Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Jason Statham, Pablo Cantillo, Amy Smart,
Dwight Yoakum, Carlos Sanz and Efren Ramirez

Rated: R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexuality, nudity and drug use
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: September 1, 2006 Released by: Lions Gate Films

Hyper uncompromising cinema is on board with Crank, a sort of uncensored turbo ride starring Jason Statham (The Transporter, The Italian Job).

Statham is the steely, pumped-up Chev Chelios, a hitman who tells us today is the day he's gonna die. Awakening to a message, he's informed about being poisoned by the vile Verona (Pablo Cantillo), from China of all places. Chev has about an hour to live.

What Crank thrusts to its audience is the desperate need for revenge. Chev apparently is kept going by adrenaline, and his girlfriend (Amy Smart) isn't cognizant of his occupation. She doesn't really handle his revelations very well, either. Dwight Yoakum is Chev's whizzy, weird physician trying to help as best he can, and Carlos Sanz is the oddly oblivious crime lord.

Filmmakers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have made a frenetic live-action Looney Tunes with much violence and gratuitous sex with much bombast. Statham gets into the deranged role to leaven the austerity with a soulful approach to what could be viewed as witty hysteria. The visuals are outrageous to say the least and much credit has to go the stunt people.

With spry support from the likes of Smart and Yoakum, and a very likeable colorful informant by Efren Ramirez, the brisk running time is trumped by multiple fierce action sequences. Noteworthy are ones in a shopping mall, on a motorcycle, and in Chinatown. Crank has fun sporting is B-movie aspirations right up to the helicopter climax, knowing where silliness can lead as Chev dons a hospital gown for longer than he'd like to.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Crank B-     C+ D- C+   C

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