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"Crank" is a 2006 action movie directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and stars Jason Statham, Amy Smart and Dwight Yoakam.
Chev Chelios ( Jason Statham ) is a British hitman living in LA, he awakes from a sleep drowsy and disoriented, he soon discovers a video laying around his apartment that urges him to watch it, he soon discovers that while he was out he was injected with a drug known as a "Beijing Cocktail" which inhibits the flow of adrenalin into the heart, resulting in the victim eventually dying, Chev is given the drug by Ricky Verona, a small time criminal and rival of Chev's at the behest of his boss Carlito, who orders Chev's death as a payback for an ill-advised hit on a rival chinese crime boss.
Chev soon discovers that he can stay alive as long as adrenalin is rushing through his system, as such he has to resort to more and more extreme methods of keeping his heart pumped with adrenaline, including such things as car chases and public sex with his girlfriend ( Amy Smart )
Chev must stay alive long enough to work out an antidote to his condition and also to exact revenge on the individuals responsible for his situation.
I wasnt sure what to expect from Crank, im a fan of a good action movie as much as the next person and the premise of Crank certainly would bring about lots of action, however from some of the trailers and clips i've seen of the movie it also seems quite out there in terms of reality..and while im a fan of detaching reality for a movie there are limits.
Statham does a good job of looking p***ed off enough throughout the whole movie and he definitely fits the bill of an action star, however i also believe an action star should be able to do a convincing job acting wise anx i just believe that Statham is too one-dimensional an actor, he looks great and clearly has some good action chops, but i fear for his career outside of the mindless movies such as this.
The positives of the movie are that if you're looking for some turn off the brain action then this is by far a good place to look, its shot very much like a video game if you ask me ( and there are some serious video game references throughout the whole movie so i think this may be intentional ) and while you will be wanting more if you're looking for a meaningful plot..if you're looking to see non-stop adrenaline ( irony huh ? ) for 93 minutes the this is the movie for you.
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Chev Chelios works as an assassin for a big crime ring in America, he has made a decision to quit his work and make a good life for him and his girlfriend so he lets off one of the men he has been hired to kill. Unfortunately for Chev his life is about to take a turn for the worse when he wakes up feeling very ill. He finds a DVD which has been left in his apartment for him and start it.
Chev learns that he has been injected with a deadly cocktail of drugs, called a Beijing Cocktail, by his rival Verona and that there is no cure. Chev learns that he only has one hour to live. Chev is not happy and tries to contact his Doctor but after finally managing to speak to him he learn that he has to keep his heart rate up and the adrenalin pumping so he can get back in time to help Chev.
Chev decides that he is going to take revenge on all the men who have upset him but can he keep his heart rate up for long enough to get all of the men and will the Doctor get back in time to help him find a cure?
The only reason I wanted to watch this film is that Jason Statham was playing the lead role, I really had no idea of what the story was about before watching but I had a very good idea that it was going to be full of action. I really was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. I found the storyline was good and put across in an excellent way with plenty of action and a little romance so it appealed to both the female and male audience. I did also find there were some quite funny moments which also made this a better film to watch and enjoy.
Jason Statham played the lead role of Chev and he was very good. To be quite honest thought there was not much difference between this character and those of the gangsters and hard men he has played in the past but I think the inclusion of his girlfriend helped to show another side to his character. He showed great strength throughout and I found there were also times when he did show emotions and I enjoyed seeing this. I thought he looked the part when making the action scenes and he seemed at ease during the fights and the car chases. There was a good chemistry between the character of Chev and his on screen girlfriend Eve. Eve was played by Amy Smart and she was also very good. She did come across as slightly thick at the start of the film and I could not get over the fact she never knew what Chev really did for a job when he was shooting people and fighting when her back was turned. They worked well on screen together and I have to say there was a lot of humour from them especially when they were having sex in the middle of the street.
