Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Murder Of Crows Review

To say that the movie A Murder of Crows is set in Key West is a bit of an exaggeration. The plot actually revolves around New Orleans and it's cinematic-ally stereotypical corrupt practices. However key West does show up in the movie. Fishing for instance. When Cuba Gooding's character gets disbarred from the law in Louisiana he returns to the ancestral home in Key West and takes up the trade one expects a dropout to pick up: fishing guide.He grows a beard of course and gets tangled with a client who goes by the literary name of Christopher Marlowe. They fish and they drink together. At Sloppy Joe's of course, where we learn to our astonishment that Hemingway's favorite drink was the daiquiri.
But the lot thickens and pretty soon our literary/fishing/legal hero is soon under suspicion of murder after he purloins Marlowe's manuscript and passes it off as his own. It turns out Marlowe was a murderer and now Gooding has taken the benefit of the script and must suffer the consequences of the murders performed to get the book written. A chase ensues through the streets of Key West.I find movies set in locations that I know tend to lose a little something when for cinematic reasons the logically impossible becomes necessary. A chase that starts on Elizabeth Street magically turns a corner......and becomes White Street. And then we ask ourselves how is it exactly that a Waterfront market truck is parked at Fausto's?Now that the market is long gone we view the truck with heavy nostalgia of course. And perhaps these movies set in Key West serve that purpose for us, they enshrine what was and make it real once again for a few minutes on the screen.A Murder Of Crows (1999, 1 hr 41 mins) is a nice enough thriller. It's not especially memorable in terms of plot but the action is fun and the settings in New Orleans and Key West make for a fun view, but the stereotypes get labored. How many more drunken southern gents do we need to see on screen? This one was nicely played by Eric Stoltz drawling with the best of them. Tom Berenger walks on and off as a decent but confused cop.But in the end we know things are going to work out and the tension cannot be sustained. Beside I have little respect for script writers if they have to move the plot along with a voice over narration. The movie is available on disc from Netflix which is good as you can thus put it on your list of movies to watch on a cold wet afternoon when some Key West sun would make a nice change.

Other movies I've looked at about Key West:


Anonymous said...

A Murder of crows is a good watch just for the KW scenes as is the movie Criss Cross with Goldie Hawn.

Conchscooter said...

Criss Cross is one my favorite Key West movies as I enjoyed the plot and the scenery. Cathy, shown singing above) was an eatra with her kids in the movie's baseball scene at Peary Court...