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Review: The Raven

John Cusack as Poe
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 26, 2012
1.0 1.0 Stars



Say what you will about his campiness and total infidelity to the text, but Roger Corman knew his way around an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation. Even his halfhearted 1963 The Raven looms like a masterpiece compared to this incoherent hodgepodge from James McTeigue. John Cusack makes for an oddly preppy Poe, here down and out and declaiming a line from the eponymous poem for drinks in a Baltimore tavern. The beautiful, patrician Emily (Alice Eve) sees something in him, though, causing her dad (Brendan Gleeson) to threaten Poe's life. Meanwhile, someone with an enormous special effects budget is vaguely imitating Poe's stories in a killing spree. Also, ravens eat dead cats and get shot in crossfires, reminding us of the title. If only Poe could find the solution to the mystery in his own texts! Or if the filmmakers made any use of them. As Poe says about a grisly and gratuitous allusion to "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," "It makes no sense."

  Topics: Reviews , short take, killing, short,  More more >
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