Edgar Allen Poe has had and interesting past with Hollywood. Several stories have been put to the silver screen with various degrees of success. This story is nothing special and the surprise ending is a tremendously lame.
The plot is a simple bit of historical fiction. Several murders are committed in the style of Edgar Allen Poe’s works. Poe, played by John Cusack, is summoned by the inspector to assist in solving the crime. Can Poe match wits with this insane super-fan?
Cusack is sort of an over-the-top caricature of Poe. His portrayal was like an egocentric Nicolas Cage. He yells and makes an ass of himself, making sure everyone knows how much smarter he is then others. I’d talk more about the other characters, but the movie does a really poor job in character development. There is very little to get emotionally invested in this movie.
The story is like a mix of “From Hell” and “Sleepy Hollow”. Poe has a romance with a blonde girl that becomes mixed up in the game between himself and the killer. The deaths are not very clever considering the material that they have to work with from Poe’s library. This movie might have been more fun if they made Poe into a darker, depressed type, that drinks himself into an oblivion regularly; a Poe that still is mourning the loss of his 13 year-old wife/cousin.
As a whole, this movie is nothing special. It’s a subpar mystery. The acting is piss-poor and the story shows a lack of effort. It really is not worth the movie ticket. If you are a curious person I’d suggest going the rental route. My guess is that Poe would likely say, “Quoth the Raven, ‘Never mind!’”