We had some very good strong support character and actors, some of the more memorable performances came from Jose Pablo Cantillo who played Verona and Dwight Yoakman who played the Doctor. They were all quite mixed in their roles and this did give the storyline a little bit of depth.
There is a lot of action in this film right from the very start to the very end and I found all of it to be excellent and the special effects were very well made. I found that I was not able to see any badly added back drops or effects during the car chases and even when Statham was riding the motorbike in a hospital gown it all looked authentic and real. There were some scenes which I did find hard to watch and one of these included the part where Chev chopped a hand off one of his rivals, I found some of them very gruesome and stomach turning. The music was very fitting for the film and helped with the emotions and the setting for the fast paced action. The film was set in America and the sets were all well made and looked good ad so too did the costumes and props.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 88 minutes and I found this to be a good length. The rate is an 18 and I do definitely agree with this. The DVD can be bought for under £5 now and I do think it is worth this price tag.
I would love to be able to give this film 5 stars but I have to drop one and award it 4. I have done this as I felt let down with the ending and thought it was slightly daft compared to the rest of the film. It is very much worth a watch for all fans of action and fast paced films. It will also appeal to the female market as it stars Jason Statham and we do get to see his bare bum when he is on the motorbike!
I remember when I was young...I had such standards. I used to talk about the quality of films, the direction, the fine intricacies of plotlines...I used to be so arty. As time's warn on, however, I find that rather than maturing, my tastes have gone...well, the other way.
Where once I'd have looked down at Crank, for being a ridiculous, thoughtless romp, now I *embrace* Crank...for being a ridiculous, thoughtless romp.
For those not familiar with the plot, Jason Statham, "Chev Chelios" has just been murdered in his sleep - though he's not quite dead yet...as long as he keeps his adrenalin up, he has one last chance to exact revenge on those that killed him. Well, given the sequel, it's obviously not his *last* chance...but you know what I mean :o)
Turns out, there are certain sure-fire ways of keeping yourself pumped - violence, sex and drugs all seems to work out well - and combinations of the three equally so.
From start to finish, the direction of Crank is a little patchy - it's definitely a film that's *been* directed, but though I've seen the film 20 odd times, I'm yet to decide whether that's a good thing or not...There are some very fast camera moves which do add pace to the movie - but equally make it seem quite low-budget, almost B movie in places.
The action, though, is solid and relentless - the film's under an hour and half long, which is refreshing in the 21st century and around an hour of that sees chev running in one way or another.
Jason Statham does a reasonable job in the lead, playing...well, Jason Statham, basically - and he does a good job of making Chev both likeable and funny.
Amy Smart (playing Chev's girlfriend) is about as clueless as the role dictated...I wouldn't say it's "good" acting, but the role certainly doesn't require it anyway.
The film's fast, fun and fantastically far-fetched. It's honest, old fashioned action and not apologetically so...I can't possibly give the film five stars...it's just too bad....But for sheer "smile factor", it well deserves four. Switch the mind off, sit back - and you'll have time for Crank 2 before bed.
ARG!! The most adrenaline fuelled fast pasted witty film I have seen in years literally.
Even thinking about it now givers me the drop in my tummy and a rush of excitement!
Jason Stetham is amazing in it and is so perfect for the role. I have always been a fan of him but I am even more so now!
The film is about an English assassin working in America. He decides to stop his ways to settle down with the love of his life that is unaware of his chosen profession. But something bad has happened that changes everything...
The film starts off with Chev Chelios (Jason Stetham) waking up only to find he has been poisoned by a rival gang with an ancient Chinese substance which slowly kills you unless your body is full of adrenaline.
From there on the film does not really stop at all and it is so quick and action packed.
I love this film so much and so do all my friends. I had no idea it was even a film till it came out in TV a couple of months ago. I recorded it and watched it 3 times in the week.
Because of the fact it is such a fast moving film you can watch it again and again easily. Jason Stetham has some great fighting moves and from seeing Transported I was already aware of his skills.
