Crank

"Very Good"

Crank Review


They call it the "Beijing cocktail" and when it's injected into your bloodstream you've got about an hour to live. The science behind the drug is cloudy. But all you need to know is that it slows your heart to a crawl. A deadly crawl. The only solution is adrenalin. Lots and lots of adrenalin. When contract killer Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) is pumped full of "Beijing cocktail" he catches on quick that to survive - see his girl, kill the man who doped him, even some scores - he's got to keep moving. Keep pumped. This means we're treated to roughly 90 minutes of Statham ingesting, swilling, snorting or injecting every drug, energy drink and caffeine powder he can find. Exactly 85 minutes of Statham racing through downtown L.A., bowling over pedestrians, shooting mobsters, brawling with gang bangers and having sex in public. Eighty-five minutes of Statham doing anything and everything possible to keep his heart beating as rapidly as it can. Crank is trashy, vulgar, violent, and every bit as excessive as you'd imagine. I loved every delirious minute of it.

The best parts of the film are those you don't expect. We know that Statham, being a hit man (and British at that), will go after the men who wronged him. We know he'll get into all manner of complications along the way. That's Action Film 101. Where Crank excels is in its inventiveness. Like Pulp Fiction before it (or the recent, underrated Running Scared) the thrill is in the unexpected turns. And the plot of Crank is geared for constant invention. Stratham needs to stay mobile, needs to stay pumped, so the film never passes up an opportunity to shove some action his way. When Statham begins to flag (the sound flutters, the picture dims) and he needs an adrenaline fix, the audience is cued for another round. It's almost William Castle-like in its fun gimmickry.

It's therefore fitting that co-writers/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor throw every imaginable angle and edit into this crazy mix: split screen, solariztion, overcranking, undercranking, CGI, slo mo, still photography. They cut their teeth as behind the scenes wunderkinds - stunt coordination, cinematography - and Crank comes across like a speed freak hybrid of every film they've ever worked on. There is nothing avant garde here however. The tricks are all in the service of the over-caffeinated action. Imagine Run Lola Run without the artsy pretension. And then add some crack.

Statham reprises the thug role he perfected in the Transporter films. But this time he's giving the whole thing a thorough ribbing. The best of the cast plays against type: Efren Ramirez (Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite) is a flaming club kid while Dwight Yoakam (Sling Blade) is a sleazy mob doc.

Down and dirty (the title screen looks like it was designed for a Sega Genesis game) and bursting with '80s hard rock (not to mention the weird '70s exploitation stylish asides), Crank tears up the screen like a muscle car on fire - a brash, sinfully stupid joyride.

Looks like good odds.



Crank

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st September 2006

Box Office USA: $27.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $39.2M

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Lions Gate Films, Lakeshore Entertainment, Radical Media, GreeneStreet Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 56 Rotten: 36

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Starring: as Chev Chelios, as Eve, as Kaylo, as Ricky Verona, as Doc Miles, Carlos Sanz as Carlito, as Orlando, as Haitian Cab Driver, as Doctor, Jay Xcala as Alex, as Don Kim, Valarie Rae Miller as Chocolate, as Arab Cab Driver, Laurent Schwaar as Man in Garage, as Sin City Brother

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.