What would Edgar Allan Poe be doing if he were alive today? Clawing at the inside of his coffin, desperate to get at the people who used and abused his ingenious, diabolical tales as the basis for the pile of cinematic bird poo that is “The Raven.”
Like carrion feeders themselves, the filmmakers peck and gnash at Poe's stories to fill out a plot that sounds sort of cool in concept — a serial killer using the author's fiction as a blueprint for ghastly murders — but is featherheaded in execution.
John Cusack makes a terrible Poe, the somber role as one of literature's great tortured souls spotlighting his limitations as an actor. With his little goatee and his black cape, Cusack vaguely looks the part, but he's a lightweight — voice too whiny, mannerisms too exaggerated, cadence too reedy to bring alive the movie's frequent passages of Poe's lyrical writing.
Other than some stylishly gothic visuals crafted by director James McTeigue (“V for Vendetta”), “The Raven” is an unimaginative mess whose superficial appropriations of Poe's devilish yarns are deeply
An introductory sequence establishes Cusack's Poe as a garden-
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Starring: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Brendan Gleeson. (Bloody violence and grisly images)
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