The Raven is a period piece with elements of horror, thriller, romance and comedy all loosely bound together. It is the creative interpretation on how Poe spent the last week of his life before he was found, half-dead, on a park bench.
As enjoyable as it was, the thing that kept it from going from “good” to “great” was its inability to decide what kind of movie it was. And when you don’t know who you are, you don’t know how to behave, and therefore your pacing is very disjointed. If someone had told me that this was another bird film, “The Crow” or another Bela Lugosi piece like “Plan 9 from Outer Space) and had to limp along with the styles of several directors or a dead actor, I would have understood and forgiven the final creation more.
John Cusack was enjoyable as always, and put in a great effort. However, it was a noticeable effort, versus an effortless performance. And I think a lot of that had to do with the writing and pacing of the moving. Luke Evans was definitely the strong-jaw looker, but his delivery was sometimes stilted or overacted. Others in the film gave acceptable performances, although I think because their characters were treated secondary, their abilities were not as striking. Alice Eve was very pretty, but I found it amusing that she spent much of her time in a box, as that was where they placed her acting ability as well, often using her more for her other. . . ahem . . . assets.
The cinematography was beautiful and the costuming was lovely. The ballroom scene was breathtaking. It was an enjoyable movie, but something that you can wait for on DVD.
The movie seemed to hint at a Jules Verne sequel. Hopefully if they pursue that route, they will take the time to go back in his Time Traveling machine and fix this film first so they have a better foundation to draw from.
I would give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.