|Directed by:||Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor|
|Written by:||Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor|
|Cast:||Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Dwight Yoakam|
|Studio:||Lions Gate Films|
This movie sort of came out of nowhere. All of a sudden trailers were released and TV spots were shown without much of a warning. It looked to be reminiscent of Transporter 2 in the sense that it looked like an all-out action movie (with Jason Statham). However, Crank is a completely different animal than the aforementioned movie or any other movie released this year for that matter. First time directors Mark Nedveldine and Brian Taylor relentlessly bash you over the head with the action hammer and boy does it feel great.
Wake up. First person shot. Things are blurry. Clumsily walking, we make our way to a flat screen TV with a DVD sitting there. The DVD is popped in and the situation is explained to us. Suddenly the nice TV is ripped from the wall and stomped on and ruined. A destructive car chase ensues (eventually ending up in a mall with the car on an escalator) and phone calls are made. This is all in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Oh yeah, the action is plentiful.
Jason Statham is best known from the Transporter movies. Here he plays a much different character, but kicks much more ass. As expected, Statham gives a great performance. He is a true action star and makes everything come alive. Amy Smart plays his girlfriend who plays the standard ditzy blonde who does and says questionable things. Efren Ramirez (AKA “Pedro”) is Kaylo, Chev’s gay friend who is there for some comic relief for the short time he’s in the movie. The rest of the cast is solid and everyone is believable, with some going a little over the top at times.
The beginning of this movie had me worried with its frantic MTV-style camera work. I was hoping the whole movie wouldn’t be like this. I’m happy to say, it was not. The beginning is like this but once we get in the car it stops. The film is not shot normally either. The heavy MTV-style is gone but the camerawork is different. There are things when Chev is talking on the phone to someone and you’ll see them randomly in the environment on the other end, be it in a rearview mirror or on the side of the building. They are some pretty nifty effects and add to the overall tone of the movie. This is not a traditional action movie by any means. As you can see above, the plot is very thin. The movie starts and we’re given the situation and it throws you right into the whirlwind from the get-go. This is definitely not a problem though because the movie is so entertaining that it doesn’t matter if the plot is a little thin. Besides the action, there is humor. There are some seriously hilarious moments in this movie that will have your stomach hurting from the laughter (its all intentional too). This is sort of like Snakes on a Plane, if you go into this movie expecting something else, you’ll be disappointed. Just go into this expecting a fun movie with little plot and not a traditional movie and you should have a great time.
There really aren’t too many negatives to this one. The running time is a little on the short side (83 minutes) but it doesn’t feel rushed or short, nor does it drag on for too long. The ways Chev gets his adrenaline pumping are interesting, to say the least. The worst part about the movie though, is the lack of story. Again, this isn’t meant to be a story heavy movie but just a few minutes more of…something would have helped. But, the lack of this does not hinder the movie in any way because it’s still extremely entertaining.
Crank is quite possibly the most fun movie of the summer. It delivered big action, fun times, great laughs and pure entertainment. The catch phrase "a thrill a minute" doesn't really go the distance to describe how ridiculously action packed this film is. A thrill every ten to fifteen seconds is more like it. Everything about this movie gelled wonderfully and I dare you to have a better time at the movies this year.