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Crank (DVD Review)

10 Dec, 2006 By: John Latchem


Prebook 12/13/06
Street 1/9/07
Box Office $27.8 million
$28.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R' for strong violence, pervasive language, sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Stars Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Dwight Yoakam.

Crank may refer to the fast-paced hyperkinetic style of the action sequences in this movie, or what the filmmakers were on when they shot it. This is a film that takes living each day to the fullest to a whole new level, armed with a plot in the class of video games such as Grand Theft Auto.

Professional hitman Chev Chelios (Statham) learns he's been poisoned with an advanced “sci-fi” drug called the Beijing Cocktail. The only way to counter its effects is with adrenaline, so Chev has to keep moving to keep his heart rate up.

This provides a convenient excuse for several action sequences around Los Angeles, including a car chase through an indoor mall, a bloody back-alley fight, and Chev and his stoner girlfriend (Smart) having aggressive sex in front of 200 witnesses in a plaza in Chinatown.

He's on a quest for revenge against those who poisoned him and, hopefully, to find an antidote. Like the Energizer Bunny, he keeps going, and going.

There's also some sort of subplot about Chev quitting crime so he can settle down. It's the film's attempt to help the audience sympathize with a brutal killer with little regard for life or property. The violence is excessive but not effective, although the filmmakers have come up with some imaginative sequences and camera angles.

The storyline finds excuses to create some interesting images that beneath the surface don't make a lot of sense. Fortunately the film moves at such a fast pace most viewers won't notice. It's pretty mindless, but at least it plays out in less than 90 minutes.

The DVD features a “Crank'd Out Mode” that allows viewers to check out the commentary, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews without leaving the film. It's the perfect menu system for this type of movie.From a marketing perspective, Statham no doubt will attract fans from the “Transporter” movies.

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