The Movie Buffer

Monday, September 11, 2006



If you read under 50 words a minute, this movie will be spoiled.


Putting aside all the other Speed pot-shots that can be made…well, maybe just one more - Crank is even another name for speed. Okay, with that out of the system on to the review.

This is a simple, summer flick but that is little excuse for the huge shame this movie is. I was surprised at how bad this movie was all I was expecting was an angry British guy, some soccer hooligan-type violence and a couple explosions.

Crank revolves around an assassin Chevy Chelios (Jason Statham) getting poisoned and his last wish to get revenge on the man that has essentially killed him. The poison is supposed to work into his heart, over the course of one hour, and cause it to implode. Cue the chase music, lights, camera, pyrotechnics and we’re off to the races.

This film was written and directed by a duo of fresh new film makers, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. With two guys working on this film they definitely should have found a better way to spend 87 minutes. There was nothing about this movie that attractive of eye catching. They really should have watched some other pictures in the same vein to see what works and what doesn’t. I guess they tried to eyeball lots of the shots and it ended up being sloppy.

Statham (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Transporter) and Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect and a bevy of Teen flicks) are on autopilot throughout this movie. Statham, who I know can play desperate and angry, should have channeled far more into his part. Smart just had to look good and play innocent but she didn’t even do that well, but she did get naked for the part. The directors tapped, Efren Ramirez (Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite) to lighten up the film as a drug-addled raver. As funny as that sounds, it doesn’t come off like that on film.

The single ray of light from the actors in this film is Dwight Yoakam, who plays a Hunter S. Thompson-like mob doctor. His was the only character that didn’t utterly phone their performance in. Unfortunately, he appears for only about 5 minutes.

To put it simply:

This movie is excrement.

Save Yoakam and Ending scene, everything was terrible. There was nothing to make the viewer care about any of the characters, there wasn’t an interesting villain and no comical one-liners. When a car chase was running long they just threw in something like, the hero needs to say goodbye to his girl-friend, to break the monotony. The poison could have incited some interesting visuals effects but they relied on boring, blurry slo-mo graphics. After an hour of utter failure I was dreading the ending, but it surprised me: they finished the movie in a logical way!

Rather than watching this film you should watch Speed and The 25th Hour and then imagine them combined. Now that would be a great movie! This piece of junk gets a 2/10 or 0.5 star out of five. The greatest relief in this movie is that they didn’t tack on a Disney ending where everyone is happy, and some dancing bears show up and the music swells.


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