Stupid action glory. So this is about a hitman who is at the end of his rope (Jason Statham). He has been injected with a synthetic Chinese drug that is affecting his heart rate. Bottom line: if he stops, he dies, which means he has to keep adrenaline pumping through his veins as constantly as possible. Can he survive long enough to get his revenge on his own killer? Now Crank is by no means a perfect film. You could make the argument that it is a dumb movie, and it would be difficult to make a case against you. That said, it is so off the wall that it is in my rotation of films that I will watch every 1 – 2 years. If you are an action junkie or even just a casual fan of the genre, I am not exaggerating when I call this a must-see film.
This is a movie that is just so stylized and frantic that it is awe-inspiring. It reaches such levels of ludicrousness that it will just leave your mouth ajar as it keeps escalating and escalating. Much of the credit has to go to directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Now I can’t say that they’ve been successful in all their endeavors; I’m that one guy who has fond memories of Gamer, but the Ghost Rider sequel was pretty awful, and I’m not actually a fan of their sequel to this, either (although to be fair, I don’t believe I originally watched it in the right setting). For their directorial debut, they have some really innovative camera tricks, and the most noteworthy thing about this movie is that it is constantly moving. There is always something going on every second of this movie, and it is always batshit crazy. In what other movie are you going to find your main character purposely defibrillate himself for the rush? There is an unmistakable kinetic energy about this, and this is the movie that pulls out all the stops. It’s not like it is deep, either; apart from the basic plot description that I led this review off with, the only active thing occurring in this film is getting from point A to point B. The joy is in the mayhem caused on the journey, and it is all about rock music, chases, and mouth-foaming insanity.
This is what Jason Statham was born to do, and he has so many tough guy one-liners, you’re laughing and having a great time all the way through. Neveldine and Taylor also know how to make him look cool, and they know how to edit it in such a way that would make Edgar Wright proud. It’s bizarre and absurdist, and I would go so far to say that it’s like Run Lola Run, only lower brow, macho and self-aware. It’s really a fearless piece of work, and it is a movie that you experience. It’s brilliant, vibrant, pulsating, totally made for me, and if there is anything described above that makes you think that this is also for you, you can be assured that it is.
Crank (2006) ****1/2
– Critic for Hire