Crank it UP!
Last night, I had the privilege of viewing Jason Statham’s latest action phenomenon. He is an action guru. Crank was one of the freshest action movies I have seen in a very long time. The opening scene scared me though. It showed Statham’s character, Chelios, walking toward to camera and his voiceover stating that he would be dead in an hour. This only reminded me of the beginning to American Beauty, one of my least favorite Best Picture winners, but that is a different story for a different day. Now, before reading further, remember, I am a huge action movie junkie.
Other than the opening scene, it has no more ties to American Beauty. The movie cuts to Chelios waking up and feeling hung over, but not from drinking, we soon find out. He finds a DVD cleverly labeled to get his attention. Once viewed, he realizes that he has about an hour to live due to a drug in his system. He is going to die due to a hit that he performed for a drug cartel. He is going to die from a drug. Irony?
So, we follow Chelios on his quest for final revenge on the people that did this to him. He discovers that adrenaline keeps him alive. That leads to a hilarious montage of ways to keep his blood pumping. We see waffle irons, fights, head banging to “Achy Breaky Heart,” stealing Red Bull, stealing caffeine pills, stealing cop motorcycles, and more in his quest to keep his adrenaline pumping.
As the movie progresses, we meet his drug addict girlfriend Eve, played by Amy Smart. She is a totally different character from anything she has played. She was excellent. Amy needs to bank on movies as much as possible now that Smith was cancelled after 3 episodes. We also meet a friend of his, Kaylo, played by Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite. This was another interesting change of character for Efren Ramirez. He plays a gay guy that I am not really sure how he knows Chelios, or what his connection to him is, or what exactly Kaylos does. But he was funny. Dwight Yoakam plays Doc Miles, that I am pretty sure is not a licensed practitioner. He helps keep Chelios going.
In the end, Chelios comes face to face with the last of the bad guys in a helicopter fight. The gunfight leading to this point was decent. The plot got a little thick at the end. By a little, I mean, it added a few things, but nothing major. I do enjoy a little plot with my explosions and bullets. Great last shot to end film, too. Enough said about the story.
While on the subject of the last shot, the directing was awesome. It was like Grand Theft Auto meets MTV. For the 80 odd minutes of the film, I was never bored or looking at my watch. The directing was frantic, but that was the pace and point ogf the film. This was the directing debut of both Mark Neveldine and Brain Talyor. They both wrote the film as well. I anxiously look forward to their next venture.
On a final note before my verdict, there was a chase scene with a VW Rabbit convertible. I love Volkswagen.
Verdict: pay the money to see this in theaters if you like loud movies. If not, rent it so you can turn it down. But, see this movie, especially fi you are an action junky like yours truly.