Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), a Los Angeles hit man freelancing for a major West Coast crime syndicate, is woken one morning after a job, by a call (and a helpful DVD) from thug Ricky Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo). Verona shows and tells Chev he's been injected with a deadly cocktail in his sleep and has an hour to live - unless he can keep his adrenaline flowing. With scant help from his doctor who's on leave, he begins a rampage on the streets, wreaking havoc. He also has to protect his naïve and innocent girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart), while staying two steps ahead of his nemeses as they try to eliminate him. Meanwhile, the search for an antidote gets ever more desperate.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Safety advice: remember to breathe when you're watching this movie. The writer/directors suffer from (or in this case, should that be enjoy?) ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder and so in their first feature film they set out to make a non stop action thriller. What better as the basic premise than a man who slows down will die. Poisoned by his enemies, his survival depends on a permanent adrenaline rush. But as the filmmakers are able to inject humour into the material at will (like giving him mega erections, for example, as a spin off), the film plays like a highly sophisticated computer game for adults. It does everything the filmmakers set out to do, and will energize, excite and entertain its target market of young males, and perhaps even older ones.
Jason Statham builds on his explosive debut in The Transporter, in which could combine the character elements of a very tough hombre with some low key moments, even tenderness of sorts. This adds the sort of texture to his movies that Sean Connery brought to the early Bond films.
Crank is street slang for a cheap form of methamphetamine, a drug with an intense rush and once you've seen the film, it will resonate as a title that can also refer to other meanings, from cranky, as in Statham's character (but several of his adversaries get cranky, too), through to the heart he has to keep cranking up with whatever he can find, from upper soft drinks to medication - even a fowl tasting Haitian potion offered to him by a cab driver. The filmmakers have also cranked up the playfulness level, adding touches that suggest they don't expect us to take them too seriously - but they take filmmaking seriously enough to give it all their attention ... ahem.
The gangsters behave badly, the violence is fast and deadly, while Eve (Amy Smart) is the film's heart, through whom Chev finds peace. But not without a hefty price.
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CAST: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Dwight Yoakim, Carlos Sanz, Reno Wilson
PRODUCER: Michael Davis, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Skip Williamson, Richard Wright
DIRECTOR: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
SCRIPT: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Adam Biddle
EDITOR: Brian Berdan
MUSIC: Paul Haslinger
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jerry Fleming
RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 19, 2006
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