Crank is a typical Jason Statham movie in that it features him shirtless, driving like a maniac, and wreaking general havoc about town. But the story, in which his character, hitman Chev Chelios, has been injected with poison and must keep adrenaline pumping through his system to stay alive long enough to get revenge, is rather more over-the-top than Statham’s standard action fare.
Chelios can’t stop, so neither does the movie, as it careens from one adrenaline-fueled exploit to the next – generally of the sex, drugs, or violence variety. On the rare occasion the pace slacks off, it’s only to remind us of Chelios’ predicament, as his heart begins to slow and he has to figure out how to get the adrenaline flowing again, using whatever’s closest to hand. (Crank has to the be the only example out there of energy drinks actually saving someone’s life.) Things often get cartoonish, but the movie leans into it, and it works.
It also doesn’t hurt that the cartoonishness leads to Statham being pantsless, as well as shirtless.
The real joy of the movie, though, is in the secondary characters. Dwight Yoakam is perfect as the shady Doc Miles, Jose Pablo Cantillo’s Verona is every Chinese gangster stereotype on steroids, and Reno Wilson as Orlando steals the scene he’s in. (Seriously, I would watch the hell out of an Orlando spinoff movie.)
But the best is Chester Bennington, Linkin Park‘s lead singer. It’s a quick cameo, only a couple of lines of dialogue, but considering I’d seen the movie half-a-dozen times or more before I recognized him, and when I finally did it was after his death, those couple of lines have become a real gift every time I watch it.
Crank isn’t so much an action movie, as an action movie’s coked-up cousin, and it’s fun to watch Statham stalk through the middle of the chaos his character creates. It’s a solid entry in the The Fuck Did I Just Watch? category.
To see other posts in my venture to watch my movie collection in alphabetical(ish) order, click here.