Sunday, October 9, 2011


By s. Sunday, October 9, 2011 , , , , , , ,
(88 min, 2006)
Plot: Professional assassin Chev Chelios learns his rival has injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops.
Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Writers: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Stars: Jason Statham, Amy Smart and Carlos Sanz

You Stop - You Die

“Well, I'm glad to hear that. Listen, I've been fatally poisoned, there's probably a psychopath heading over there to torture and kill you as we speak, but don't bother getting out of bed, I'll be there in a flash... Maybe you could fry me up a waffle or something, kay?”
- Chev Chelios

“Crank” is one of the most unique movies I even seen. I know what some of you're thinking “sure, uniquely bad!”, but trust me there is a method and a plan in this insanity. My friend recommend me this because of Jason Statham and I knew it was an action movie. That is all. I didn't know that this is the “action movie on acid” experience – everything is so fast, furious, the action spins out of control. This is the movie that goes beyond boundaries of the genre but doesn't exceeds the limits of what is truly obscene as “Crank 2” does, which took everything further, making it completely different movie from the first one. Because of that “Crank”, as outrageous as it may seem, is still perfectly watchable without you going as insane as main character seems to be.

Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) is a professional assassin working for the West Coast crime syndicate. Chev's girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart) doesn't know what Chev does and Chev is planning to quit the crime syndicate so he can spend more time with her. But for Chev, things about to get very bad, when he learns he has been injected with a poison called "The Beijing Cocktail" by his rival Verona, which will kill him if his heart rate drops. Trying to stay alive and seeking help from friend, Kaylo and Doc Miles, to keep his heart pumping. Chev sets out to find answers as well as protecting Eve, and get his revenge on those who have betrayed him before the poison kills

For 90 minutes of this movie Statham is pissed off beyond limits, driving, running and walking around the city and basically destroying everything in his line of sight with his bare hands, occasionally having sex with his girlfriend, in the middle of Chinatown or during driving the car and shooting bad guys. And he is awesome at it. I read somewhere that “Statham is like a wet cloth that fills the hole which was created after Stallone and Schwarzenegger left action movies”. Now, I've been harsh in my reviews at times, but I will never be as tactless as the reviewer who wrote it. Not to mention he is totally wrong.

Because not only Statham is an amazing action star – he's also very funny. In “Snatch” one look was enough to make me laugh, in “Mean Machine” he steals the movie with barely few scenes he appeared in and here the source of the comedy lies mainly in Statham himself and in his voice. So here we have him, running, shooting, killing, injecting himself with everything he finds, yelling, swearing. But he takes a break and in a soft voice he says “Honey, get dressed”. Eve/Chev interactions are the funniest parts of the movie, including one of the most shocking and original love scenes. Eve always seems to be either high or just totally clueless and adorable, which make her a complete opposite of sharp-focused and extremely angry Chev..

Despite the fact that this movie is mostly for guys as opposed to “Crank 2” Chelios is a sympathetic enough character so the girls will have fun too. Now, had Stallone or Schwarzenegger played him that wouldn't be the case. Chev is at least sweet to his girlfriend, all right, not at all times, but at least for good reasons. I definitely prefer Statham's character in “Transporter” who is a little bit like James Bond himself, always in a suit, always in fancy car, always a gentleman, but “Crank” is better movie in the fact it keeps pushing the boundaries and because of the incredible pace viewer starts to feel like character, which after a while we realize is just impossible to kill.

I like how the movie doesn't take itself seriously - in the restaurant scene, when Jason Statham was explaining to Amy Smart what he did for living, her hiccups were genuine. The sole purpose of movies like this is to keep the viewer entertained - “Crank” does it and sneaks in some great ideas – surreal scene in the elevator, dozens of movie and video game connections and totally mndblowing action sequences, Statham is said to do his own stunts, well if that's the case then God must have a soft spot for him, given that he is still alive and well.

This is not the movie for everyone – Chinatown scene alone may be too much for some people. It's also so fast, some people compare the movie to video game – after the movie is over you'll be as tired as if you were Chev yourself, doing all the shooting and running. And it's not enough to see “Crank” to guarantee you'll like “Crank 2”, despite all the similarities - first part is a fun, a bit shocking action film, but second is a full blown exploitation movie. I heard there will be Crank 3. In 3D. After first movie you'll have a slight headache, after the second movie you're gonna have to lie down for few hours, but I cannot even imagine what they will show us in third part, especially in 3D. We may not survive this.


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