The great thing about the fight scenes is they have that potentially real element to them which is not like Mission Impossible 2 where Tom Cruise looks so fake and it just looks horrible.
The directing and film production is very impressive with the camera not too shaky and often imitating how he may be seeing especially when he is packed with epinephrine.
It has the greatest scene I have ever seen in any film at the very end when all the rivals meet with a stand off,. The tension, sound effects and music are so perfectly paced I would watch the film again just to see it. All my hairs stood on end!
I highly recommend it, it is such a boys film and, although having that air of a budget film so it does not have a tacky Hollywood feel. The Sex scene is hilarious and not like the typical awkward stupid scenes that are normally in cinema now days.
All the fighting, action and dialogue is great fun and I really mean it when I say you can watch it again and again. It has no really deep emotional parts that make you want to watch in detail every little thing and the camera work within these scenes that could be classified as 'lovey dovy' compliments it as though you know something more dangerous is around the corner.
The only problem I thought in the film was his girlfriend and he did not seem to have and chemistry and as a result it was the only thing I found unbelievable. But apart from that the film is a really cracker and ONE TO WATCH!
Chev Chelios is a hit-man who is poisoned by the criminal Verona. Chev Chelios (Jason Stratham) unexpectedly wakes feeling groggy, practically unable to move and with a heart that's barely beating. As he wakes he hears the voice of Verona who tells him, he has been poisoned in his sleep and he only has an hour to live. Chev must now keep moving to stay alive, which is the only way to prolong the poison from stopping his heart. Chev needs to keep his adrenaline flowing and as the clock ticks Chev wreaks Havoc through the streets of LA with his girlfriend to get his revenge on those who have betrayed him before the poison stops his heart and kills him.
The film stars Jason Statham who is an English actor and martial artist. Jason is well known for his roles in Guy Ritchie films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Revolver and Snatch. Jason has also appeared in several American films such as The Italian Job, The Transporter, Death Race, The Bank Job and more.
The film also stars Amy Smart who is an American television and film actress and former fashion model. Amy has appeared in films such as Road Trip, The Butterfly Effect and Rat Race. Amy also appeared in the film Varsity Blues and the series Felicity.
I won't name the entire actor's in this film but I have listed some of the well known actors which do star in this film.
* Jason Stratham - Plays Chev Chelios
* Amy Smart - Plays Eve
* Jose Pablo Cantillo - Plays Verona
* Efren Ramirez - Plays Kaylo
* Dwight Yoakam - Plays Doc Miles
The DVD was bought from HMV for about £6 and features no special Features or bonus discs. I think this has recently been reduced in price again to about £2.99. It is cheaper to buy the DVD from www.hmv.co.uk than it is from their store. You can also buy this from Amazon and other shops such as WHSmith.
Crank 2: High Voltage was released this year and contains Jason Statham again. Chelio's tears through the town in search for the Chinese criminal who has possession of his heart. Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakham, and Efren Ramirez revisit their roles from the original film.
I think Jason Statham is a fantastic actor anyway and I have to say that I loved this film. It was full of action and also has some funny parts in the film as well. It was highly entertaining and action-packed through-out the film and I wouldn't hesitate to watch Crank 2. My dad did how-ever borrow the DVD and after 30mins he switched it off as he couldn't quite get into the film. If you like Jason as an actor and if you like his other films I think you with thoroughly enjoy this film. I would recommend it to anyone who like's action packed films.
(review also on ciao)
This must rank as possibly one of the worst big budget films that I have ever seen only surpassed suposedly by the rather dire second film in the series.
In the film Jason Statham plays a professional hitman called Chev Chelios who is injected with a poison by a rival assassin called Verona, played by Jose Pablo Cantillo. It is a bit like the movie Speed in a way as the only way he can stay alive until he can get to an anti serum for the poison is to ensure his heart rate stays very high so you see him driving fast while guzzling energy drinks and inkecting himself with adrenilin as well. Of course a succession of bad guys trying to kill him also means that he has to take a whole host of risks and get into lots of fights which also help to keep his heart rate high.
