Culture

Crank delivers lethal dose of slick, stylized, satisfying action

Crank is a little bit of everything, and in this case, it is just what the doctor ordered.

Jason Statham, now well-known for playing a head-banging action star, soaks up the chance to take everything beyond the limit in a movie that actually takes the term ‘adrenaline’ seriously.

Statham plays some character (pretty sure the name isn’t important) who has the unfortunate pleasure of getting poisoned by some airhead gangster who apparently doesn’t like him. When he eventually awakes, he discovers he has one hour to seek revenge and that the only way to stay alive that long is to keep himself on the edge of insanity by kicking up his adrenaline. How he does this is what Crank is all about.

To be frank, the movie is absurd, ridiculous and more over-the-top than anything you’re likely to see this year. It is precisely one hour and twenty minutes of slick, gratuitous camerawork, sex and violence. To put it succinctly, it is one long music video.

Statham and Crank’s other ‘name’ star, Amy Smart, have thankless roles. But it’s likely they got paid well for them.

The thing to take into account with Crank and with other movies of its kind is the popcorn element; meaning, this movie works best with a packed crowd of obnoxious people. They text on their cells, they chomp their popcorn, they yell at the screen, and for some reason, it works well with this movie. Since you don’t have to pay close attention to discover the gaping plot holes and wooden acting, the distractions come in handy every once in a while to keep you from forgetting that this is not meant to be an Oscar contender (not that that’s likely).

If you take all that into account, you’ll have a good time. The movie knows how silly it is; it’s not trying to convince itself otherwise. It has scenes of sex in public, a fight in an airborne helicopter, a bathroom brawl and endless body parts flying every which way. If that sounds like a good time to you, then you’re in for a treat.

Danny Gordon can be contacted at d.gordon@umiami.edu.

September 12, 2006

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