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Sept. 8, 2006

"Crank" down the volume on this tacky thriller

by Julia Mazerov, Online Entertainment Editor
Action-seekers, welcome to 87 minutes of your wildest dreams, but if chick flicks are more your thing, you may as well avoid this one all together. In Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's "Crank," Jason Statham is Chev Chelios, and this British brute is back with even more of a violent, no-nonsense persona than he brought you in "Cellular" and "The Transporter."

In this "Speed" knockoff, Statham is in for a race against time when he is informed that he has been injected with a lethal poison that supposedly kills him in an hour. However, his oddball doctor soon informs him that he can slow down the wrath of the serum by keeping a constant flow of adrenaline, and thus ensues 80 minutes of non-stop, chaotic, and not to mention horribly un-politically correct action. (At one point, Statham throws a taxi driver out of his cab and accusingly screams "Al Qaeda," leaving this innocent cabby to be brutally beaten by passersby while he's able to make a quick escape.)

Yet incredibly inhumane tactics like this are survival tactics because if Statham slows, he dies. He spends the entire film doing whatever he needs to do to stay alive, even if it means loading up on Redbull, snorting cocaine off of a filthy floor, drinking nasal spray, engaging in sexual intercourse in the middle of Chinatown, while simultaneously seeking vengeance on Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo), the individual responsible for his predicament.

Unbearably cheesy sound effects and cinematography accompany the noticeably thin plot line, leaving the audience with a thriller that fails to uphold its intentions. For starters, Google Earth software, along with primitive Word Art, is used to depict Statham's ever-changing location in Los Angeles. Even more embarrassing, the walls of a building actually begin to bulge and pulsate as a brawl erupts inside.

Crazy camera movements and subtitles for some dialogue are used as an attempt to portray Statham's downfall into insanity as his body crashes, but these effects end up looking corny and leaving the viewer in disbelief that what they just saw was actually put into a movie that was put in theaters. But after all, what's the most you can expect from a thriller where epinephrine (an adrenaline substitute) is the ally?

Though some may find the endless and increasingly ridiculous police chases repetitive, the audience can ultimately forgive the monotonous cycle because, after all, it's keeping him alive. In fact, the only thing "Crank" is successful in doing is keeping the audience wondering whether Statham will live long enough to carry out a brutal retribution.

Hopefully, anyone in line to see "Crank" isn't anticipating a deep, psychological thriller that will leave them with endless questions regarding the meaning of life, but rather enjoys an entertaining Grand Theft Auto wannabe flick.

So for all you car-chase, gory violence, and crime spree junkies with no expectations of a rich storyline or poignant dialogue, "Crank" is the perfect film for you.

"Crank" runs 87 minutes and is rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexuality, nudity and drug use.



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  • Matthew Kocur (View Email) on September 8, 2006 at 5:31 PM
    see this if you loved the transporter for how awful it was.
    m
  • Anthony (View Email) on September 9, 2006 at 8:51 PM
    This Movie was the best action film since the early nineties. AWESOME- Crazy from start to Finish Statham is the new Seagal/Stallone/Etc....The Rock or Vin Diesel definitely couldn't.
  • Pete on September 10, 2006 at 4:45 PM
    You need to stop taking everything so seriously. This movie is way more self-conscious than you make it out to be. The "cheesy" subtitles, bizarre camera movements, and bulging walls all add up to something of a druggy, trippy experience, something most typical action movies don't have. In addition, this movie doesn't take itself seriously in the least bit, something most action movies do, which hurts them incredibly. The homophobic jokes and the truly over the top scenes (like driving through the mall, OD'ing on epinephrine, etc. )are so ridiculous, but the movie knows this, and is better for it. That combined with the car chases, humor, and Statham make Crank oen of the most entertaining movies in a long time. If you want something with meaning, see Crash, Donnie Darko, or Taxi Driver. If you want to have the most fun 90 minutes of your life without having to get up, see Crank.
  • Mantas Vidutis (View Email) on September 11, 2006 at 8:29 AM
    DING... wrong answer.
  • Anonymous on September 12, 2006 at 4:29 PM
    This was a complex and dynamic action thriller which was given no respect by this unfair review. For anyone who has seen the movies "Snath," or "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells," this movie was very similar and equally enjoyable, with similar cinematography and directing. If you are a fan of classic or alternative action movies, go see Crank, the best movie all summer season and I saw most of em'.
  • kayyy on September 13, 2006 at 7:51 PM
    you are pretty much my life julia. awesomeeee review.
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