If you like a constant diet of car chases and fight scenes that are overly stylised then you will enjoy this film as it is non stop action however to be hoest the plot is paper thin and the acting mediocre at best.
Personally I found that the constantly changng camera angles and slo motion cuts tended to dull my senses after a while and ceased to amaze me and then you had the laughable dialogue and poor attempts at humour. Not a good film and not one I would recommend.
Crank is a 2006 action/thriller starring Jason Statham and Amy Smart, and written & directed by the duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
Waking in his bed feeling the worst for wear, hitman Chev Chelios (Statham) finds a DVD on which it shows the reason for him feeling unwell - a rival, Ricky Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo), and his brother snuck into "Chevy's" apartment and injected him with "the beijing cocktail", a drug which inhibits the flow of adrenaline and will result in his heart stopping. Flying into a rage Chevy heads out to try and find Ricky so he can kill him. He begins to realise that the more inactive he is the worse he feels and calls a doctor he knows, Doc Miles (Country and western star Dwight Yoakim). The doc tells Chevy that he needs to increase the amount of adrenaline pumping to counter act the effects of the drug. This leads to Chevy doing everything from eating lots of sweets, to injecting artificial adrenaline to having outdoor sex with his sweet but dumb girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart), who is unaware her boyfriend is a hitman for a Latin American gangster. As well as contending with the drugs coursing through his body, Chevy also has his old boss Carlito to deal with, since he is under pressure from a Hong Kong crime syndicate to get rid of Chelios following an assassination of their boss Don Kim. Can Chevy stay alive long enough to exact his revenge on Ricky and Carlito?
I happened to catch this on TV having previously not had much interest in seeing it. My weariness turned to curiosity when the opening song used was one of my favourites, and slightly unexpected - "New Noise" by the Swedish punk band Refused. A shallow reason for watching perhaps, but at least it showed the makers had a little more imagination than to just use whichever metal band were flavour of the month at the time, which happens a lot with action films. From here, I was treated to one of the most insane films I have ever seen. As mentioned above, the lengths Statham's character goes to to keep the adrenaline pumping is ridiculous, but hilarious at the same time. Any film that has it's leading man running around with a drug-induced erection obviously has it's tongue firmly in it's cheek! That last line also serves as a warning - this film isn't for the easily offended. There is copious amounts of blood letting and even more swearing. It seems to be an exercising in seeing how much Neveldine/Taylor can get away with at times and you just have to sit there in disbelief. Even now, I'm not sure if this is the work of two demented geniuses or a direct to DVD fiasco that got lucky. It really is the epitomy of "so bad it's good". As well seeing what they can get away with onscreen, it also seems to be what they can get away with behind the camera too - manning the digital cameras themselves they push to ensure that each scene is delivered in an inventive way, be it riding a skateboard next to Statham to give a propulsive momentum or a phone conversation where they have the recipient caller in a wing mirror of a car. The film runs at a brisk 87 minutes, ensuring that it doesn't outstay the welcome of action fans (if you're not an action fan you will have given up long before the end!)
Statham is thankfully using his own accent here (watch Jet Li's The One to hear his "American" accent!) and provides the charm evidenced back in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. He's obviously game for a laugh as his character is put through the wringer and he doesn't seem to take any of this seriously. Amy Smart plays a ditzy blonde and I actually found her pretty annoying and wondered what Chevy was doing with such a whiny girl. Aside from that, there's nothing to write home about in the performances - Cantillo as Ricky is pure pantomime, but this isn't a film you watch to appreciate good acting.
For some, like me, this will be an insanely inventive actioner that stays just on the right side of enjoyable, for others it will be a noisy violent bore. Either way, don't say I didn't warn you!
Film only review
Lovefilm sent me Crank 2 earlier this week and not having seen the first film I decided to try and find a cheap copy on Amazon. I found a new copy on Market Place for £2.46 including postage, and having just watched it I'm glad I didn't pay a lot more than I did.
