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

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.