Crank (18)



Action (2006)
88mins US

Starring: Jason Statham, Efren Ramirez, Amy Smart, Dwight Yoakam
Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Tenacious hit man Chev Chelios is marked for death, which comes in the form of a lethal injection: if Chev's heart rate slows, the poison will bring about a slow and excruciating death. Determined to exact his revenge, Chev keeps his heart rate up as he masterminds a daring plan of attack.

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LondonNet Film Review

Crank
Inspired by Mark Nevedline and Brian Taylor's long cherished desire to make a non-stop action movie with the same frenetic energy as a videogame, Crank is a hyperviolent assault on the senses with a healthy disregard for good taste...

Crank. Photo Credit: Ron Batzdorf. Copyright: 2006 Lakeshore Entertainment Group, All Rights Reserved

You have to admire the writer-directors' audacity. Armed with all the neat visual tricks they have acquired from their award-winning television commercials and music videos, Nevedline and Taylor blaze onto the big screen, determined to deliver a thrill-ride with a unique look and feel.

To a large extent they succeed, using split screens and 'screens within screens' to striking effect, even going so far as to wear roller-blades whilst filming certain action sequences to ensure the camera moves just as quickly as the adrenaline-pumped hero.

The anguish begins for hit man Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) the moment he wakes up, feeling decidedly worse for wear, in his Los Angeles apartment. Staggering downstairs, he spots a DVD waiting to be played and is stunned to find it contains a message from his sworn enemy, Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo). The rival assassin gleefully reveals that he has injected Chev with a deadly and powerful toxin. "You got about an hour," hoots Verona, "Have yourself a nice death!" With time ebbing away and his life with it, Chev heads out into the seamy underbelly of the city with just one burning desire: revenge.


He seeks medical advice from Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam) who quickly identifies the poison. "If I'm right, they just gave you the Beijing cocktail," he concludes, "Keep your adrenaline constant. If you stop, you die!" So Chev does everything he can to keep his heart rate up, including gulping down caffeine drinks by the gallon and engaging in furious al fresco sex with his girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart) on a bustling sidewalk, with half of Chinatown watching in awe.

Statham huffs and puffs through his character's day from hell, bringing an affability and rough charm to part, while Smart is suitably ditzy as the blonde bombshell labouring under the illusion that her boyfriend is a computer programmer.

The barrage of flashy camerawork, machine-gun editing and special effects is exhausting. However, the chances of falling asleep in the midst of this blitzkrieg of gratuitous sex and violence are remote to say the least.

Not that you'll have to engage your brain at any point because Crank isn't the sharpest tool in the box. The only language the screenplay understands is wanton destruction and carnage. So, it should come as no surprise that when Chev has to hijack a taxi, he flings the poor Arab driver to the floor and screams "Al-Qaeda!", then screeches off into the sunset as rabid passersby pounce on the beleaguered cabbie and proceed, quite literally, to tear him limb from limb. God bless America.

- Heather VonBourne


London Cinemas

From Friday 11th August
To Thursday 17th August

- Prince Charles Cinema
From Friday 18th August
To Thursday 24th August

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 11th August
To Thursday 17th August

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.
From Friday 18th August
To Thursday 24th August

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


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