Friday, 16 March 2012

The Raven (2012)

Tagline: The only one who can stop a serial killer is the man who inspired him.
Cusack plays: He IS Edgar Allan Poe.

Over 150 years after his death at the age of 40 mystery still surrounds the death and last days of American author and poet Edgar Allan Poe. This film imagines what might have happened if he'd spent his final days chasing a serial killer around Baltimore who is chopping up and murdering people in the style of some of his stories. The hunt is given extra urgency when Poe's ladyfriend is abducted and imprisoned by aforementioned nutter.

The film starts off, murdering aside, in a quite lighthearted and comedy style, with drunky Poe/Cusack rolling about taverns getting pissed, begging for work and flirting away. It then becomes a reasonably engaging whodunnit, with some misdirection (lingering shots willing you to believe certain people are dodgy), clues and culminating in gun fights on horseback.

"Is this your lamp?"

At just under 2 hours it still felt a bit like it was dragging in parts, and while I won't be adding it to the DVD collection I would probably watch it again in the future. Lots of British actors feature, including (hold onto your hats ladies of a certain age) Mr Bates from Downton Abbey. Cusack drops some weight and gets a reasonably dashing 'tache and goatee, and turns in what I deem a respectable performance.

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