Crank Review
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It’s been quite the summer for Guy Movies. You want superheroes (mutant or those from another planet)? We’ve got ‘em. We’ve got movies about NASCAR and Pirates and football and, of course, beer. In case you’ve forgotten, we’ve also got snakes. On a plane. But, if that’s still not enough, we’ve also got Crank, a adrenaline-filled movie about hitmen and Chinese poison.

Jason Statham leads the film as Chev Chelios, a hired gun who’s running (literally) to save his life. While he was sleeping, Chelios was injected with some kind of strange Chinese poison—and unless he keeps his adrenaline flowing, it’ll kill him. So, on the advice of his doctor (played by the always-creepy Dwight Yoakam)—Chelios does everything he can think of to keep his heart rate up so he can live long enough to get his revenge. Taking on a bathroom full of thugs to score a line of coke? Check. Shooting up a hospital in a quest to steal epinephrine? Check. Stealing a police motorcycle (while wearing a hospital gown)? Check. Sex in public (in front of a bus full of tourists)? Check. High-speed car chase through a mall? Check.

Like Snakes on a Plane, Crank is a high-energy action film with all kinds of dark, gruesome humor thrown in to make it fun. Also like Snakes, there’s not much of a story. There are also plenty of topless women, thugs who can’t act, and lots of people who die horrible (and, in the case of Crank, very, very bloody) deaths.

To add to the dizzying adrenaline rush created by the film’s nearly non-stop action the camera is in constant motion. Even when Chev’s standing still, the camera isn’t. It’s spinning and cutting and splitting screens. It’s blurry and fast-paced and constantly in motion. It’ll make you crazy—and it’ll also make you a little bit sick if you forget to take your motion-sickness pills before it all begins. But that’s the point, right? Frantic, fast-paced, non-stop, head-spinning action.

For the first half of the movie (which has a total running time of less than 90 minutes), I was totally into it—and so was the rest of the late-night movie crowd. My head was pleasantly spinning. It was exciting and funny and oddly gruesome. The rest of the audience was cheering. We were all having a great time. But then the cheering stopped and the spinning wasn’t so pleasant anymore—and the choppy shots and random killings and dark humor were just more of the same old thing.

Crank is an all-out adrenaline rush of a movie—for about an hour. But after a high like that, there’s nowhere to go but down. And I crashed hard. Had the movie had a little more substance, I think the high would have lasted through the whole 90 minutes—but, unfortunately, it didn’t. I lost the adrenaline rush—and, had I been injected with some crazy Chinese poison, I would have been dead by the time it was over.

The first half of Crank is well worth the price of admission for any adrenaline junkie—but be warned that the after-effects aren’t pretty.

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