Friday, September 01, 2006


Written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

Jason Statham has become the king of the B-action flick with the two Transporter movies, one a hit on video and the other a big Labor Day box office draw last year. His rhythmic, scratchy English voice combined with unconventional sex appeal make him a perfect antihero.

Sometimes, a movie is made with a certain kind of set of rules--when the ridiculous happens, it seems too ridiculous. But from moment one, Crank sets up its ultra-ridiculous plot procedure right off the bat and it becomes the year's best anything-goes action film I've seen so far--a movie that Snakes on a Plane wishes it could have been. The probability is we won't see anything this hyper-crazy for a long time. Be prepared for some of the most giddy film work of 2006. I am not kidding.

Assassin Chev Chelios (Statham) has woken up groggy, finding a DVD depicting Hispanic gangster Verona (Juan Pablo Cantillo) mocking him--Verona is taping himself giving a poison called the Beijing Cocktail to Chelios while he sleeps. The poison is supposed to stop the heart, but Chelios finds a way to amp up his adrenaline through picking fights, police chases, hard drugs, every Red Bull-type of drink known to man, and some help from his sleazy doctor Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam, who else?), while trying to find Verona and off him before he dies. Chelios has also picked this time to finally come clean with his girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart), and they engage in one of the most memorable sex scenes you will ever see.

At first, I was worried with the hyperactive camera style and editing--but in this case it fits. You might want to imagine a movie with this simple kind of premise in the hands of Baz Luhrmann teaming up with Tony Scott and early-90s Oliver Stone. It's like Romeo & Juliet fused with Natural Born Killers and whatever quality Domino had. It also reminded me a bit, not so much the gimmick but in amped-up narrative, of the movie-in-reverse Irreversible. It's like writer/directors Neveldine and Taylor sat down one day and said, "Let's make the craziest, most implausible thrill ride ever, fill it with nihilism, and make no apologies whatsoever."

Only Lionsgate would probably offer at something like this, and it's not likely to find its audience in theatres although it should. I was totally vibing this fun film--go see it. Not likely to hit high on Rotten Tomatoes, but fuck that.


At 9/08/2006 11:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TRULY ONE OF THE GREAT FILMS to come out of America. I'm shocked - didn't expect it. Go to the theater right now and see it. AWESOME (and LOL funny in a very dark way).


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