"Crank" down the volume on this tacky thriller

Sept. 8, 2006, midnight | By Julia Mazerov | 17 years, 10 months ago

Guaranteed to entertain, at most

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.

Julia Mazerov. Julia: -is a SEENIORRRR -is obsessed with Entourage -makes to-do lists like it's her job -takes naps a lot -is a riflery pro -goes to lots of concerts -has a weakness for cute tote bags, Starbucks Java Chip Ice Cream, and Kate Harter More »

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