Crank - Review
Review by Jack Foley
THERE’S bad and then there’s so bad that it’s actually quite fun seeing just how much worse things can get. Jason Statham’s Crank falls firmly into that category.
Billed as a fast and furious take on Speed, the film finds Statham as professional hitman Chev Chelios who wakes up one morning with a sore head and a video message informing him that he has been injected with a lethal poison and only has hours to live.
The toxin lowers the rate of his heart beat to such an extent that if he slows down, hell die. So, with the clock ticking and the odds against him, Chev attempts to hunt down his killers while ensuring that he never slows down.
In the mayhem that ensues, Chev resorts to increasingly depserate measures to keep his heart pumping, including running amok in a hospital ER dressed in only a surgical gown, stealing a police motorbike, driving through a shopping mall at high speed and having sex with his girlfriend (Amy Smart) in the middle of Chinatown with a crowd of onlookers to cheer him on.
Crank writer-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor claim to suffer from ADD (attention deficit disorder) and have created this high energy action flick to appeal to audiences who suffer from the same thing.
Hence, their film never stops moving (just like Chev), constantly placing its central character in increasingly ridiculous scenarios.
That it does so with its tongue firmly in its cheek suggests the filmmakers know just how outrageous the whole thing is – although by opting to play things so dumb he deprives viewers of any emotional connection whatsoever.
None of his characters illicit any sympathy and most exist to get beaten up, killed or undressed. Statham throws himself gamely into each scenario, no matter how humiliating, while the likes of Smart, Efren Ramirez and Dwight Yoakam seem content to play things OTT.
But for all of Neveldine’s camera trickery and set piece creativity, there’s no getting away from the fact that Crank is complete and utter junk – best seen and appreciated on a Friday or Saturday night after a few too many beers.
For anyone else, the film simply sets new standards in crassness and makes the aforementioned Speed look like a sophisticated thinking man’s thriller.
Running time: 83mins