: Judah is introduced killing one of his drug dealers for destroying a large stash of drugs because it killed too many users to make a return profit.

Alternative Title(s): Crow Cityof Angels, The Crow City Of Angels