April 17, 2010
“If you stop, you die.”
Synopsis: Professional hitman Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) has been poisoned with a nasty Chinese cocktail, slowing his heart to a crawl. The only way to stay alive? – Keep the adrenaline pumping, any way he can. Bent on revenge, Chev hunts down his enemies in a heart pounding race against time.
Crank has an impressive premise: the hero bent on vengeance must keep his adrenaline ‘cranked’ or else he will die. We’re entertained by Jason Statham breaking into convenience stores to steal armfuls of energy drinks and cranking the radio to “Achy Breaky Heart”. Its nicely stylized in this break-neck, do or die, rock music, ridiculously violent, action flick. But this gets starts to get old after the first twenty minutes.
Crank is juvenile. Not “haha, fart joke” juvenile, but “I wonder how much perversion I can get away with before my mom walks in” juvenile. Crank has a clever enough concept but the constant stream of drugs, profanity, sexual content, and pointless violence is too crude and deviant to be enjoyable. Chev Chelios is willing to do anything, anything to stay alive, whether its beating up cops or robbing a hospital. His character goes beyond Bad-A and reaches a level of depravity that’s just too hard to sympathize with.
Crank does a great job at delivering a unique style and maintaining internal consistency. But the genre that unfolds is too depraved for me to enjoy or recommend. I’ve been told that Crank isn’t a “great movie”, but its a unique experience you just “have to see”. While Crank is certainly unique, its far from a “must-see”. If you’re looking for high-octane action, I suggest Shoot Em’ Up. If you want Jason Statham and humor, I suggest The Transporter or Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.
2/5 Zipped Lips