Jason Statham plays Chev Chelios, a hit man who has been injected with a serum that is slowly killing him. To stay alive he has to keep his adrenaline levels high and he sets off to get revenge on the people that have "killed" him. Cue lots of action scenes, car chases, plenty of violence and an impromptu sex scene in the middle of Chinatown.
From the opening credits you are lunged head first into an ultra violent, ultra quick cartoon-like action film. There is no time for character development, everything is 'wham, bam thankyou ma'm' the dialogue is shouted, the violence hard-core and the language offensive; and I liked it!
Statham plays this role the same as every other role he has acted, the British hard-man who doesn't take any sh*t from anybody. Even when he tells his girlfriend about the poison in his system and what his prognosis is he delivers it so one-dimensionally that you just want him to shut up and go and shoot someone.
The acting across the board is flat, lifeless and without merit, you don't care who gets shot or maimed and the story is so far-fetched that it is impossible to watch it with any other reaction than open mouthed bewilderment.
It is hilarious in some parts, either intentionally or not and the violence is bloody but doesn't make you wince and you are taken on a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. Speaking of the ending: that is so bad that I literally shook my head and thought "What the hell was that?"
Although it sounds like I'm slating it here, I'm really not. There are some films that you just have to suspend belief and just watch it for what it is and this is one of them. Who is the film aimed at? Who knows!? It is a certificate 18 so shouldn't really be watched by younger viewers due to the extremely strong language, excessive violence and an unbelievably bad sex scene which I really want to mention, but won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen the film.
This is not a film for anyone who takes things too seriously and shouldn't have any redeeming qualities but I honestly think it was made this way, or am I giving the film makers and cast too much credit? My £2.46 was money well spent; I would have been gutted if I had spent any more than that. I can't say I would rush to watch it again but am secretly looking forward to watching Crank 2 now so keep an eye out for my review on that when I've seen it.
All in all it should get 1 or 2 stars out of 5, but because it was so unbelievably bad it deserves 3/5 for being so bad it was actually quite good.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
For anyone who has ever played the Grand Theft Auto video games, Crank is an absolute dream of a film, a glorious, fast-paced, over-the-top, violent, gratuitous frenzy of a film. One critic has even famously joked that "Crank is the best video game adaption yet", despite, of course, the fact there isn't a Crank video game...yet...
The film follows Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), a hitman who wakes up to find he has been injected with a Chinese synthetic cocktail that cuts off the flow of adrenaline to the heart, killing the victim. So, Chev has to keep doing things that keep his adrenaline running, such as having sex with his girlfriend (Amy Smart) in public, drinking a lot of Red Bull, doing a lot of drugs, and putting his life in mortal danger at every turn.
I admire a film so unrelentingly absurd as this: it rolls with its concept and is extremely satisfying as a result. We get plenty of action, some hilarious capers, and a knowing performance from Statham, amounting to a lightning-paced film that's just the right length at 80 minutes, and doesn't slow down for a single second. The film also did well enough that a brilliant, and even more over the top sequel was made, Crank 2: High Voltage.
Perhaps the most testesterone-pumped film ever made, Crank is a lovely venture back to the 80s action film that we have been so sorely missing as of late. Highly amusing and action-packed, Crank is a cut above the average actioner, and has an undoubtedly ridiculous, yet original concept. It delivers in every aspect it promises on the tin, and hits you at 300mph.
One of the few positives that I can say about this film is that it is better than the second one they made which is hardly a glowing recommendation to start a review with but for me this action thriller was overly choreographed and lacked any sort of contact with reality. nless the film is a straight up fantasy or super hero type film I want to have a bit of realism in the plot however this was totally lacking from this Jason Statham film.
