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Overall Rating
3.26

Awesome: 20%
Worth A Look43.08%
Average: 1.54%
Pretty Bad: 13.85%
Total Crap: 21.54%

5 reviews, 35 user ratings



Crank
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by Peter Sobczynski

"It Has Electrolytes!"
2 stars

“Crank” is a film about a man who has been injected with a synthesized blend of poison designed to shut his heart down is forced to constantly jack up his adrenaline levels in the most outrageous ways possible in a desperate struggle to stay alive long enough to complete his mission before his inevitable demise. Curiously, these words also serve as a pretty good way of describing my feelings towards the film as well. Cheerfully lifting elements from such sources as the old noir classic “DOA,” the modern action hit “Speed” and the scandalous video game “Grand Theft Auto,” it tries so hard to appeal to the ADD-afflicted 14-year-old in us all with its over-the-top stew of sex, drugs and violence that its sheer relentlessness quickly wears out its welcome to such a degree that even the most overcaffeinated audience members are liable to grow weary long before it finishes.

Wasting no time, the film opens as hit man Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) learns that a rival crime boss has injected him with a lethal poison designed to cut off his natural supply of adrenaline and stop his heart within an hour or so. (Yes, there is an explanation as to why the guy goes to these elaborate lengths instead of just killing him in a normal manner–alas, it is given during one of the countless high-speed car chases and I didn’t quite catch it.) Chev’s helpful doctor (Dwight Yoakam) figures out that if he can keep moving and amping himself up, he might be able to stay alive for a few more hours–long enough for him to say goodbye to girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart) and, more importantly, kill everyone even remotely responsible for his imminent death. That is about it for the plot as the rest of the film is devoted to scenes in which Chev either dispatches his enemies in the most brutal manner possible or finds new ways of raising his excitement levels–his choices for the latter include snorting cocaine off of a bathroom floor, drinking a convenience store’s entire supply of Red Bull and going at it doggy-style with Eve in the middle of a busy Chinatown street.

As anyone who saw “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” can attest, it is virtually impossible to stretch what is essentially one extended action set-piece into an entire film–at a certain point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in and unless the filmmakers throw something else into the mix (as they did in such far more successful films as “Run Lola Run” or even the recent lurid gem “Running Scared”), the sheer strain of trying to one-up themselves winds up negating everything else. Barring that, they need to possess the ability to come up with fresh ways of thrilling viewers in every scene–people like Luc Besson, Tsui Hark or Ronnie Yu immediately leap to mind. Alas, while writer-directors Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor have a couple of clever bits of inspiration here and there, not to mention a perfect star for their story in Statham (whose work in the “Transporter” series and the films of Guy Ritchie have made him a poster child for cinematic bad-boy excess), they quickly gobble up their ideas long before the film ends and wind up repeating their best bits over and over and no amount of visual trickery is quite able to disguise that fact. (For example, the film contains more hand mutilations in its 87-minute running time than George Lucas included in the entire “Star Wars” saga.) By the climax, “Crank” is as exhausted as its protagonist and not even an admittedly bravura final shot is enough to rouse it from the stupor it has fallen into.

“Crank” tries–boy, does it try–to provide viewers with the kind of visceral thrill ride that has fallen by the wayside in recent years as filmmakers and studios have chosen to dilute their films in an effort to gain that all-important PG-13 rating. In that regard, I applaud the effort but I cannot do the same for the results. “Crank” wants to offer viewers the cinematic equivalent of an amphetamine rush but the thrills simply don’t last–by the end, it feels more like a once-hyper kid who has just crashed from a sugar high and is lying there too pooped to pop.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15155&reviewer=389
originally posted: 09/04/06 09:53:40
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User Comments

10/14/17 danR hate/love movie, the ratings show; proof this crackhead piece of genius hit nerves. 5 stars
3/03/11 chris c Crazy, profane and violent- a near trip back into 80's action 4 stars
2/20/11 Ark Awesome fun! Him on the motorbike and with gf in public was great! 4 stars
5/02/10 PAUL SHORTT GORE-DRENCHED, HIGH-OCTANE ACTION THRILLER 2 stars
9/07/09 Dave utter utter crap 1 stars
2/16/09 Adrian AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH 5 stars
12/10/08 matt a very entertaining thrill ride, with a surprising amount of substance. 4 stars
9/10/08 Borat cool action movie 4 stars
7/20/08 Shaun Wallner Jason Statham is Awesome!! 5 stars
8/29/07 Matt Fasten steabelt and enjoy one of the dumbest rollercoaster rides of the year. Good fun! 4 stars
7/02/07 Edwin Manguin Good premise, pile of shite of a film 1 stars
7/01/07 Grist Pure shite for the ignorant masses 1 stars
6/05/07 Mark Louis Baumgart Holy Moley Batman, this was a damn lot of fun, funny and fast moving. Entertaining as hell! 5 stars
5/24/07 Dave bad 1 stars
5/15/07 Tracey Chambers I loved it but I would pay to watch jason statham read a newspaper 5 stars
2/17/07 Indrid Cold Awesome idea and fairly entertaining, but no truly outrageous stunts or action scenes. 3 stars
1/18/07 Charles Tatum Yup, great idea and a technique that more than overstays its welcome 2 stars
1/12/07 Mike I was very disappointed. Great idea but this movie just sucked 1 stars
1/11/07 Jiz Hillariously excessive, yet badass. Popcorn never tasted so good. 5 stars
1/11/07 action movie fan overdirected but exciting chase hit man film--good action 4 stars
1/05/07 Johnny Chopsocky An art film of pure total gratuitous excess. 5 stars
12/01/06 brett Pretty crappy 2 stars
10/17/06 lqwandera Unique, new kind of action movie 4 stars
10/16/06 William Goss An almost peversely watchable stunt showcase spectacular, if nothing else. 4 stars
9/20/06 costars I'm a little old lady & i loved it. It was great fun. 4 stars
9/19/06 PD Mean spirited plotless jagoff for sociopathic video game recluses. Wast of Statham. 1 stars
9/19/06 Ben I hated it, and i Hate everyone that liked it. 5 stars
9/19/06 Luckdeezy If you didnt like this movie...your either a lame old lady or a square...GREAT MOVIE!! 5 stars
9/12/06 Ole Man Bourbon Amusing 5 stars
9/09/06 Grendelynden Don't bother with this, if you like Jason Statham go watch the Transporter films. 1 stars
9/07/06 captain shitkicker best film ever made!! all you other faggots quit whining and just enjoy it!!!! 5 stars
9/06/06 Kathy Patterson One of my top 10 worst films 1 stars
9/03/06 KingNeutron Original and fun - and the soundtrack was fantastic. 4 stars
9/03/06 brian chinatown indeed! 5 stars
9/03/06 Carlos Dinea CRANK is KING. Straight Bananas! Chinatown scene will go down in history!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Sep-2006 (R)
  DVD: 09-Jan-2007

UK
  01-Sep-2006

Australia
  19-Oct-2006




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