It’s best to say in the beginning that director James McTeigue’s take on the final era of Edgar Allan Poe in Watch The Raven Online probably falls far in short supply of historical accuracy. While Poe did indeed die in Baltimore in 1849 - more than likely from complications related to his rampant alcoholism or possibly rabies after being found hallucinating outside a pub - his final mysterious days were likely nothing near those depicted by writers Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare. The facts was probably considerably more depressing and sad than this mostly enjoyable Sherlock Holmes aping yarn befitting on the famed gothic author until a tragically misguided conclusion.
Arriving unwelcome in Baltimore as a washed up drunken prat turned literary critic, Poe (John Cusack) spends most of his time bickering with his editors about being pushed out of your local paper and teaching women creating poetry for his rent and booze money. Watch The Raven Online Whilst the once mighty Poe appears to have fallen far, a locally based murderer has taken to recreating Poe’s ghastly horrors and mysteries as actual gristly murders. A nearby police enlist Poe’s assist to stop the killer, who has also targeted his new fiancée (Alice Eve).
A small percentage what happens within the Raven makes logical sense, but it makes almost perfect narrative sense. Much like a lot of the real Poe’s work, this film lines up a trail of breadcrumbs the audience should follow to attain a final revelation, but that’s not to say that it’s dully handled. Watch The Raven Online McTiegue keeps the action moving along with a great pace, and showing a visible style not as far removed from his focus on V for Vendetta. Even when the film’s editing seems to fail him at sometimes the most inopportune almost daily, the film is great looking enough to shrug off some minor inconsistencies.
That is certainly until the conclusion, which can’t really be discussed without spoiling, but will be exactly the sort of hackwork that the critical Poe would’ve looked down upon with utter disdain. The suspension of disbelief necessary to go along with the killer’s type of offing people completely in time breaks down into something so unfathomably ludicrous that it’s almost comedic. Nothing at all that happens within the last few ten minutes from the film could ever have taken place even inside the somewhat fantastical world created by Livingston and Shakespeare.
Despite the fact that, the film definitely has entertainment value, thanks mostly to Cusack who hasn’t a role this good in some time now. As Poe, he actually reaches get his Nicolas Cage on for just a great deal of the film, without ever retreating to Jack Sparrow drunkenness or Robert Downey Jr.’s degree of smartass eccentricity. It hits the sweet find the character needs to simultaneously seem sympathetic and repulsive to your audience. Sure, there are scenes where he has to devour the scenery while shouting near the top of his lungs and he sometimes carries around a family pet raccoon, but there’s something endearing about seeing Cusack doing different things for a change. He elevates the film to your level of fun, brainless camp that this wonky material needs and deserves.