An attempted amalgam Guy Ritchie’s gothic Sherlock Holmes
adventures and the grimy serial killer aesthetic of David Fincher's Seven
, The Raven
fails to hit either high. Director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta
) puts alcoholic Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) in the centre of his brisk thriller about a murderer using Poe’s bloodier stories as his inspiration to fill the streets of 1849 Baltimore with corpses. The story scrimps on logic as the antagonist utilizes an almost supernatural skill and unexplained practical resources to avoid capture in every instance. And while Cusack mugs broadly, he somehow misses the sly wit and grace of his peer, that other former Brat Packer, Robert Downey Jr. We all know Cusack has it in him, maybe just not while deep into that darkness peering.