In Crank Statham plays a professional hitman called Chev Chelios who is injected with a poison by a rival assassin called Verona, played by Jose Pablo Cantillo. The only way to stay alive until he can get to an anti serum for the poison is to ensure his heart rate stays high and to do this he must go for adrenilin kicks through taking risks, beating people up and taking any stimulants he can lay his hands on as well as not falling asleep.
The film is a non stop rollercoaster of car chases and fight scenes and so fans of highly stylised action scenes will enjoy this film, if you like one dimensional characters and corny dialogue then you will be in absolute clover.
If you want to watch an action film that will not stretch the old grey matter then this film is ideal as it is a carsh bang wallop of a film that lurches from one action scene to another. For that reason I will give it three stars just don't get sucked in to watching the second one because it is awful.
What Jason Statham has become good at is looking and acting 'hard' in films that don't try to do too much, and Crank is probably the best example of this style that he has adopted. Taking the basic premise of the film 'Speed', where Keanu Reeves has to keep a bus above a certain speed or it'll blow up, Crank sees Jason Statham having to keep his heart rate up or a poison will kill him.
Statham plays hitman Chev Chelios, who gets injected with a lethal poison by rival Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo) while he is asleep. Chev must try to find an antidote to cure him, but what he sees as more important is getting to Verona and killing him, getting his revenge. However, to do this, he has to follow a trail of nasty crooks.
The trick here is in guaranteeing action throughout. The fact that writer/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have given us a hitman who MUST keep his heart rate up to avoid death, means we are pretty much guaranteed all the fighting, high speed car chases and even the open air public sex scene to keep Chev alive.
It is very well filmed, with the soundtrack providing a constant source of intensity, and no doubt there will be some people watching this whose own heartbeats will be racing, so fast paced is the film. Statham has a constant frown on his face, and utters a swear work every other word at times, yet still manages to show that his character's head is screwed on straight by the odd calm phone conversation, or sneaking over to render unconscious a crook while his girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart) is picking up the contents of her dropped handbag. The situational side of things is very well done.
There really is nothign more complicated to the plot than this, and in a way, it's the simplicity that makes it work really well. The muscle bound crooks that Chev fights his way through appear and disappear throughout the film, with only a few people, including Verona, Amy and drugs expert Kaylo (Efren Ramirez), having more than a few minutes on screen.
I enjoyed watching this. It really doesn't require too much attention, and if you leave the room for a toilet stop or to make a cup of tea, you can pretty much guarantee you can continue watching and you won't have missed anything vital. The whole film is, like I have said, Statham rushing around the place to keep his heart beat up to prevent dying. The only unsure concept is whether he manages to succeed in the end. To find this out, you'll just have to watch, and I recommend you do, as it's a fun film to watch. You can switch your brain off, watch the screen, and just enjoy a bit of mindless action.
Crank is one of the most original films to come out of Hollywood in the last view years. The film is meant to be like a game that you are watching.
In the film Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) a professional assassin is injected with a poison called The Beijing Cocktail by his assassin rival Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo). To stay alive Chev must keep his heart rate above a certain level. He does as much as he can during the day to keep his heart rate up whilst trying to track down Verona to get his revenge before he dies.
I absolutely loved this film and although the idea sounds crazy it makes for a really fast paced action film. Some of the things he has to do to keep his heart rate up will have you in stitches almost. The film never takes itself too seriously either which if it tried to with this script then there would be no need to have it.
Jason Statham is really cementing his place in the Hollywood world as the leading action guy. With almost every new film he does I become a bigger fan of his. Crank is a film that should be in every film lover's collection and you can watch it over and over and never get bored. The originality of the film is what really makes it work.
Crank, released in 2006, is an ultra-violent action film, following they day in the life of English mafia hitman Chev Chelios (played by the excellent Jason Statham, no question about it) living in LA, who wakes up to find out he has been poisoned with just an hour to live, unless he can keep his adrenaline level pumping and get revenge on those who've betrayed him.
