September 05, 2006

Crank

Crank is not a film that can be judged by normal standards. It meets barely any of the objective qualities I normally look for in a film. It abandons any attempt to appease the normal laws of physics or medicine and indeed has a hit-or-miss record in staying consistent with what lip service it pays to each early on. The only thing this movie has going for it is Jason Statham. Fortunately, Statham's enough.
The movie begins with Statham's character, Chev Chelios, regaining consciousness on the floor of a dismal room. He soon discovers that the triads have laced his blood with chemicals that block the release of adrenaline. His only hope is to keep his heart rate pumping and his adrenaline flowing, or so his doctor tells him. What follows is nothing more or less than a greatest hits list of "Grand Theft Auto" scenarios played out over virtually the rest of the running time. Cars go through buildings. Cars trash other cars. Motorcycles send passengers flying. There's sex in cars. There's sex out of cars. There's a dumb blond, a Cuban gang, and a severed hand. If you expect story or viable characters you will be cruelly disappointed. If you expect the most casual and relentless violence in recent memory coupled with sophomoric, homophobic taunting and the occasional racial stereotype you will get more than your money's worth. In fact, iff the projector broke twenty minutes in, you'd have your money's worth.
Stimulants are snorted, chugged, sniffed, and injected. Chelios destroys half the city and kills probably one out of every two human beings that appear on screen. People are drowned, stabbed, shot, sucked off, screwed, and cut into pieces. Oh, and the occasional neck gets snapped. The film builds and builds, until it finally reaches it crescendo, hundreds if not thousands of feet above the city outside a helicopter. Throughout it all, Chelios keeps things practical and to the point. He doesn't really savour the violence; he does what he has to and moves on. And what he has to do is kill people. Frequently.
I can't really recommend this as a movie. It was a pretty great thrill ride, though. ()

  - ADAM LENHARDT

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