Although this review comes a year after the movie was released, I thought I’d throw my two bits in anyway.
Every so often a movie comes around that you feel you need to mention. In the case of the movie Crank, it’s not for any good reason. In hindsight, this is one of those films I should have just shut off, but I wanted to see how it turned out. The movie stars Jason Statham, who I happen to think is pretty awesome, and for this reason I was actually looking forward to this movie.
Statham plays Chev Chelios (a horribly stupid name by the way), a hitman who wants to reform for his airhead girlfriend (played by Amy Smart). After his last hit on a Chinese mob boss, the Hong Kong triads have it in for Chev and order him killed. His former employer is in on the kill, but of course instead of JUST SHOOTING HIM IN HIS SLEEP, they inject him with: ‘the beijing cocktail’ some synthetic drug that inexplicably kills you by slowing your heart. Country singer Dwight Yoakam plays the ridiculous doctor who somehow determines what’s wrong with Chelios during a sketchy phone conversation in which Chev is driving his car through a mall, and the doctor is getting some kind of special massage from a pair of oriental teenagers. (My doctor could barely tell me my arm was broken when I came into emergency with it bending 3 different directions) According to the doc, Chelios needs to keep his heart rate elevated to prevent from dying. He finds some ‘ingenious’ ways to do this including robbing stores, driving fast, beating people up, offending criminals of every ethnicity, having sex in public, drinking Red Bull, taking illegal drugs and tracking down the guy who injected him with the serum in the first place.
There are so many things wrong with this movie that I don’t even know where to begin. As I look up to the paragraphs above, I see that I’ve already started, so I may as well continue. I think I understand what the movie is attempting to do. It’s like a ritalin-free ride for ADD kids everywhere. This is a video gamer’s type of film. Well at least it tries to be. For some reason every time the action is accelerated, the filming shows it in slow motion – this gets very boring. For the first 3 minutes I actually liked some of the camera work, then I wondered if it was just that shaky because the director blew his budget on illicit drugs and couldn’t afford a steady-cam. The split-screen scenes and beating heart images have been done for ages on shows like CSI (and they do it better by the way) so there’s nothing new under the sun there. The criminals are over the top, and not in the way where it gets campy and fun. F-bombs are dropped because apparently there are no script-writers on set, and the sexual content is just ridiculous. (Every rich minority in LA has half-nude girls as advertisements of their wealth and power – come on!) One chase scene through a mall must have been shot at night, because there were hardly any people shopping. A film that’s this amoral could at least have some collateral damage to make it believable. Chev doesn’t have a soft spot for innocent bystanders (he regularly uses them as human shields) so why not up the body count a bit?
Overall I was not excited as I found the movie was just uninspired. It’s not worth the price of rental, and it left me feeling Cranky.