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RA: Crank

08.14.2008by: Ammon Gilbert

CRANK (2006)
Rating: 3 on 4 / Buy the DVD here

Tag Line: There are a thousand ways to raise your adrenaline. Today, Chev Chelios will need every single one.

Directed by Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor
Starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam

THE PLAN Hitman Chev Chelios wakes up to find he’s been poisoned by his enemy with some ‘synthetic Chinese shit’ that will kill him if his heart rate slows down. Chelios kicks it into overdrive to find and kill the guy who poisoned him … before he dies first.

THE KILL: We live in a world where action movies have been watered down to PG-13 thrills, where the violence is seen off camera, the language is toned down, and the sex is suggested but never seen. There’s more special effects thrown into a simple action movie now than there ever was before, and all for the sake making bank at the box office. So when a movie comes out that gives a big F-U to today’s action movie norm, reaches back into its 80s roots, and unapologetically delivers some hardcore thrills and R rated action violence, you know we’re gonna take note and relish in every second of it.

Two years ago audiences were served a real treat at the end of the summer. When all we had was superhero movies to get us through the heat, one film came out and blew us all away. That film? CRANK. Starring today’s action hero Jason Statham as Chev Chelois, the whole concept of a guy who can’t slow down, who has to keep the action going non-stop or else he dies sets the stage for the fun-filled, action packed, R rated movie—a kind of movie we hadn’t seen in a long time. Played as part throwback to the classic 80s action movies, part action movie spoof, and part social commentary of today’s video game saturated society, CRANK delivered the goods on all levels and then some, making it the action film of 2006!

Come on and juice me, you pussy!

First, it’s a movie filled with dirty language. Lots and lots of dirty language. For the bitch-ass modern action movie, having the good guy and bad guy call each other dirty motherf*ckers for an hour and a half is a real treat because… well, we just don’t see that anymore! Some of the lines are hilarious, and I have to give it up to Jose Pablo Cantillo who played main baddie Verona, as lines like “f*ck you you f*cking motherf*cker” were delivered masterfully.

Second, CRANK delivers with hottie goods by having Amy Smart up in the mix as Chelios’s stoner girlfriend. Not only is she hot, but she’s down with f*cking in the middle of Chinatown and giving head during a car chase shoot-out. Now that’s classy! The flick also has an ample amount of random naked chicks, an essential part to any hardcore action flick (though no needless visit to a strip club, which would have been nice).

Not even a convenience store is safe from Statham's wrath!

Third, it’s a movie with a good guy who’s also a bad guy… but a likeable bad guy, which makes him good. Statham is badass as Chelios, and further establishes the fact that he is the Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone of today. He has that hardcore look, that hardcore attitude, and can deliver lines like “do I have the word CUNT written on my forehead” and make it sound believable. Supporting characters like the comic relief of Efren Ramirez (aka Pedro from NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE) and Dwight Yoakam as the sketchy (but knowledgeable) doctor helping Chelios out with his situation. In the end, the cast of characters made this puppy fun and interesting to watch… but not as much fun as the action!

That’s right… this is a movie filled with lots and lots of non-stop, no-holds-barred action, and that’s what really makes this puppy stand out. The premise is a guy who can’t stop, and that’s exactly what we’re delivered. From the moment he wakes up to find he’s been injected with some ‘synthetic Chinese shit,’ Chelios doesn’t stop. He gets into high-speed car chases through malls, he walks into a bar full of thugs and picks a fight, he downs as much Red Bull and energy drinks as he can, he does a few lines of coke, injects himself with epinephrine, shocks himself through an elevator, steels a Police motorcycle only to crash the shit out of it while driving it standing up, gets into a gun fight while driving a crappy little VW Rabbit, and even hangs off the edge of a flying helicopter, all in the name of keeping his heart racing just to stay alive. Just thinking about all the shit he does is getting me cranked up!

Only Statham and Smart could dance ballet during a shootout.

When I walked out of the theaters after watching CRANK, I was completely exhausted. Part of me wanted to run around like a madman and blow shit up, while the other part felt like I had already just spent the last 90 minutes doing just that. That’s exactly how an action movie should make you feel—as if you were in the action alongside the main character, and with CRANK… that’s exactly what happens. I’ve seen it a few times on DVD since, and while it doesn’t pack quite the punch it had on the big screen, it’s still a barrel of fun, and still gives us a hope that R rated action movies of this nature aren’t extinct, they’re just few and far between. Can't wait to get me some CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE in 2009!

TV trailer and full trailer for CRANK!

TOP DEATH: While the body count isn’t huge, the death of Verona’s brother is pretty badass, if only because Chelios chopped the guy’s hand off with a meat clever minutes earlier, and the blood gets splattered all over Pedro (see clip below).

TOP ACTION SCENE: Easily the car chase / shoot-out with Verona’s thugs… all while Amy Start is giving Statham a blow job. How many car chase action sequences have you seen while the hero is getting blown? Exactly. This one’s for the record books.

Suck-suck, bang-bang. F*cking classic.

TOP HOMOEROTIC MOMENT: Dare I say, Statham is all man here? Pedro’s gay and has a flashback ‘gay club moment’ (can’t get any gayer than that), and there’s an entire escape / motorcycle chase sequence with Statham in nothing but a hospital gown that reveals a buttcheek or two. But other than that, this movie is all man, baby!

FEMALE EXPLOITATION: Not only does Smart blow Statham during a car chase, but she lets him f*ck her doggy style in the middle of Chinatown with about 200 onlookers! There’s a posse of topless chicks at one of the gangsters houses hanging out by the pool, and a goofy little sequence with Verona getting blown while feeding his dog scraps of meat. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere for that…

Verona: Haven't you heard? Me and Carlito are tight.
Chelios: You haven’t been tight since your brother f*cked you in the second grade.

DRINKING GAME: Every time Chelios gets cranked (drinks, smokes, injects, etc…) you have to drink! And by drink, I mean you have to drink Red Bull & Vodkas, to really put yourself in Chelios’s shoes.

TRIVIA: At this year’s Comic Con, I met both Jason Statham and Amy Smart. While they weren’t there specifically for it, they both mentioned that filming for CRANK 2 had just finished and they’re both really looking forward to checking it out. And so am I.

The DVD has a “family friendly” audio track where all the bad language is dubbed over, like it was edited for TV.

You f*ck with Statham… and he will f*ck you up!

Source: AITH



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