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Crank (2006)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres:
Action, Action Thriller
Directors:
Mark Neveldine Mark Neveldine
Brian Taylor Brian Taylor
Starring:
Jason Statham Jason Statham
Amy Smart Amy Smart
Jose Pablo Cantillo Jose Pablo Cantillo
Efren Ramirez Efren Ramirez
Dwight Yoakam Dwight Yoakam
User Lists:
> Best of '06

6.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by cky2kendall
Added: October 12, 2006
The action genre has been stuck in a rut for the most part of this century. What used to surprise and excite viewers in the late 80's and early 90's now feels cliché and somewhat pointless. It seems we as movie-goers care less about high speed car chases and random stunts which add nothing to the plot nor the film now that we have seen everything. It feels as though the action series genre has run itself into the ground by doing everything it can. However, there have been several attempts to revive action movies lately, one of which is Crank.

We wake up looking through the eyes of a hazy, groggy man named Chev Chellios (Jason Statham), a highly rated hitman. After stumbling around the apartment, he finds a burnt DVD with the belated message "Fuck you!" written on it. Chev watches the DVD, which shows a gang injecting him with a Chinese poison, and is told by the apparent leader of the gang, Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo), that he has only 1 hour to live. Naturally, Chev isn't too happy about this, and takes it out on the TV he just watched his death note on. He takes off in search of his killers and plans on taking some well-earned revenge, only to find along the way that his adrenaline is being cut off by the poison, and the only way to keep his body functioning normally is to keep his adrenaline up. However at the same time, he must also contact his local doctor Miles (Dwight Yoakam) in search of an antidote for the poison rushing through his body, as well as say goodbye to his girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart), and come clean about the business he hid from her.

The one thing that struck me about the plot of this movie is that it is in essence an action movie, not for the sake of being one, but because it's part of the plot. Chev has to try and keep his body pumping, and from watching this, he doesn't stop at any lengths to keep the adrenaline from circulating through him. From driving through malls, gun fights, and a very debauched scene in the open streets of Chinatown with his girlfriend, there is nothing Chev won't stop at to make sure he has enough life in him to finish off the people who did this to him. Don't get me wrong, this film is very much just an action movie. If you are thinking this is the kind of high-action movie that does have a good thick plot that carries throughout, it isn't really what you are looking for. The main storyline centers around the poison, but is easily forgotten thanks to the impressive amount of action. Another thing to remember is that with only an hour to live, and at 83 minutes worth of footage, it's pretty much happening as you see it. You are dropped straight into the plot without even a hint of characters, and it ends pretty much the same way; abruptly. That's not a bad thing though, and it ensures the action is kept flowing with no interruptions. The effects are the last thing that make this film quite special. They show up almost randomly, and it's that that brings a little more to the table. Take the scene with Chev driving. We see him start to rock while driving at the speed limit, and then through his eyes they become blurred and weary. Finally, there's an excellent shot inside his body of his heart slowing down, when he slams on the acceleration and it beats faster and faster again. Like I said, they are somewhat random, but do help things along a bit. The only bad "effect" would be the use of Google Maps to show certain locations. It feels very amateurish and sloppy, but you can't dwell on that I suppose.

The cast is well represented throughout too. Jason Statham has made a name for himself with movies like this, so when I saw him name on the bill I knew he could deliver. Jose Pablo Cantillo also delivers a great performance as the main villain, Dwight Yoakam plays the part of Doctor Miles very well and brings some much needed break time to the action sequences, and Amy Smart is as good as ever as the girlfriend of the hitman. Aside from those 4, there really isn't much of a main cast. Everyone else pretty much ends up dead or disappears. But in a film like this, especially when it's shown in what is essentially real-time, you can't expect much of a big cast.

Overall, it's a very enjoyable movie. With little stoppage time to catch you breath and get your bearings again, Crank really tries to grab you and keep hold. The cast is good, the effects are solid, and the stunts throughout feel great because you know the main character is doing them for a reason, and not for the sake of showing off. The ending is somewhat anti-climactic, but when you are injected with a deadly poison set to kill you in an hour, I suppose that's expected. I doubt we'll see another movie with this kind of plot for a while, so enjoy it while it's around. 8/10.
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grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 01/05/2007, 05:27 AM
I really enjoyed this one for some reason, it was so neat how they made things flow so well, I got really into it..

I particularly loved the ending, I was really hoping they weren't gonna try to go with anything else than what happens.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 04/10/2007, 10:57 AM
I can't believe it took two people to make this piece of garbage. I could have thrown together a better movie in a weekend. It was entertaining, sure. But there was no substance, and the plot was just about the most pathetic thing I've ever heard being made into a movie. 3/10
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 04/10/2007, 11:43 AM
I hate Jason Statham. I have for a long while and I continue to do so. He's a poor man's Bruce Willis. He's an even poorer man's Steve Seagal. In 5-years -- strike that -- 2-years, all he'll be doing is direct-to-video schlock with titles like "Hard Justice" and "Total Revenge". I gave "Crank" a chance at the dollar cinemas when it was first released. It sucked. Don't know how to be any more blunt than that? 1/10.
danimigra #4: danimigra - added 03/16/2008, 02:29 PM
I really enjoyed this movie a lot...! accion 200% .. all the time...8/10
Lucid Dreams #5: Lucid Dreams - added 06/01/2010, 02:53 PM
i can't stand this fucking movie. When Statham first came out I thought some good things of him, but the more movies he comes out with the more I want to punch him in the face. 4/10
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