A totally ridiculous story, i know. But the writers are aware of this and have constructed a film with big brush strokes of black comedy, which is one of the film's strengths. With Jason Statham in the main role, one can't help draw comparisions to the Transporter series, where Mr. Statham plays almost the exact same type of character. But this film does a number of things that rises it to a level above mediocre popcorn action.
Before i continue, i must state that i saw Crank: High Voltage (the sequel to Crank) before i saw the first installment. As such, i found Crank underwhelming, because where this film does things well, High Voltage surpasses it and does it much better. High Voltage is better film, and the story is simple enough that the first is not essential viewing, but it is good on its own merits, and if i had seen it first, i would have been more impressed by the action and stunts on display.
Speaking of action and stunts, this film is full of them. Far more then most movies, with its plentiful fight scenes and set pieces. But these wouldn't be enough without Statham, whose martial arts background means he can do and generally does his own stunts, allowing for excellent sequences that are more believable, as there is rarely the need to cut to a stunt double. The film falls down when green screen sequences are used, as these are very noticeable and removes the sense of immersion (the mall sequence and the climatic *SPOILER*fallfromthecopter*SPOILER* being the most noticeable).
To back up these sequences is a fantastic soundtrack, full of modern tracks, classic tracks and rap-techno tunes, that enhances the action scenes.
Speaking of music, the only projects of note by co-directors and co-writers, Mark Neveldine and Brian taylor, before making Crank, are music videos. This experience definitely shows in the film. Despite its ridiculous (but fun and exciting) script and mediocre acting (except for Statham and female lead, Amy Smart, who act very well), Crank is full of directorial and visual flurishes, using a variety of techniques to present their story, from CCTV footage, split screens and mutliple shot angles, as well as clever cuts and editing. These serve to make Crank eye-popping and attention grabbing, and immensly, refreshingly original. Even the odd choices, such as pronunciations and subtitles appearing on screen, serve to show that this is no ordinary movie, but a balls to the wall action film mixed with genuine comedy, as well as some gory, bloody seuqences that many will find uncomfortable.
In addition, these flurishes add to the feeling, that many others have pointed out, that the film is more like a video game then a movie. This is definitely true. The film opens with a first person view from Chev's eyes, and occasionaly we see through his blurred, drugged vision. New scenes are introduced like new levels in a game, with a screenshot from Google Maps and then the location's name superimposed on top. Some may not like this video game approach, but i feel it is another way for the film-makers to try and make a truly original film.
Despite the bad script, there are some elements of the script that do work. The trippy sequences in the film (the sequence after the hospital, the conversation in the lift) are brilliant. The emotional scenes between Chev and Amy Smart's character, Eve, are compelling, but there are slow moving scenes which seem to break the flow and slow down a film that is trying to "crank it up." For instance, in the hospital, Chelios looks an elderly patient and it is unclear whether this scene implies empathy or respect or fear. The scene makes no sense, and slows things to a crawl. The film-makers seem to be aware that this was a problem, as there are no similar scenes in the sequel High Voltage.
There are also some unexplored areas in the script. It is hinted that the relationship between Eve and Chev has a darker side, with drug abuse, as well as physical, domestic abuse. The scene in China-town (you know the one i mean) is essentially rape, with the strange satire, that the people simply look on and enjoy the spectacle. Is this a comment on soceity today? Probably not. But one thing the film cleverly does, is that we root for and support Chelios, even though he is basically an amoral and bad person, who does drugs, constantly lies to his girlfriend, kills people for money, steals and threatens innocent people directly with guns and indirectly through his totally reckless driving and even shoots at cops. Though he is slightly redeemed by his (seemingly) genuine love for Eve, is that enough?
