Billed as the this summers "Adrenaline Packed" action movie, Crank opened just in time for summer to close up shop. I won't worry about spoiling the movie for you, our faithful readers. If you have seen the trailer, you know the movie. There is no Hollywood twist, no seeing of dead people, no crying game, no bad guy pretending to be a good guy. You get exactly what you expect in this movie, as long as you didn't expect much. Jason Statham plays a hit man with a bad attitude who gets injected with an exotic asian drug/poison that blocks the endorphin receptors and basically shuts down a victims body. This of course doesn't happen right away, but rather drags out over the course of a few hours. Why great Asian scientists would invent a synthetic drug to do what good old fashioned potassium chloride has been doing for years is beyond me, but it wouldn't be much of a movie if the hero was given a real poison that killed instantaneously, now would it?
Jason Statham was decent as the anti hero, although he is starting to get type cast into these roles. He is a great actor with a range that is rarely showcased in his choice of roles. He can play the straight man so easily, ala Snatch , that I'm surprised he doesn't take more comedy roles. The film had a very stylish feel to it as well. The scenes were strange and surreal with a bit of classic 70's cinema thrown in. No idea what the girls in the plastic bubbles and army of lawn jockies were supposed to symbolize, but it made Crank feel more like Diamonds are Forever then it did Die Hard . The only real exciting and fulfilling aspect to this movie was the ending. What people expect to happen (but deep down inside hope doesn't) actually comes to pass. In a movie so removed from the real world, this aspect grounded it right back to reality. Quite literally, I might add.
I felt angry paying 9 dollars to see this movie. The unabashed product placement in this movie made me cringe. The choice to zoom out of a given action scene to a city map view, then scroll around to another location was cute at first, but there was no reason to tag those transition shots with "Property of Google Maps" and include the little compass rose. They used several famous energy drinks as plot devices as well. Red Bull, Rockstar, and a slew of others were guzzled by our hero to keep his "heart pumping" and adrenaline levels up.
This movie was no more then a remake of Transporter 2. From the fast cut scenes to the crazy road stunts to the race against the poison clock. I challenge any one to watch these two movies in a single day and then sleep on it and awake being able to tell them apart. In fact, as I write this review, I have to stop and remind myself of which I am reviewing. "Did Crank have the helicopter or the airplane?" "Did Crank have the Cuban bad guy or the Asian?" "Which movie had the Brigtte Nielsen wannabe psycho and which had the down home cutie girlfriend ?"
But the true ugliness of this movie is that it tried too hard. It wanted to be so much and achieved so little. The cinematography would drive epileptics to fits and the surreal setting I mentioned earlier wore out far too quickly. I mean seriously, what is the point of projecting tortoises humping on the ceiling of a scene in this movie? The only adrenaline rush I felt while watching this movie was the bile rising up in my stomach from the insane chase cams and over the shoulder shots.
Much like it's drug namesake, Crank is a bad version of a bad idea. Wait for cable or DVD on this one folks.
"That was the worst fuckin' head I ever got in my life! Next time don't be so fuckin' eager! " -Mallory Knox