In summary, this is a good film for a number of reasons. The gore, the action, the comedy, the music, the direction and the large number of babes on display, including the gorgeous Amy smart. This is a dumb film for when you want to turn your brain off and have a good time, but beyond that, it is a film that has been intelligently and cleverly crafted by talented people, especially Neveldine, Taylor, and the ever watchable British hard-man, Jason Statham
Crank is the story of LA hitman Chev Chelios. Just his name is brilliant. Who in their right mind calls their cockney son 'Chev'? Anyway, Chev's pissed a few folk off and wakes up to find he's been poisoned with a 'Chinese cocktail' that will slowly kill him. The only way to slow it down is to keep his adrenaline levels high . So as Chev searches for revenge on his killers, he also has to take drastic action to bump up the old heart rate. This being a film aimed at teenage boys, said action involves drugs, sex and lots of violence.
I'm a sucker for silly action films, as long as they're done well. And this one is genius. Take the premise for a start. When your lead has to keep the energy levels up, then there's a perfect excuse for lots of insane action scenes, and no chance to slow things down for useless plot enhancement. Then take Jason Statham as Chev. I can't figure out how this guy has wormed his way into the Hollywood action genre. He's not brilliant when it comes to dialogue. His gruff, multi-cultural accent in the Transporter was part of the hilarity, but at least in Crank he's allowed to be his Londoner self. And doesn't have to say too much. Instead, he's totally mastered the art of walking with purpose and looking really, really pissed off, and effortlessly carries the film on his bulky shoulders.
And then you have the direction. This film has not one, but two directors - Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor - who cut their teeth in the world of commercials. They're a tag team of chaos, slogging one technique after another at you, sometimes with reason (slow mo/twisted vision for Chev's poisoned decline) and sometimes with random absurdity (occasional hallucinations, utterly unexplainable subtitles). If it's not split screen or freeze frame, then they're using mock-up security camera footage and even satellite views of LA which are credited to Google Earth on screen (whether this is part of the style, or an actual legal requirement, is uncertain.) It certainly raises your own adrenaline levels, and as barmy scene after barmy scene flashes by, you can only watch in dazed amazement and smile. It certainly is silly, but in a surprisingly enjoyable way, and you can get sucked into the story enough to really care how, or if, Chev escapes his fate.
So hats off to the makers. By keeping it an 18 certificate they're free to have gratuitous violence, nudity (not just female - there's a fantastic scene where Chev overdoses on synthetic adrenaline in hospital, then has to sprint around LA in just a hospital robe, flashing bottom cheeks like there's no tomorrow) and the strangest of soundtrack choices. Loud, brash, to the point.
I have to admit when I initially saw Crank I did not have high expectations. I've always been a bit of Statham fan, as his comical tough guy antics have never yet ceased to amuse me, but to be honest I was just expecting this film to be just another way of passing the time. Boy was I wrong.
The plot is simple, yet highly original. Statham plays the central protagonist, a sarcastic hit man called Chev Chelios, who wakes up one morning to find he has been drugged with a fatal poison known as the Beijing cocktail, and has minutes before his heart gives out. As it turns out Chev is not the kind of person who would take this kind of thing lying down. Fuelled with rage and indignation our hero sets off on a manic crime-spree of debauchery and indecency across the previously quiet city of Los Angeles, stopping at nothing to get his revenge. Of course, there is one catch. The poison is slowly killing him and the only way to keep his heart beating is through regular doses of adrenaline, which he gets through somewhat unorthodox methods. To name a few, having sex with Amy Smart in public, sticking his hand in a waffle iron, terrorizing the staff at a local hospital, and generally causing carnage wherever he treads.
I think one of the reasons I like Crank so much is because it doesn't take itself seriously. The directors knew what this film was going to be, an insane, and occasionally very silly, action thriller, and revelled in it, packing it to brim with their own slightly dark brand of tongue-in-cheek humour. Although Crank won't win any academy awards it does exactly what it says on the packet. It delivers thrills, spills, and Jason Statham beating people. My advice is not take this movie too seriously, but rather just to bathe in the madness.
A hit man (Jason Statham) learns that a poison injected into his body will kill him if his heart rate drops slows a certain point. Now he must exact his revenge on the people who injected him before he takes his last breath.